Petsu: Rapid Tamagotchi PWA


We at Toaster are experts in the field of PWAs (progressive web apps). We’re always looking to better showcase our capabilities in a playful way to show people at meetups, as well as introduce them to prospective clients.

From this origin story, Petsu (Speedy Pet) was born. Derived from the retro concept of the nostalgic Tamagotchi, the final product became a more rapid version of traditional game, accessible via any web browser.

The Idea

You have a creature given to you -- birthed to you sounds a bit too graphic--which you name and immediately have to protect. It’s a simple creature, needing only three things in life: food, fun and time to do its business. Above all, you can’t let it die. The rapid element comes into play when you quickly realize that no matter how simple its needs, they are quite relentless.

If your Petsu indulges in over-feeding, over-funning or overdoing its poo time, it will result in the loss of its life. In other words, ensuring its survival entails a bit of skill on the part of the user.

The following video shows the whimsical look and feel of the app, which was integral to the overall execution.

The Design

The art direction essentially boiled down to a purposeful assault on the senses, with a deliberately retro, pop-Japanese style.

The UI, as a contrast, was meant to be stripped down and simple. It drives the experience by just sitting as a supporting character, so that the chaos in the middle of the screen could really stand out.

Because there were only 3 needs, we used a playful, distinct iconography to represent them. This approach, mixed with the Japanese warning words for the user, brought to life this little world in a style that was true to its cultural inspiration.

Lastly, your character is randomly generated, created from over 300,000 possible unique creatures to show the power of the technologically advanced platform.

The Event

While it was originally intended as an internal project, we realized it would be ideal to unveil Petsu at our meetup, PWA London. The experience authenticates us as experts in the space while a leaderboard gave everyone something to talk about. PWAs can be playful, and Petsu is a prime example of how we can push the possibilities of the format.