Hatch — A Lovable Virtual Pet for Your iPhone

Hatch — A Lovable Virtual Pet for Your iPhone

We’ve all had tamagotchis in some form back in the day. I know I have. Even on iOS, I got Hatchi which was basically a virtual pet for your iPhone replicating a Tamagotchi almost perfectly. I think it was well over a year ago when David Lanham teased Hatch, a new loveable pet for your iPhone. Hatch has been created by Impending in partnership with Realmac Software.

Hatch allows you to adopt a pet Fugu that you will love and who will love you back. I’ve had the app for a few days now and David Lanham is an absolute genius. There’s no two ways about it. I’ve always wanted to see his art come to life and Hatch showcases that brilliantly. The last app I used by Impending and Realmac was Clear so my expectations for this were way high as is. On first launch you see a video explaining the history behind Fugus and then you meet Max who is your assistant who helps you name your Fugu and interact with it. Your pet Fugu feeds on fresh fruit and love. Max also helps you pick a colour and the options are the same as the iPhone colour options. I picked silver since I have a silver iPhone 5. A Tamagotchi had certain things you had to look at each time you interacted with it like food and health. Your Fugu expresses everything with sounds and cute expressions. The sounds are fantastic and are one of the main draws aside from the art. Hatch makes full use of the iPhone accelerometer to deliver a lovely parallax effect throughout and you need to exploit this to find hidden objects in some far off corners of the environment. Your Fugu is front and center on a mat and there are fresh fruit trees around. You can swipe to the left to reveal the shop where you can buy more mats and fruits among other things. Fruit can be traded in for acorns and star fruit for gold coins. Acorns and coins are your main in game currency. Before you raise your pitchfork, there are no in app purchases and you have to earn every bit of in game currency the hard way. Fugu eats a lot. I cannot emphasize that enough. You will find yourself feeding it often followed by it pooping really loudly. You tap and drag the poop into the trash can on the bottom right. You also have a bag that can hold your fruit for later. Larger bags can be bought from the store. Tapping your Fugu in different parts results in different responses and you can tap and hold it to hear it purr softly.

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There are some items from the shop that you should try and buy as soon as possible like the camera that allows you to take and share selfies or photos with your Fugu in the frame. There are some really creative mats available and I’m currently using the record mat. Hatch uses Game Center in a very interesting manner. It randomly sends your Game Center friends gifts and you get gifts from friends as well. Tapping the notification brings you to your Fugu who presents you with a present that can range from a pile of poop to a few coins. Leaving your Fugu unattended for a long time will result in it being really sad and a lot of rotten fruit and possibly poop around. Making your Fugu really happy will turn the flowers around the mat purple and it will come up to the screen to lick and kiss you before serenading you with a nice tune that grows a lot of fruit. You also find stickers placed randomly around the environment. Stickers are consumables and if you share a sticker via twitter or message, it is removed from your sticker book. Hatch respects when you charge your device and your Fugu will go into a deep sleep when you plug your device in. It also uses your location and has near accurate night and day themes on within the app. The store is closed in the night and can be opened by using one coin. There are acorns, coins and stickers scattered throughout the environment so whenever you launch the app, make sure you take a good look around.

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I was surprised by how much I kept and still keep using Hatch. The team behind the app has really created something special. It really does feel like a real pet trapped inside your device. Hatch is a little buggy and your best bet to avoid any of the bugs is not interacting with notifications or calls while using the app. The sound goes a little haywire forcing you to close the app and launch it again or causing your fruit bag to get stuck on top of the screen. Max can also get a little annoying with his voice and I hope the developers add more stuff you can do to Fugu when you interact with it because it may get a little boring after some time. Barring that, Hatch is gorgeous. The icon itself is worth the asking price. Hatch is available on the App Store for $1.99 and you should adopt a Fugu today.

Mikhail Madnani is the acting Editor-in-Chief of Beautiful Pixels. He’s usually the one making sure so many weather apps get reviewed when he isn’t playing Xenoblade Chronicles 2 or Hearthstone.