My Talking Tom is famous in the world of virtual pets, but he’s neither the only nor the first one. The ones who are old enough to have played Duke Nukem 3D when it was popular would remember the Tamagotchi craze. It is a game played on a tiny device with a pet in it that the players tend to. Back then, almost every kid in the block had one of these in their pockets at some point. And the ones who didn’t have them were playing Duke Nukem 3D at home.
Besides the craze it caused, it was a good way to teach the kids about responsibility because if the pet was poorly cared for, it would die. It was also a good way to stall a kid who wanted a pet until they were attracted to something else and demonstrate how hard it is to take care of a pet.
My Talking Tom is, of course, much cuter compared to the dot-matrix pets of Tamagotchis, and he’s far more complex. We don’t know if it can stall the new generation of kids who want a pet, but we know that it carried its developer, Outfit7, to success.
In My Talking Tom, the players take care of a cat named Tom to help him grow from a baby kitten to a full-grown cat. Players can interact with Tom in various ways, like feeding him, taking him to the bathroom, tucking him into his bed, and playing mini-games with him. He can also repeat what players say in his cute, synthesized voice.
Talking Tom’s closest follower in the portfolio is My Talking Angela. A female version of Tom with a slightly different gameplay concept. Angela is not just a pet that needs to be tended to by the player, but she has a purpose: She yearns to dance and sing her way to the top.
Together with their sequels, they easily surpass 2.5 billion lifetime downloads, according to AppMagic. The more interesting thing is My Talking Tom claims the top according to downloads by a small gap, but according to revenue, My Talking Angela almost doubles him. Now that we know how supportive cat people are let’s take a look at My Talking Hank and see if he has a chance against the zealous support of cat fans.
Both games expect the player to take care of a virtual pet. Regarding visuals, both games present vibrant and high-quality graphics. Contrary to Tom’s in-house setting, My Talking Hank takes players to a tropical island. Just like Angela, Hank doesn’t only need to be tended to. He loves photography and needs the players to help him pursue this love. The game’s Hawaiian setting gives the game an adventurous feel.
While the core mechanics align, the games differ in gameplay. My Talking Tom focuses on mini-games and activities to have fun with Tom, while My Talking Hank’s focus on photography lets players embark on trips to discover different animals on the island. Besides differentiating the two games and preventing them from feeling like complete clones of each other, this also adds an element of adventure to the game.
The gameplay also makes their characters feel different. While Tom feels more like a mischievous, playful little house cat, Hank is more like a curious little adventurer. Both games provide customization opportunities, allowing players to personalize the appearance of their pets, their living space, and their outfits. Through the mini-games in My Talking Tom, players can also customize Tom’s accessories and surroundings. My Talking Hank, on the other hand, offers customization through discovering new animals and places on the island.
Outfit7 plays smart here by catering to two ends of the audience spectrum: Cat lovers and dog lovers. After the success of Tom and Angela, it would be weird if they didn’t attempt to replicate the same success with the dog fans. But what about the looming question that brought us here? Does Hank get enough support from dog lovers to the famous cats? Let’s take a look at the data.
As apparent in the data, My Talking Hank achieved one-fourth of Talking Tom’s downloads. Revenue-wise, it’s less than one-fifth. According to downloads, My Talking Hank ranks 12th while My Talking Tom is at the top, and My Talking Angela ranks second. According to revenue, Hank does a bit better by making it to the top ten at the tenth rank. And no matter the metric, there are always a bunch of cats between Hank and the top, apart from one exception: Talking Ben the Dog, but that’s a story for another time.