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Peridot Review: A Tamagotchi from the Pokemon GO makers, but does it work?

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We tried Peridot, the new Tamagotchi for iPhone/iPad and Android device baked by the creators of pokémon GO and Monster Hunter Now.

Peridot <a class=review: A Tamagotchi from the Pokemon GO makers, but does it work?">

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Someone has already defined it Pokémon GO clone, yet Peridot has very little or nothing in common with the phenomenon that today is very popular among fans of pocket monsters. Available on iOS and Android devices starting May 9, 2023, the new Niantic augmented reality application does not in fact present any form of competition (a trait that generally distinguishes the Californian company’s products), proposing itself on the contrary like a sort of modern Tamagotchi. Having spent the last few weeks breeding the colorful Peridots, we offer below our consolidated impressions on the mobile title that has just come out of the Niantic forges.

A species to be preserved

After so many licensed titles such as the aforementioned Pokémon GO, the ill-fated Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and last but not least the upcoming Monster Hunter Now (for all the details on the game due out in September, head over to our recent preview of Monster Hunter Now), the new Niantic proposal is based on an absolutely original intellectual property and born solely from the boundless love that Aunt Fogel (Senior Producer) and the other members of the development team feed on animals.

A strong feeling that, as we will see shortly, shines through every single mechanic of Peridot. But what exactly are these cute little creatures preparing to flood our world with colour? Although the game does not have a narrative component, a brief introduction explained to us that the Peridot – sometimes abbreviated to Dot – disappeared for a very long time from the human world, only to reappear there recently. In the guise of “Keepers”, the players therefore have the task of guiding them in contemporary reality, as well as feeding and caring for them so that they grow and can contribute to repopulate this species. Unlike Pokémon GO, where the user’s goal is to capture every single existing creature and compete with other teams for possession of gyms, Peridot only asks to breed digital critters, welcome them into our daily lives and make them interact with the environment. Also because the team has developed a system capable of creating as many combinations as there are stars in the firmament, which is why each Dot is practically exclusive and it would be impossible to “catch” them all. The only true collectible aspect that can be identified in Peridot is, if anything, to be sought in the possibility of having one’s little creatures paired with Dot with rare and particular featuresso that the unborn children can inherit them and in turn pass them on to subsequent generations.

After launching the application for the first time, the player is asked to choose one of three available eggs and to give a name to your pet, which does not have one by default. Since the Dots that have just come out of the eggs are puppies, and as such they cannot reproduce, it is first of all necessary to take care of them and make them grow, so that they can evolve and reach full maturity.

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It should in fact be specified that, like the classic starters of the Pokémon series, the creatures have three different evolutionary stages (puppy, young and adult), which progressively see the appearance of respective characteristic features. If the puppies are basically the same, if not for the colouration, already starting from the second stage they begin to distinguish themselves for particular elements such as trident horns, fanciful tails, manes, and so on, depending on the genes inherited from the parents.

The Tamagotchi meet Nintendogs

Since there are no fights of any kind, Peridots do not gain experience in the same way as Digimon, Yo-kai Watch spirits and all the other pocket monsters, but “growth points“, which the player can accumulate through a handful of rather simple activities such as petting the animal, feeding it regularly, throwing a tennis ball and waiting for it to bring it back, or perhaps teach him “tricks” such as shaking hands, jumping or rolling.

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The main difference between Peridot and the other applications so far shaped by Niantic is in fact represented by the absence of a virtual map: using the camera and the power of augmented reality, the game is entirely “set” in our world, so much so that the behavior of the Dot is often influenced by the place where you are. If, for example, the Keeper can trace a circle on the ground to spur the animal to dig in search of food and other objects, with different results depending on the surface explored (flowers, algae and vegetables in natural environments or sandwiches and fetch balls in artificial ones), in the presence of plants, dogs or cats, the little creatures usually smell the lenses and look for a contact. Overall nice ideaswhich push the player to activate the search on ever-changing surfaces or in any case to go around to observe the attitudes of his own animals.

However, the first duty of a good Keeper is to fulfill the wishes of the Peridot, real whims that the irresistible little creatures manifest in the course of a day. In the appropriate menu where they appear the daily and weekly missions it is possible to consult the wishes of the four-legged companion, who on a regular basis asks to frame a person, a dog, a cat or a flower, take a short walk, eat a certain object, play with a particular type of ball, and other undemanding actions.

While fulfilling his requests causes the Dot to obtain many growth points, speeding up the achievement of adulthood, completing the missions gives the player the experience necessary to raise your Keeper level and moreover it allows to accumulate the resources required by the reproduction. Once they reach maturity, in fact, the Peridots and their human friends can visit the so-called “Habitat” (the equivalent of Pokémon GO gyms) to see nearby Dots and select a mate for breeding.

A less intuitive process than one might think, given that, in addition to requiring the consent of both parties – obtainable by sending a message with your Dot card – it obliges the Keeper to consume a nest, more a variable quantity of gems and drops of lightie the resources that the mobile title distributes in a far from generous way and which alternatively must be purchased through the inevitable microtransactions.

Achieved a successful outcome from the owner of the selected Dot we finally proceed to the crossroads, phase in which the Keeper is again called to choose an egg among those laid by the newly formed couple. At that point it will be the player who decides whether to continue to raise the parent or whether to “deposit” it to devote their attention to the new specimen of Peridot, starting the whole cycle all over again.

A meager and imprecise formula

Niantic’s idea is quite nice, especially in the eyes of virtual pets enthusiasts, who will be able to hunt for rare traits with which to create Dots flashy and particular. However, in its current state the application ends up getting boring after just a couple of hours, as it foresees that the few available activities are repeated cyclically: if the wishes of the Dot there are just a dozen and it is not uncommon for there to be two alike, even the daily quests lack imagination, inviting the Warden to always perform the same actions. The coupling itself, which in theory should be the highlight of the experience, is very limited by the constant need for fund nests and other scarcely available resources, and which in the store have an excessive cost in our opinion. Indeed, a nest costs 5.99 euros and if it is true that a pet can reproduce countless times, adding a new specimen to your “collection” is excessively expensive.

To a playful formula poor and lacking an authentic “raison d’etre” must then be added to the problems of a technical nature that are by no means negligible. Flying over the excessive battery consumption, which due to the need to always keep the camera active quickly drains the energy reserves of the mobile device, during our long test it frequently happened that the application crashed suddenly, forcing us to close and reopen it.

On other occasions we have struggled quite a bit to make even the wishes of the Peridots come true, and not because we didn’t have the means to fulfill them: if in general the application immediately reads the surrounding environment, allowing the little monster to interact with it in some way, this can often take even a couple of minutes.

As a result, completing simple requests, such as framing a dog or a person on the street, becomes decidedly less easy, not being able to expect the subject to stop and wait for the app’s times. In this regard, not even surface analysis is always accurate, in fact in many cases Peridot struggles to recognize environments framed by the camera, where it is possible to collect many different resources, and confuses them with artificial ones, where instead only sandwiches and retrieve balls are hidden. Since each of the few implemented objects is indispensable, under penalty of a significant evolutionary slowdown of the “in use” specimen, we hope at least that Niantic will review and perfect the collection as soon as possible.

PeridotiPhone Analyzed VersionPeridot is a very different title from other Niantic-branded productions. Without the competition offered by Ingress, the capture and above all the collectible aspect that allowed Pokémon GO to marry such an experience perfectly, the new mobile game of the Californian company presents itself at the moment as a rather meager and limiting Tamagotchi, seen that its main – not to say only – objective involves a substantial outlay of real money. If we add to this the numerous bugs and technological malfunctions found during our tests, without underestimating the exaggerated energy expenditure imposed on the batteries of mobile devices, we struggle to imagine a prosperous future for Niantic’s albeit very sweet Peridots.

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