If you've ever wanted to take care of a pet without the mess or fuss, digital creatures might be the ideal things for you. You can walk them, pet them, feed them, and clean them, all without leaving the house. How marvellous!
Even if you own a dog or cat or rabbit or bird, these five games might still make you go 'aww' when playing them. Personally, I spam Instagram and Twitter enough with pictures of my cat, so I try to steer away from anything else adorable when I can. It's hardly ever successful though, I'll admit.
Axolochi – download on iOS
If you fancy a digital pet that's a bit different, you might do well with an adorable axolotl. These cute underwater creatures come in a variety of shapes and colours, and they're just waiting for your love. Bathe, feed, clean, and play with them to keep them happy, and then let them free into the great unknown once they're grown.
Don't worry, you'll earn new eggs every time one of your babies goes off on their own journey, so there's plenty of love to go around.
AR Dragon – download on iOS
Sticking with the odd pet theme for a second, have you ever wanted your very own pet dragon? Well, your dreams are going to come true with this neat little game. Not only do you get to raise one of these cool mythical creatures, you can also see them going about their daily routine in real life. Play with them and make sure you don't forget their din-dins, otherwise you might see their grumpy side.
Pokemon: Magikarp Jump – download on iOS
This doesn't meet the traditional, Tamagotchi-like standards for digital pet-raising, but if you do a good job you'll see plenty of generations of Magikarp pass through your – er – pond. While your key role is to create the best Magikarp ever, it's also unofficially to keep it alive for as long as it flops about the place.
Neko Atsume – download on iOS
Whether you love cats or dream of being the cat lady your mother always worried you'd be, Neko Atsume is a great place to start your collection. Lay down all sorts of food bits and toys in the garden and attract as many cats as you possibly can. There are more than 40 varieties out there, though you might even see a rare breed or two if you're lucky, and enjoy all of the belly scratches.
Cthulhu Virtual Pet – download on iOS
All you Lovecraftians out there will be positively melting at the sight of this digital baby Cthulhu. Though it'll be a proud God one day, for now you can give them all of the love in the world by naming, feeding, and tucking them in at night. Somehow, despite them being in the water, Cthulhu is still a messy thing, so keep it nice and clean too, otherwise there'll be trouble.