Noa Noa is an adorable game. You’re given a desk at your place of work, as well as a tiny Tamagotchi-esque device that holds your first egg. From there, you are tasked with completing a tutorial that teaches you how to love, care for, feed, and generally grow this egg into a Noa that can then be traded in. Zooming out of your desk will show you your office space, which sometimes has different items hidden around it.
I use my phone a lot. Anyone that knows me knows or who even takes a look at my Twitter timeline knows that I am on my phone a lot. Despite this, I have killed a large number of Noas. The game itself does have reminders – which can be turned on through the settings, so if you actually want to keep your pets alive, you will really need to turn these on.
When you get an egg that needs hatching, depending on the type of egg, you might need to yell at your phone or tap a button on the little device they live in. Once they are hatched, you’ll need to keep them fed by purchasing food, earn money and hearts through the arcade, gym or library, make sure they use the toilet and are spoken too often as well. Their mood bars are all in one place, allowing you to check in with them.
Hearts are how you make your Noa grow – they each have a specific level of hearts you need to get too in order to evolve and be taken from you by the businessman. Eggs that are given to you after you’ve traded in one of the pets will need double the amount of hearts as the previous one, so this game does become a big heart centric.
You can gain hearts in Noa Noa by playing little mini-games in the library, gym or arcade. These games, with their tiny buttons, are quite simple – much like ones you’d see on older systems. I found them to be quite annoying and the biggest downfall of the game for me. There is a maze game where you move the dot left and right, as well as up trying to get out in a timer, a space shooter game, an apple catching game, a quick math problem solving game, a button masher and a reaction-based game. These are divided between the buildings and take place in three rounds. If you fail any of the rounds, the game ends and you do not get to continue.
Your hearts are rewarded to you based on the number of levels you completed and how much your pet enjoys that specific game generally, which can give you a total of 5 hearts max. You can then watch an ad to double these 5 hearts to ten hearts. Even if you die on the first level, your pet will still increase how tired they are, how hungry they are, how much they need a shower, etc, which means you only have a limited time to really play these simplistic games.
When checking in from time to time, you can get some hearts for just waking up your pet, but it does take quite some time to actually finish a pet for processing – and you can only hold as many pets as you have devices. It’s a slow grind to discover new pets and attempt to get them ready to go – you’ll need to be very dedicated to get far. There seems to be a lot of different pets to unlock, as well as different devices and more. Noa Noa doesn’t have any required in-app purchases, but it does push optional ads quite often, for gifts, bonus hearts, faster sleep times, etc. There are some premium purchases that you can get – the revive tickets are particularly useful if you keep killing your pets like I did.
Maybe I am just not a Tamagotchi person, but I found Noa Noa to be really quite a grind. I wish the games themselves were more forgiving and pushed the boundary beyond simplistic games that could have actually been on a Tamagotchi years ago. The strange feeling around processing these pets for profit is a great underlying concept, and I do wish this was more integrated into daily play – maybe with emails appearing on your computer screens or the ability to chat with other people at your place of work when you are at your desk. If you are a huge fan of Tamagotchis and miss what you used to have, Noa Noa might be fun for you, but if you were looking for something a bit more, you might still be waiting.