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Pets are cute, fuzzy, and a source of comfort. And they’re the source of plenty of online memes. However, not everyone can own a real pet, which is why virtual pet games exist.
While most of us love animals, it isn’t always possible to own one. Maybe due to the cost, living space, or allergies. However, everyone can own virtual pets which live on your mobile.
In this article, we list the best virtual pet games for Android and iOS.
1. My Tamagotchi Forever
Everyone who grew up as a kid in the nineties will remember Tamagotchis. They were little virtual pets stored in oddly-shaped plastic eggs.
These pets danced around on monochrome screens, making little wiggling motions as you watched them. A lot of kids spent hours looking after these digital creatures. We fed them, cleaned them, and put them to bed.
Now, the company that had a hand in the creation of the original Tamagotchis has turned the concept into a free-to-play app. My Tamagotchi Forever is one of the best mobile games I’ve personally played, and the app is stupidly good.
With a bright, colorful interface, adorable creatures, and amazing mini-games where you can collect coins and gems, My Tamagotchi Forever is a shining example of how you can create a free-to-play game without littering it with ads to the point of making it spammy.
My Tamagotchi Forever does this by designing a toy that is actually fun to play long-term. It also trusts that its audience will enjoy the game long enough to watch those ads independently.
Like the other games on this list, Fishdom is a free-to-play virtual pet game for your mobile. It has a very simple premise, where you can create and build up an aquarium for your tropical fish through a series of “tapping” puzzles.
The first thing we noticed about this game is how similar its graphic style and initial plot was to the Pixar film, Finding Nemo.
You start off the game by dropping a clownfish into your tropical tank—a creature that looks similar to the protagonist of the film. Then you gain a blue fish that looks similar to the secondary character of the story.
This should be considered a bonus if you love Pixar films, giving you another reason to get unreasonably attached to this game and its inhabitants.
Fishdom differs from a lot of the pet-raising games that frequent the app store. This is because:
- Its gameplay is pared down.
- The game focuses on enjoyment rather than complexity.
- The minigames you play also have the singular goal of removing as many tiles from the board in as few moves as possible.
Despite this, it’s actually pretty fun. You can also resize and move objects around your fish tank the minute you’ve bought them.
This game is a good one to play if you’re just looking for some mindless entertainment for a few minutes before bed. You can also check out our list of trendy free games to play on mobile if you want simple apps similar to this.
3. Cat Game
Cat Game is another really cute virtual pet game. In many ways it’s even simpler than Fishdom, and this is because it’s semi-automated.
The whole idea behind this automation is that the collection of coins lets you earn supplies to build up your dream house and fill it with cats. While we weren’t as big fans of this game due to its automation—and we also found the minigames less fun—interactivity is the point.
Instead, it’s the collection and allocation of cats and house supplies.
Cat Game allows you to:
- Collect lots of different-looking cats.
- Buy furniture.
- Win building supplies.
On top of this it’s clearly designed for a younger audience who may not be as good with puzzle-solving. And for the puzzles that do exist in the game there are step-by-step instructions to teach you how to play each one. Making it almost impossible to lose a game.
Cat Game is a great, easy virtual pet game for kids, so long as you trust their ability not to compulsively make multiple in-app purchases.
Last on our list of virtual pet games is Wildscapes. Like the other games, it’s free-to-play and one we recommend without reservation. The style and premise is very similar to Fishdom.
This makes sense, as they’re created by the same company.
With Wildscapes, the aim of the game is to build up a whole zoo. This zoo can be filled with:
- A plethora of animals.
- Gift shops.
- Fast-food cafes.
- Public infrastructure like parks, benches, and rest areas.
Unlike Fishdom—which tends to keep your interactions confined to your fish—Wildscapes gets you to interact with the visitors in your park. You complete quests by talking to these visitors.
You can also level up by playing minigames, through which you can earn points.
At the end of the day, the question, “Which game from this company is right for me?” really depends on your time constraints. Fishdom can be played for 10 minutes a night, while Wildscapes takes more time to build up to get to the good stuff.
These Virtual Pet Games Can Fill the Void
Now that we’ve gone through the best virtual pet games, you can try out some of them for yourself. You can also search through the Google Play Store or Apple App Store for more. After all, we’ve been pretty picky with this list, and there are a ton of other options to explore.
If you’re looking for great mobile games but aren’t into pets, here are the best cooking games for Android and iOS. Like the virtual pet games we have recommended, these games are all free-to-play.