A long time ago a digital pet called the Tamagotchi took the world by storm. Twenty-five years later it’s still around, but now in competition with tablets and smartphones. So how do you make a near antique technology still worthy of attention and sales? You mash it up with Star Wars, of course, and finally give fans of that universe an astromech droid to raise, train, and care for.
Revealed by StarWars.com today, the Tamagotchi will be officially available for pre-order starting tonight at midnight on August 3 (the link should work at that point). The Star Wars R2-D2 Tamagotchi’s price has yet to be disclosed but will probably run around $30-35 and will look and play very similar to the digital pets of yore when it officially arrives on November 11. But unlike past Tamagotchi collaborations and more modern versions of the toy that still feature the little alien-like virtual pets, the R2-D2 version is strictly a Star Wars affair, with only alien creatures from that iconic universe.
Instead of raising the droid from an egg (as far as we know, all robots come from factories no matter what galaxy they’re created), players will train their captive animated Artoo to master 19 different skills by keeping him charged, cleaned, and entertained through two initial games — firefighting and holochess (Dejarik) — as well as seven other mini-games that can be eventually unlocked as long as Artoo is kept happy.
R2-D2 won’t die from negligence, but if you’re not diligent with your care he will be eventually abducted by Jawas where he’ll either be turned to scrap or sold to moisture farmers and eventually get caught up in a galactic conflict.
Despite the limited resolution of the Tamagotchi’s monochromatic screen (newer and more expensive versions of the toy do now come with full colour and higher-res displays) the new Star Wars version will also play short pixelated clips from the films, and we’ve got our fingers crossed that it also plays a lo-fi bleep-bloop version of John Williams’ iconic Star Wars’ main theme.