puzzle game may be a little slow to deliver that second season, but it
doesn't mean that he's been sitting around doing nothing. His next
brainchild is Moshi Monsters, a mash of Tamagotchi, Pokemon and
NintenDogs, with heaping helpings of MySpace and LeapFrog ladeled over
it for good measure.
The physical embodiment of Moshi Monsters are what you see above and
in the gallery below, cell-phone charms whose only interactive ability
is to light up and twirl when your phone rings. They work with most
phones, GSM and CDMA, simply by proximity; no need for Bluetooth
pairing or anything fancy.
Each $10 charm comes with an unlock code, so that you can adopt a
virtual version of your little pet. You "nurture" it by playing puzzles
daily, and earn tokens to buy them trinkets, for your creature to wear
or to decorate its home. You can take a picture of your virtual monster
and send it to friends, and have people post comments about how
excellent your Moshi is compared to their loser one. There's a running
news column, similar to FaceBook's, and from what I can tell, Moshi
Monsters will be able to meet online to interact, though there's no
word yet on whether or not the interaction involves bloodsport.
OK, so now that you're kind of intrigued, here's the bad news: the
Moshi Monsters target audience is 7-12 years of age, and due to the
security required for the online component, you may be considered extra
creepy if you're, say, in your thirties, even if you still live with
the folks. That said, if you, or your offspring, do fit the criteria,
keep a lookout on moshimonsters.com. It's not up yet, just a link to Smith's Mind Candy site, but it should go live in early September.