AR startup CurioPets is Pokémon GO meets Tamagotchi

As Apple gears up to launch its augmented reality-equipped iOS 11, startup CurioPets is fully prepared with its Pokémon GO-meets-Tamagotchi game.

CurioPets, short for curious pets, is a multi-player, augmented reality pet simulator. Built with Apple’s ARKit, the aim is to encourage real-world exploration — similar to Pokémon GO — as you travel around with either a puppy or a kitten and take care of them, which is more like Tamagotchi and NeoPets.

All around the world is curious energy, CurioPets founder Nathan Kong told me. Throughout the game, you go to real-world locations like museums, art galleries and other places with cultural relevance to collect Curios, the in-game currency. You can use the Curios to buy clothes, furniture, food and other stuff for your virtual pet.

There are two worlds in the game. The first is the virtual one where your pet lives. Tucked inside a tree on a floating island, your pet relies on you to play with it, decorate its crib and dress it.

The AR world is where your pet can collect Curios. To collect Curios, you enter AR mode, go to those culturally relevant spots and look for the Curios spheres. In order to keep your pet happy and healthy, you need to make sure it’s well-fed, has high affection levels and is gaining experience in the world.

Apple wasn’t allowing developers to share a TestFlight for their AR apps late last week, so Kong instead sent me a video of the trailer.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty pumped to try this out. Full disclosure, I have a highly addictive personality and I’m legitimately scared this game is going to take over my life — similar to what Candy Crush Saga did to me a few years back. So, if you don’t hear from me for a while, you’ll know why.

CurioPets has raised over $300,000, via grant money from participating in Sequoia Capital’s summer program and from Amino Capital. The company is still pre-seed, Kong said, but hopes to raise a seed round soon.