I was quite excited when I learned Bandai was going to release an Evangelion themed Tamagotchi, "All Purpose Oval Weapon, Evatchi (エヴァっち)" early in the year June 13th. I wasn't too keen on the idea of raising an Angel but being an Eva fan it was going to be a fun collectible.
So I was quite disappointed when I found all the stores online were pre-sold out... Some scalpers were selling it as much as 5x the price but fortunately there were still some honest merchants on the Amazon market place that sold it close to the original price of 2530 Yen (£19) each. Interestingly enough, there was a similar kind of game on the WonderSwan back in 1999.
There are 3 colours, each themed after the Eva pilots, Shinji purple, Asuka red, Rei white. Was tempted to get all three to collect but they don't seem to feature unique packaging to so I ended up just getting the white one.
I never owned the original Tamagotchi but did get a spin-off RakuRaku Dino-kun AKA Dinkie Dino which was pretty fun too raising a dinosaur. Later I was still curious what the original was like and ended up buying a later version of the Tamagotchi which is the yellow one you see here with an IR connector to trade gifts with other owners.
It was such a hit when the toys first arrived in the UK. To the point were news were reporting children crying that their pets died and teachers banning them from school because they were such a distraction. These were the days before kids even had a monotone mobile phone with snake to play with!
Anyway, a lot of reviewers said it was tiny and I thought, "They must have never seen the original Tamagotchi before" but it is indeed tiny! Look at how it compares to a USB dongle! Someone told me it was supposed to be based on the Tamagotchi Nano.
The instruction leaflet isn't anything special. I was hoping for some special packaging but oh well.
Aesthetically I think it's themed nicely after each of the Evangelion mechas. The buttons are actually quite hard to press due to its size so you better have some nails left! There aren't any menus which is probably due to the screen size so there's not much to do. At the same time it's also not very attention seeking. Instead when you hear it beeping it's usually just "interference" where a familiar scene from the series is shown briefly.
There are more than twenty Angels to evolve so that might be enough to encourage a few playthroughs. I think the tough part is also learning the lingo because you don't know what's food and what's games like other Tamagotchi and virtual pets... S2 Engine Core is basically its main meal while suika (watermelons) are its snack.
Compared to modern day Tamagotchis or even smartphone apps it maybe lacking in content. There's only two mini games which is probably why one playthrough is so short lasting less than five days. However, as an Eva fan I was pleased with all the iconic scenes it put in, the "SEELE Sound Only" for muting and a mini game named after episode three of the TV series, "Target in the centre, pull the switch". It's a nice collector's item (with the official merchandise seal too).
On the other hand if you're not an Eva fan it'll probably feel lacking and the Angels aren't exactly your usual cute "kawaii" kind of pets. Even if you are, you'll have to at least not find raising alien Angels creepy.
- Nice looking shell, matches the Evangelion colours.
- Screen savers feature memorable scenes from the show.
- Menus are signature designs from the franchise.
Not So Good
- Hard to press tiny buttons.
- Not much to do, can't confirm status of Angel.
Just in case you're planning to import one, here are some English instructions.
Setup is just the same as other virtual pet keyrings. From left to right the buttons are marked A, B, C. You use A to change the value, B to confirm, C to go back.
There is a small reset button to the top-right near the speaker. It's suggested you press it with something sharp whenever you change batteries.
Sound and Time Adjustment
While on the Angel screen, holding C and pressing A will allow you to mute the sound. If you do the same on the clock screen, you can adjust the time.
After setting the time, you have the Angel in embryo form before it turns into a cocoon and then into one of 20 or more Angels.
Once the embryo turns into a cocoon, you'll have to wait until the embryo inside stops moving. Then you can release it by pressing A.
The "secret" hint says the Angel you'll get depends on the following:
- Number of times you pay attention to its calls.
- How long it stays in cocoon form.
- Number of times you play the simulation mini games.
By pressing C, you can see how your Evatchi is doing. If you see a twirly symbol next to it it means it needs S2 Engine energy. If it's a circle, it means you you need need to feed it some of Kaji's "suika (watermelons)" energy. Both accessible via the Energy menu.
Simulation gives you two mini games.
Battle Training you dodge using the A, B buttons. Dodging 10 times you score a perfect.
Targetting (or "Target in the centre, pull the switch") is also a time based mini game where you hit A or B when the target hits the centre. Do this 5 times successfully for a perfect.
When you find the Evatchi surrounded by pixels it's ill. You simply need to hit A to clear it away.
A.T. Field and Death
If you don't pay attention to your Evatchi, it will setup an AT Field at it barricades itself from you. You'll have to press A until it goes away. Leaving it for too long could mean it'll die.
You'll know it died if you see the big cross image. As this point, hold C and press A to restart.
Again, you just need to press A to access the lighting menu.
Sometimes your screen will be replaced with a familiar scene from the series. If you hit B, sometimes you'll see more of the scene. Pressing C will just skip the scene and return back to a view of the Angel.
There are some special animations that are Angel dependent. Also, if you get Touji appearing on the screen you'll notice the stick sometimes say, "当たり (You win!)" This is a prize draw that happens in some Japanese stores that will give its customers another ice cream if their stick is a winner. Fun eh?
Human Instrumentality Project
Well done if you've successfully raised your Angel to get the screen "おめでとう (Congratulations)"! You can now hold C and then press A to start raising a new Angel.
Use something long and thin such as the end of a straigtened paper clip to hold the reset button down on the back then slide off the cover. There aren't any screws. Do this correctly and the cover will slide off easily.
Kind of creepy looking at an embryo with a smiling eye ^^;
Played both mini games equally and it goes to sleep at 8pm.
After about a day, the embryo will turn into a cocoon swaying side-to-side. You then wait about 3 hours before it will alert you again and the embryo will have stopped moving. That's when incubation starts and you can choose when to release it.
Now it'll wake up at 8pm and sleep later at 10pm. It only took a further 3 days before I managed to achieve the Human Instrumentality Project so one play through takes less than 5 days it seems. It even happened not long after it went to sleep too and not the next day.
Short but fun, again as an Eva fan ^^
A more detailed guide on how to raise each Angel can be found here but I suggest trying to raise one blind first. More fun that way.