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DS  header logo

Tamagotchi Connection Corner Shop

For: DS

Can turning a 7-11 into a sickly-sweet megastore keep you occupied 24/7?

Product: Tamagotchi Connection Corner Shop | Developer: NanaOn-Sha | Publisher: Atari | Format: DS | Genre: Casual, Puzzle, Simulation | Players: 1-2 | Networking: wireless (adhoc) | Version: Europe
 
Tamagotchi Connection Corner Shop DS, thumbnail 1
When it comes to pets, the world can be divided into cat people and dog people. But when it comes to virtual pets – Tamagotchis and the ilk – the split is more brutal: love or indifference, and the strength of your attitude seems to be delineated by the number of years to or from your thirteenth birthday.

Which has to make you wonder what's going on with the juxtaposition of concepts in Tamagotchi Connection Corner Shop? Most of the cornershops I've frequented were owned by slightly sweaty middle-aged men, not Hello Kitty-obsessed teenaged girls.

Of course, the sort of cornerhouses you're running in this game aren't selling cheap white bread and cans of strong Dutch lager. Instead, the outlets are more along the lines of a flower seller, a beauty salon, and even a dumpling shop – you're supplying the needs of the Tamagotchi nation, after all.

Starting off, you have to make two choices, neither of which has any affect on the way the game plays. Firstly you choose one of three Tamagotchis (Mametchi, Memetchi or Kuchipatchi) to be your partner and help you build an empire of emporia. You'll also have to look after them, spending all the gotchis you earn to give them a nice pad to live in, not that they will show any gratitude.

Next you have to choose your first shop. There are 11 in total, but only two are available at the start, so it's off to Mame City and into trade either as a dentist or a clothes cleaner.

Each shop has a different touchscreen mini-game for you to tackle, with toothless and orally-decayed tamagotchis presenting their mouths for reconstruction or their dirty garments for washing.

Down the righthand side of the touchscreen, tabbed options, which in the case of the dentist include toothbrush, implant and painkilling injections, enable you to get your patients' mouths back in working order. For clothes cleaning, you have to put the right colour detergent into the washing machine and then spin it with your stylus to clean their clothes. Ironing and fixing tears are some of the more complex tabbed options you'll have to master as the game progresses.

In most shops it takes experimentation to work out exactly what you have to do – the in-game help is hopeless. But once you've trained on-the-job (so to speak), it's just a case of dealing with the needs of a seemingly endless line of tamagotchis. You get a mark out of three for each job done, but it doesn't seem to have any effect on how much you're paid, nor does the length of time it takes you to complete each job.

Finally, after completing the same tasks for different tamagotchis a dozen or so times, one will suggest you get a bigger shop and provide the cash for an upgrade. Do this four times and you'll get a Royal Seal of approval, another shop will be unlocked, and the cycle repeats again.

It's this overwhelming flatness to the whole experience that's the main problem with Tamagotchi Connection Corner Shop. Despite the attractions of the characteristic art style and the solid touchscreen mini-games, most of the tasks quickly become routine, with no bonuses or penalties for failure or success.

There's not even any fun in building up a warchest to buy new items for your Tamagotchi partner, who never demands anything, gets sick, complains or evolves into something else, which, after all, were the main selling points of the toy when it first gained worldwide success.

Instead, after playing for a while you start to reach the conclusion the game was actually designed to be an ultra-realistic cornershop simulator, where you face groundhog day after groundhog day, with the same people coming in to buy the same things they bought yesterday, and the day before that.

Even Tamagotchi fans will struggle to find much to excite them. You'll probably have more fun walking your dog on a rainy Monday afternoon than playing this.

Bad Tamagotchis.
 
Tamagotchi Connection Corner Shop
Reviewer photo
Jon Jordan | 30 June 2006
Mixing cute with boring, Tamagotchi Connection Corner Shop quickly becomes so routine you should be paid £5 an hour to play it
 
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