We knew it was coming, but the Tamagotchi-like iOS app Hatch finally emerged from its shell today.

Hatch may exist within the App Store’s ‘Games’ category, but it doesn’t see itself as a game. Or an app, for that matter. It’s a living, breathing animal that needs love.

We first previewed Hatch way back in December last year, posing the question: What does it take to make the iPhone feel alive? The answer, it seems, is to transform your iPhone into a living creature. And that was the task set by the creators of well-received to-do list app called Clear.

With Hatch, Impending and Realmac have set out in a whole new direction. Forget to-do lists, the name of the game now is not only keeping your little virtual pet alive, but helping it thrive. Tamagotchi is the easy comparison to make here because, well, it’s a well-established brand in the virtual pet space. But Hatch is all about the design and all round delivery – from the funky animations through to the well-written, engaging copy, it’s clear a lot of effort has gone into this.

How it looks

Once you’ve gone through the initial setting up process, giving your favorite color (yup), you’re good to go.

a6 220x330 Hatch for iOS brings virtual pet cuddliness to your iPhone, from the creators of to do list app Clear    b6 220x330 Hatch for iOS brings virtual pet cuddliness to your iPhone, from the creators of to do list app Clear

Hatch uses your current location to ensure the lighting on the screen follows that of where you currently are, which brings a sense of reality to the table. And the fun and games begins here.

c5 220x330 Hatch for iOS brings virtual pet cuddliness to your iPhone, from the creators of to do list app Clear    d4 220x330 Hatch for iOS brings virtual pet cuddliness to your iPhone, from the creators of to do list app Clear

Now, your virtual pet is known as a Fugu (yes, like the poisonous fish), and come in different colors. If you’ve got even the vaguest familiarity with virtual pets, you can probably fill in many of the gaps yourself – you feed it (by dragging fruit from the trees), clean up after it and generally do your best to keep Fugu happy. If you keep it happy, it’ll look and behave as such. If not, you might just make it cry…

e3 220x330 Hatch for iOS brings virtual pet cuddliness to your iPhone, from the creators of to do list app Clear    f3 220x330 Hatch for iOS brings virtual pet cuddliness to your iPhone, from the creators of to do list app Clear

A Fugu’s energy and activeness is linked to the battery on your iPhone, and thus it will ‘sleep’ when it’s time for recharging overnight.

As we say, Hatch is pretty much everything you’d expect from such an app, so if you’re not a ‘virtual pet’ kinda person, this probably won’t be up your alley. However, the folk at Realmac and Impending have served up a beautifully designed version, one that’s a hell of a lot less messy than looking after a real pet. But maybe not quite as much fun either…

Hatch is available to download from the App Store now, costing $1.99 or your local currency equivalent.

Hatch | App Store

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