Do you remember those virtual pet keychain games – known as Tamagotchi– that Bandai released back in the late nineties, which then immediately went on to become a run away hit? Well, to be sure, Thomas Uster and Willem Rosenthal – founders of the San Francisco based Proto Games – definitely seem to have never forgotten the Tamagotchi’s charming allure. Their latest project, Pakka Pets, draws heavily – both in terms of visuals and game mechanics – from those little egg shaped menaces that no one could ever seem to keep alive for more than a week.
In Pakka Pets – similar to Tamagotchi – players are tasked with taking care of the health and happiness of a cute pixelated pet, whom will eventually evolve into various forms based on how he is raised. However, capitalizing upon the fact that we are no longer limited to an LCD screen of the lowest resolution imaginable, Thomas and Willem’s project aims to go well beyond that. Owners will also be able to take their Pakka on adventures to exotic locations, search out new treasures and recipe ingredients, and even decorate their Pakka’s fully customizable bedroom to their heart’s content.
While players initially start with a limited number of choices, they can earn special crystals when their adult Pakkas finally leave home – based on how many of their pet’s destined “Happy Moments” were achieved – which then in turn open up more options. Players can – through this manner – slowly expand their possibilities with each and every Pakka they successfully raise all the way up through adulthood, allowing for a great deal of replay value. However – as Thomas and Willem intend for Pakka Pets to be an entirely free release – there will also be means for impatient players to acquire stuff early via IAPs, yet without becoming a pay-wall game in the process.
However – as is often the case – even though the duo has already made amazing progress on Pakka Pets so far, they are currently in need of additional funding if the project is ever to be finished. To this end they have recently launched a Kickstarter to collect a grand total of $20,000 – in order to keep the lights on – of which over $15k has already been raised, all with a staggering 20 days still remaining! This means there is plenty of time left – if everyone bands together – for Proto Games to reach some of their loftier stretch goals, such as internet connectivity that’ll let people’s Pakkas interact with each other.
While there is no donation tier that will secure you a day one copy of Pakka Pets, seeing as how the game aims to be a free release, Thomas and Willem are offering a plethora of backer exclusive perks. Donating now will be a player’s only chance to gain access to backer exclusive pet-types, special backer only furniture and decorations, Pakka Pets skins for your mobile device, and even the chance to help design an in-game location. Finally – for someone who happens to be a truly ardent fan of digital pets – Proto Games even intends to fly their most generous backer over to San Francisco, where they will then spend an entire day partying!
If all of this sounds like something that you would be interested in helping to become a reality, remember to keep in mind that the Kickstarter for Pakka Pets will end on February 6th.