previews\ Jan 24, 2006 at 7:00 pm

Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop - NDS - Preview

I remember the little Tamagotchi toys when they first came out; my daughters and all their friends had at least one, and many had several. This was our first introduction to the concept of digital electronic “pets” that required their owners to care for them periodically. If care wasn’t taken, the consequences were dire. Needless to say, the novelty soon wore off and the pets all “died”.

Later, digital pets morphed into simulation programs on video game consoles and computers, like Creatures, Animal Crossing and lately, Nintendogs. While the characters on these programs also have to be cared for, doing so is not nearly as much of a chore as caring for the original Tamagotchi.

Now, the Tamagotchi have moved on to a console version, Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop DS. However, this isn’t a simulation game, but is instead a collection of mini-games featuring the cute Tamagotchi.

At first, players will only have access to two of the mini-games, but successful playing of these games will unlock further games. Playing well also lets players buy decorations and clothes, plus the shops will become deluxe versions. The games are in the form of shops, where the Tamagotchi will bathe, beautify, physic and feed the other Tamagotchi inhabitants. The mini-games are all cute and simple Wario-ish style games, albeit slightly longer. The similarity lies in the lack of instructions and the simplicity, more than the style of the gameplay itself.

The first two games are a dumpling restaurant and a spa. The spa is self-explanatory, as the needed ingredients for the bathers show up in little icons above their heads, and it’s only necessary to match them up to make them happy. The dumpling shop, though, is much harder to figure out, at least if you’ve never made takoyaki. At first, I thought that only a certain mix of ingredients were wanted, but all the ingredients are used. I never could make the takoyaki just right, though; I either undercooked them, or overcooked them.

Other mini-games include a dentist’s office, a bakery and a jewelry-making enterprise. Each of these plays out in a similar fashion of either matching ingredients or matching features to faces. The music game is different from the rest, as it’s a rhythm game.

Each of the games is fun and kooky, and possesses a distinct Japanese humor. The gameplay is engaging the first several times around for each game, but due to the sameness of most of the games, it might become a little boring after awhile. For right now, though, we’re having a pretty good time with it. Check back for the review, to see how it fares after a few weeks of playing.

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