We get hands-on with Bandai's colorful Tamagotchi game for the DS and find it to be a lot like pulling teeth.
TGS 2005: During a recent visit to Bandai's Tokyo Game Show booth we had an opportunity to get our hands on Tamagotchi: Corner Shop for the Nintendo DS. Played using the stylus and touch screen, the area of the game that we played was more than a little reminiscent of Trauma Center, except that we were assuming the role of a dentist rather than a surgeon, and our patients were brightly colored Tamagotchis.
Each of the five or six Tamagotchis that we treated in the game appeared to have the same complaint, which was that some kind of bug had made a home for itself inside one of their teeth. While the upper screen showed the queue of Tamagotchis in the waiting room, the current patient's open mouth filled the entire touch screen. The problem tooth was highlighted with a black "X," and we were able to use small tabs arranged down the right side of the screen to select our instruments.
The first thing we needed to do was to make a hole in the infected tooth using a drill, and then when the offending bug poked its head out (or started to fly around inside the mouth on one occasion), we had to grab it with a pair of tweezers and drop it into a trash-can icon that appeared in the lower left corner of the screen. With the bug taken care of, the only thing left for us to do was to sort out the huge hole we'd made in the tooth, which was achieved by selecting the colored filling material (from a choice of five) that matched the color of the hole and holding it in position until it adhered to the tooth. There were still a few specks of color on the otherwise beautifully white tooth in question, so before sending our patient on its way we chose the appropriately colored toothpaste and gave it a quick brush.
At the end of each treatment the patient would talk to us in Japanese, and a number of smiley faces gave us an indication of how well we'd done. We invariably scored three smiley faces per patient, which, after one Bandai representative told us "you good dentist," we decided was probably a decent score.
What else you'll get to do in Tamagtochi: Corner Shop isn't clear at this point, although we did notice another attendee using the stylus to iron clothes. So it looks like Tamagotchis take a lot more looking after nowadays than they did back in the day when they lived inside plastic eggs with LCD screens and demanded little more from you than food and housekeeping. We'll bring you more information on Tamagotchi: Corner Shop, which is scheduled for release in North America toward the end of this year, as soon as it becomes available.