- Are they called games or toys by the community? I will refer to them as games in these questions my apologies if that is incorrect.
I personally call them toys, tamas or v-pets, I don't think I've hear too many people call them games, though I would describe them to family members and such as "it's like a game." The most commonly used term is "tamas" (or "v-pets" if you are also referring non-tamagotchi brand virtual pets) but I think it's really just about personal preference.
- What game would you suggest to a begginer who wants to try one out? Please explain why you suggest that one and also note, that I am not opposed to importing.
Most people usually suggest a V2 or V3 as they are the earliest english versions that included gotchi points and shops and they are also still pretty simple, but if you are really interested in getting a color version I'd suggest and iD L, just prepare for using lots of guides since it's in japanese and a bit more complex.
- How needy are they? I am willing to give them attention but I am also a very busy person, and doubt that college classes would appreciate me feeding them during lectures.
It all depends on the version. The Umino and TamaOtch are constantly referred to as the most needy tamas while the TamaGo can be left alone for days sometimes without dying. You can pause tamas as needed, but it will take longer for them to evolve if you do. Another option would be to change the time so that they are asleep, and doing that would not interrupt growth time. As for the neediness of versions I've already mentioned, the V2 and V3 are a bit more needy than the iD L, but the iD L takes longer to fill up the happiness meter (snacks can be used as a short cut, though they mill make your tama's weight go up)
- If you suggest a Japanese import, is the game mostly pictures? Or, will I be confused by Japanese text.
The menus are all in japanese, but it's pretty easy to find your way around them. It's definitely easier to figure it out if you've already had experience with an english tama, but if you want to skip that step there are plenty of guides to help you out.
- If you suggest a game, how much does it cost? Where is the cheapest place to buy a legitimate one?
I buy most of my tamas on eBay, but you can find some versions cheaper on Amazon. If you are looking to buy a new iD L you can expect to pay about $50 USD. You can also find some used ones for cheaper, but they are typically not in that great of shape. You could also try the tBay section of this forum, they are typically in better condition if you buy from a collector. New V2's and V3's can range from $30 to $50, but it's not as hard to find used ones in decent condition for about $15-$25.
- Are they backlit? I remember (or I think I remember) my friend's Tamagotchi was a little hard to see indoors.
Color screened tamagotchis such as the iD L, iD, P's, and +Color are all back lit. All others are not back lit and can be a bit hard to see in dim lighting.
- Can I dress them or can they dress themselves?
On the iD L, P's, (and maybe the iD?) you can dress your tamagotchis up. They also have the option to download more clothes if you buy an IrDA USB dongle or phone with an infrared port. Speaking of downloads, you can also download extra mini-games, food, and wallpapers as well. On the V3 and a few other versions (can't remember exactly right now) there are one or 2 costumes you can buy (like a kitty costume of sorts) and if you dress up your tama in it, it will stay like that for a day and then the costum will disappear. There are also some accessories like bows or wings but they will only "model" it for a few seconds and sometimes it will disappear after.
- How much customization does the game offer?
If you buy an iD, iD L, or P's, there is a ton of customization options, especially if you decide to do downloads. There is a program you can learn to use to make your own wallpapers and clothes, or you can just choose from the ones pre-made by bandai (and there is a lot to choose from!)
- Are the games battery hogs?
Non-colored tamas usually last a pretty long time on one battery. Color-screened tamas can last around a month. All versions last less time the more often you connect with other tamas (adding downloads also shortens battery life)
- Are the current games meant to be played in short bursts, or can I spend long nights staring at the tiny screen feverishly brushing my pet/friend?
You pretty much just need to check up on them and take care of them throughout the day, but if you are really in the mood to play with it you can play mini games and save up gotchi points to buy more items. If you get a more recent version you can watch your pet go to the park (or other destinations once you unlock them) though that only lasts for about 30 seconds.
- How big are the games now (like dimensions, in centimeters or inches)?
It depends on the version, here's a size comparison photo (credit to -crayonscribbles-)
I would assume your friend had one the same size as one of the first two. the third one is the size of the color tamas. the last one is a tama-go, the bulkiest tama (not including dekas and such)
- If you suggest a game, are there accessories needed to play the game with all the features? I ask because I have heard about "pierces", and "figures".
Peirces only apply to the P's and figures only apply to the tama-go. The tama-go is a version where you'd probably want a good amount of figures to enjoy it. The P's is pretty fun on it's own without pierces, but I do enjoy the pierces quite a bit.
- I hear a lot of people talk about color games, yet when I look at the Bandai site it seems to only advertise monochrome games (maybe i am blind and missed the button).
The colored versions are all japanese releases only, except for the iD L which was also released in other parts of asia and australia.
idk she just is lol, but if you'd ever want to raise her, the only current way is to get 3 P's (sad, I know)
Edited by Brittygotchi, 25 February 2014 - 02:10 PM.