It’s a match made in nostalgia heaven: Bandai America is releasing a Pac-Man Tamagotchi device to celebrate the iconic game’s 40th anniversary.
The new devices let you raise and care for your Tamagotchi with the help of Pac-Man, who will defend your Tamagotchi against ghosts and bugs. In the device’s original lo-fi graphics, you can watch your Tamagotchi mature into one of seven different adult characters, and play two mini-games — Pac Game and Catch Game.
The new Pac-Man Tamagotchi devices are available for preorder on Thursday and hit shelves on March 15 for $20.
Even though Tamagotchis aren’t hooked on everyone’s backpacks anymore, Bandai’s gadgets have stuck around for more than 20 years. Tamagotchi On devices, released in 2019, have backlit screens and more features compared with their late-90s ancestors and can be nurtured in mobile apps or handheld consoles like the Nintendo DS. The toys still have the minimalist three-button design, though.
If you missed the crazy fad in the 90s, the goal of the game is to keep your virtual pet, a Tamagotchi, alive from egg to adulthood. The growth stages are dependent upon how well you take care of the pet — the better you take care of it, the smarter, happier and more independent it becomes.
If you’re like me, your Tamagotchi died frequently, and you had a toothpick on hand to poke the microscopic reset button on the back of the toy. I can’t help but think that if TamagoChu, the version released in 2007 that needs little to no care, had been around when I was a kid, I wouldn’t have begged my mom to “babysit” my Tamagotchi when they were banned in my elementary school.