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Pou Games


A stinking pile of cuteness. Does that even make sense?

If you were a teenager in the mid-90s to early 2000s, you might remember those cute virtual Japanese pets that kids carried around in their pockets. Well, here comes Pou trying to pull a Tamagotchi on us, but does it succeed?

In my opinion, it does and, at the same time, doesn’t. Ok, that was probably not the most straightforward answer, but that’s because I can’t honestly give one.

On the one hand, it carries a similar vibe, design-wise. Pou does behave much like a regular Tamagotchi and has all the perks and bonuses you’d find on those iconic devices (and a bit more, thanks to internet connectivity and touchscreen controls). I’d even say Pou is even more likable than any other virtual pet you’ll ever meet.

On the flip side, I can’t help but feel a bit repulsed by the game's imagery. Keep in mind I’m not talking about the design proper but the underlying concept. Even though Pou is presumably an alien pet, I just can’t unsee the poo emoji while petting it. Whether this was intended or not remains to be seen, but the very suggestion sticks in my mind as I play this game.

It’s truly a shame because the game itself is pretty enjoyable, but psychology is what it is!

On another note, it’s not the most accessible game to play. Even when it’s clearly not the most demanding-looking game, it has some serious performance issues and struggles to hit acceptable frames per second, even on decent hardware! Poor optimization may be at play since the game was designed for 2012 specs.

The graphics are another negative of this game. They weren’t even that fancy for 2012 standards, and they have indeed not aged all that well after ten years. The developer (Zakeh Ltd) reportedly wanted to relaunch the game with a graphics overhaul, but we’re still waiting for that.

The UI doesn’t fare much better, either. The design is terribly outdated, with some prompt messages looking like those you used to see on Android 5.0 or even 4.0.  

Pou’s premise is simple. You must clean, feed, and play with your pet as if it were a real pet. It’s not a game you play for hours on end (save for the cool minigames), but it’s literally a routine. You have to take your pet into the numerous areas of the game’s virtual home, including the bathroom, hall, kitchen, bedroom, and even the lab (what? You don’t have a lab in your house!? That’s weird!) Anyways, each area has a specific set of features. 

For example, the kitchen has a fridge where all the food is stored (who would’ve guessed!?) There, you can give your pet a variety of treats, some of which you can buy with coins. For the record, these coins can be earned by watching videos, following the dev on Twitter, or buying them with real-life cash. 

Each food item fills the food meter at different percentages. You won’t have to spend any of your hard-earned dough (no pun intended) feeding Pou unless you feel in a good mood.

To give another example, you take Pou to the lab when you need to restore its health or tweak its attributes. You have different potions for different uses, including a fat burner, an adult potion (to make it grow to adult size), a baby potion (to transform it into an adorable baby once more), and a hunger potion (I guess I won’t have to explain what that does.)

At all times, you have to watch out for the meters displayed above. If they fall below a certain level, Pou will start showing worrying signs. You also have to make sure to do everything correctly. Only feed it the necessary amount of food, and don’t forget that wash it unless you want to see your bathroom full of doo-doos (gross much?)

Speaking of doo-doos, I must say that even these literal pieces of crap look adorable. And, did I mention Pou is a total sweetheart? It might seem underwhelming at first, but once you get acquainted, it starts to grow on you. The sounds and gestures it makes when you interact with it are incredibly endearing, and it’s possibly a significant part of the reason why this game garnered the success it did.

Pou is an old game with only the main character as its saving grace. While the mechanics are entertaining, the graphics and user interface are botched, dragging the experience down a notch. Zakeh ought to deliver on what they promised and release an enhanced edition of this game, as that would undoubtedly help rejuvenate it for newer generations. In the meantime, I can only say that it’s not a bad game, though not great, either.

Let us know your impressions about Pou in the comments!

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  • Size :

    40.4 MB
  • Last Updated :

    Sep 16, 2022
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