|2012-06-11||Android||Virtual Life||E (Everyone)||Mobbles Corp.|
Before I had Nintendogs and Purr Pals, there were Neopets. Before that, I played with a Chao on a VMU. And before all those, I remember an experience with that portable digital pet phenomenon called Tamagotchi. It ate and pooped, and ate and pooped, and it was always hungry and pooping all over the little screen. Mobbles came across as a bit of Tamagotchi that I could carry around on my phone. While it looked super cute and colorful and I really wanted to play it, I was still wondering how long until I got tired of the feeding and the pooping. Well, I can happily report that there is NO POOPING!
Mobbles begins your pet responsibility training by giving you Sploon, a sort of cute little Hawaiian dinosaur. He even comes with a ukulele toy that he loves to play when bored. Through a little tutorial, you receive quests and learn the basics of taking care of Sploon. You can feed him, play with him, wash him, put him to sleep when he's tired.
Then, at some point and to my surprise, Mobbles gave me the opportunity to capture a pet. In this screen, a creature appeared bouncing around like crazy, and I had to tap the screen when it stopped, so I could smack it and stun it. Once stunned, I bring down the vacuum (of sorts) and capture the Mobble.
To capture a Mobble you also need an empty room, otherwise you don't get the smacking mini-game. Once you have your new pet in a room, you can begin your functions of playing, feeding and washing the little guys.
I thought this was going to get pretty boring fast, but then I browsed the menus to find a very interesting feature. Using my phone's GPS, Mobbles was tracking my location on Google maps and showing me where other pets where hanging out. If I got close enough to any given pet on their real world location, I would have a chance at capturing it. I got lucky one night and captured one right at home, and on another occasion found a fourth while walking to the doctor's office. Aside from the Catch a Mobble function, you can also trade Mobbles with friends by signing in with Facebook or creating a user account and adding some friends. And in the Mobble Shop you can browse and purchase basic supplies and toys for your pets. And also Mobble eggs, if you don't want to bother catching them.
So, how do you buy these things? I was worried that I'd have to purchase currency for this, and while there is an option for this that allows you to access extra items, the regular currency is awarded to you by playing with your pets. Mobbles drop gems when you take care of them or play with them, so it's worth keeping them happy, and the more days in a row you visit, the better your daily reward! You can also get gems by completing tasks on your list, but you have the choice of gems or hearts - hearts make your pet happier, and they accumulate so eventually your pets can level up.
As they level, you unlock new things in the shop, such as outfits, themed rooms and toys. I like this little added bonus, since now my Sploon hangs out in a surfer themed room, wearing a Hawaiian party leis and grass skirt, playing his ukulele when he plays. On the other hand, my Krinker wears a Grim Reaper outfit, Kumbo pretends to be a boxer, and Poktus is (from what I gathered) a cactus Mariachi. Too cute, and so funny to see them play, especially when you tickle them with your finger. They actually giggle or snort!
Ok, I may be beyond the target age for this, but I find it cute and adorable. And after two weeks, I am still playing and now taking care of four silly little creatures who love playing, bouncing around and dressing up in strange costumes. I wonder where I will catch another one next...
For more videos of Mobbles, check out the playlist below: