The first few minutes of Tamagotchi Connection are some of the cutest you'll ever find in gaming. You're greeted by adorable, bloblike creatures that are living in squalor, and now want to be your friend for life.
It's just you and your little tamagotchi buddy, opening a business on the corner, cleaning teeth, making brooches, cleaning laundry with the stylus ... all minigames that simulate work we should hate, but will spend countless hours playing. Then, after you've scrubbed your 100th suspiciously stained skirt, you realize that even pretend work gets boring.
Ideally, you'd start with a small little shop sporting a light selection and limited resources, and slowly work your way up to a giant megastore. Well, you do get more money and eventually a towering edifice filled with eager customers, but nothing really ever changes. That hideous line of desperate consumers never shrinks.
Some chalkboard-looking thing wants a necklace for its mother: fine, here it is. A walking cherry demands a lavish assortment of flowers for its hard-working son. Next. Next. Seeing a pattern? The minigames, like almost all service or retail jobs, aren't annoying at first (in fact they're actually addicting in the beginning), but do them long enough and you'll be ready to give your two weeks' notice. We expect a certain degree of repetition from the button tappers who gave us the PSone rhythm-action classic, Parappa the Rapper, but this is absurd.
The reason for the tedious work is, naturally, the acquirement of material things; you reward your helper friend with cute stuffed animals, ornate windows and other little trinkets to snazz up its otherwise empty existence. And that's it. Just keep working to buy stuff you don't need or appreciate.
Collecting is something most of us can identify with, so customizing a room with your own style should be pretty interesting. Well, it's not here. Items cost way too much money and once they're bought, they sit. You can't interact with them. Hell, you can barely even see them.
To turn this all around, Connection will function well for kids. It's a lot of image recognition and task repetition, so this could be used as a learning tool of sorts. The laid back, groovy music is easy on the ears and the pint-sized ... things, are a rainbow of shapes, sizes and colors. It's worth checking out, but please, don't let yourself work in this Tamagotchi sweatshop too long.