Interview: Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom was forged by “joyful nostalgia”

Chanh Ly, Publishing Lead at Bandai Namco Mobile and Executive Producer of Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom discusses the new adventure.
tamagotchi adventure kingdom gameplay

Tamagotchi, as a brand, has endured for multiple decades – even beyond nostalgia. Consistent evolution of the devices, which are now completely internet-compatible, rechargeable, and wearable, have inspired an all-ages appeal, across generations. Kids who grew up in the 1990s played with Tamagotchis – and had them banned in certain schools. Kids who grew up in the 2020s are doing the same.

Now, with cross-media projects like the excellent Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom on Apple Arcade, there’s yet another way to connect and reconnect with the enduring, universally-appealing franchise – one that continues to enjoy success in the modern era.

Per Chanh Ly, Publishing Lead at Bandai Namco Mobile and Executive Producer of Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom, the cross-generation connection and nostalgia formed by Tamagotchi served as the basis for the game’s development. Speaking to GamesHub, Ly described hopes that it will be a game that allows parents to share their childhood experiences with their own children.

Read: Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom review – Life is sweet

“The brand is linked to a joyful nostalgia for today’s parents, who remember having a Tamagotchi toy in their childhood, caring for it, perhaps even have a strong memory of it,” Ly said. “They know that it’s a great experience that their own kid can now experience safely; a way for them to share their own childhood.”

tamagotchi adventure kingdom review gameplay
Screenshot: GamesHub

Not only that, but with three decades of accumulated lore, from tie-in media including other games, television series, and online websites, that childhood joy is now fully explorable, as players can visit the world of Tamagotchi Planet – as well as an accurate recreation of TamaTown, which briefly served as a hub for Tamagotchi Connection owners.

For the Bandai Namco Mobile team, creating Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom was a chance to dive deep into this established Tamagotchi lore, giving new and old characters chances to thrive in new quests and storylines that illuminate more about the strange, wholesome world of the Tamagotchi.

“The world of Tamagotchi is both funny, absurd, bizarre, but always joyful, and we have taken great care to capture this atmosphere in the dialogues and quests that you experience,” Ly said.

“With adventure games come exploration. We have completely recreated, in 3D, several iconic locations from the Tamagotchi universe, like Patchi Forest, Guruguru Town, and Tama Street. Players will have to meet the inhabitants of these places to help them with their daily troubles and sometimes metaphysical-philosophical issues (no joke, wait until you meet BalloonPatchi…)”

With the Tamagotchi universe serving as a backdrop, Bandai Namco Mobile aimed to craft a massive open world littered with recognisable, nostalgic moments, while also providing a layered narrative. The game’s plot may revolve around crafting and gathering items for a cast of loveable, adorable creatures – but it also speaks to deeper issues, including environmental disaster.

tamagotchi adventure kingdom gameplay review
Screenshot: GamesHub

As you take your first steps into Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom, you come face-to-face with a Meteoritchi – a meteor Tamagotchi – who has crash-landed on the surface of Tamagotchi Planet. While apologetic, their impact is widely felt across the planet, and causes great geysers of energy to spill from the earth. Tamagotchi hot springs are drained of their water, bridges crossing rivers are shattered, and each Tamagotchi town is cut off from one another.

Where a younger player may see simple problems to be solved, adult players can appreciate Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom for its exploration of real-world climate change.

“We wanted to add our ‘Green’ touch, and we believe players will love saving fish from various waste buried in the water to recycle them using Risaikikaitchi, the recycling machine,” Ly said. “We had in our hands material of great richness and variety, and could carefully and attentively explore all of it … Not to mention the uniqueness of the IP, imbued with Eastern philosophy; each animal is considered a living being in its own right.”

In Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom, each Tamagotchi gets its own chance to tell its story, and to reveal the impact of Meteoritchi’s descent on their livelihood. Gumatchi, a scary bear Tamagotchi, discusses how the hot springs make him feel more human, and bring him comfort – and fixing them allows him a safe space.

Guruguru Town relies on its Amusement Park for money, so it’s up to you to restore it, and ensure the townsfolk can prosper.

Like Stardew Valley and Hello Kitty Island Adventure, Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom contains its narrative within the ‘cosy game’ structure. On the surface, you’re taking on tiny requests, befriending townsfolk, and building out a wonderful home. Yet when you engage more deeply, you can see how Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom wields its charming nostalgia to encourage connection and care, and taking time with friends.

tamagotchi adventure kingdom review
Image: Bandai Namco Mobile

“Perhaps some players appreciate to escape from a more stressful and faster environment, and they are looking for a short break by immersing themselves in non-competitive games, where they can take their time and play at their own pace,” Ly said.

“Cosy games like Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom allow them to relax, to take their time, without the obligation to be the winner by eliminating others, but rather by helping others, seeking relaxation and serenity.”

In balancing its tones – its harsh realism and cosy vibes – Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom manages to be a colourful, impactful life simulator with so much to say. While currently flying under the radar as a welcome addition to the Apple Arcade subscription service, it has the potential to be a memorable, breakout hit for the platform.

Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom is now available on Apple Arcade.

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Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.