With the success of games like Touch Pets Dogs, it’s a wonder that the iPhone doesn’t see more games that let you put a pet in your pocket. The developers at Neowiz think so too, and they’ve done something about it. Their latest release is NIMP, a pet simulator that puts a nymph in your pocket.
In NIMP, you’ll need to care for a little nymph that lives in a small box. That box is a room, and it’s connected to other boxes where other nymphs will one day live. Getting to know your nymph means feeding them, playing with them, and helping them learn new skills. Should you have a friend that’s raising their own nymphs, you can arrange a playdate for the two via Bluetooth.
NIMP is a title that’s just oozing with visual polish. From character design to items and rooms, the team at Neowiz have created a wholly unique art style that’s as hip as it is appealing. Sure it’s an accomplishment from a technical perspective, but it’s just as impressive for its aesthetic vibe too. It’s hard to put a finger on what makes this look tick. If we were to compare it to anything, we’d probably say it’s like Alchemia meets The Smurfs.
The animations the characters are given manage to muster up even more charm than the rest of the presentation. Dancing, fishing, swimming, eating -the game offers up a unique animation for every situation, and they tend to vary from nymph to nymph.
Outside of the striking art style and overwhelming sense of personality, there’s very little to actually do in NIMP. Sure you can make your nymphs dance to music from your iTunes collection, give them a little lunch, and help them focus on their studies – but the novelty wears off incredibly quickly. You can add a second nymph to the party for your first nymph to play with (and it would appear that more may be on the way as in-app purchases), but even with these added interactions there’s very little to actually do in NIMP.
In all honesty, your nymphs don’t even seem to need you to care for them. They never die of starvation or loneliness. The game doesn’t offer any sort of a push notification to let you know they miss you. If anything, they just seem to live in your iPhone like annoying little tenants. The only time they do have problems is when you show up and actually want to engage them. Try to get them to study and they’ll be too hungry. Get them to gather food and they can only collect one piece at a time. Try to get them to display a new skill and half the time you can’t even imagine how to make it happen. If both my nymphs have the ‘hug’ skill, why don’t I ever see them hug?
In the world of virtual pets, NIMP is a very bare bones experience. We love the look of the game. If we were grading NIMP solely on artistic direction it would get an A+ in our books. But there’s a level of interaction that’s missing from this game, and when it is there it’s just not any fun. This is one virtual pet game that should probably stay at the pound, at least until the developers introduce some updates that give the little guys more to do.