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Hatchi turns your Pebble smartwatch into a virtual pet

Brad Molen

For many of us who survived the '90s, virtual pets are but a distant memory. That said, the Tamagotchi just turned 17 and Bandai (its parent company) is still cranking out new pets, so apparently the digital species is far from extinct. It makes complete sense, then, that the concept would eventually make it to the Pebble; in fact, its black-and-white e-paper display should make virtual pets feel right at home. Developer Portable Pixels is celebrating Game Developers Conference (GDC) by launching Hatchi on the Pebble appstore sometime this week. Much like the Tamagotchi, you'll be responsible for feeding, cleaning, playing with and caring for your new Hatchi pet.

In addition to Hatchi, Pebble is heading to GDC to announce two popular smartphone games, Mr. Runner and Icon Pop Quiz, are now available in the appstore. The former (shown above) is a side-scrolling runner game in which you have to avoid getting squashed by walls that come crashing down; the latter is, well, a quiz that features visual clues.

So why does a smartwatch company like Pebble have so much interest in a gaming conference? "We're excited to see what games can be created on the platform," evangelist Myriam Joire tells us. "Our goal at GDC is to build awareness with game studios that Pebble is a cool platform on which to develop mini and casual games." While Pebble boasts over 2,000 apps in the appstore, it views games as an "emerging category," implying that the company feels a need to strengthen its selection. The good news is that at least clones of Flappy Bird and Tetris seem to be thriving in this ecosystem (they're two of the top three games in the appstore), so perhaps all Pebble needs is a few more recognizable titles to give it the boost in gaming that it's hoping for.

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