Impending and Realmac software, the team behind super simple to-do list Clear, has a new project in the works called Hatch. This is a marked departure from a GTD app, one that has more in common with the Tamagotchis that were once everywhere, long before the advent of the smartphone. But that’s also a fairly tired refrain at this point: many have tried their hands at virtual pets for the iPhone, including the recently popular Hatchi. So why would a development team known for innovation take another kick at the can?
The answer, as it was with the to-do app Clear, is that the team clearly thinks there’s room to innovate in an area that many developers treat as old news at this point. That’s why Hatch, which provides users with a pet “Fugu” (not the blowfish popular as a delicacy in Japan), does more than just translate a basic virtual pet app to the iPhone – it uses the iPhone itself as a source of input and feedback, meaning that in many ways, your virtual pet in Hatch isn’t just a character on the screen, but actually your device itself.
In the intro video you can see embedded above, the fancy man narrator talks about your phone throughout, as the Fugu in the Hatch app is depicted reacting to various activities outside of the app, including playing music back through the iPhone’s music app, and plugging it in for the night. The app is set to launch in early 2013, but you can already reserve a special egg color now by expressing your interest on their sign-up page.
For now, Hatch’s Fugu will retain most of their mysteries, but the teaser presents LittleBigPlanet-style magical voiceover narration and what look to be extremely charming and adorable graphics. Can Hatch outlast the usual boredom cycle of these kinds of apps, though, and keep users playing after the initial cute factor has worn off? We’ll have to wait and see what comes out when that egg finally cracks.