As animal loving children, our biggest disappointment was sending two weeks' pocket money off to an anonymous PO box number with the expectation of getting back some fluffy sea monkeys, only to receive a packet of what looked like plant food.

The injustice is still raw – that advert used pictures of sweet little Gizmo look-a-likes, so we logically thought a wide-eyed fluffy pet was what we were getting. If only we'd known Mr Trading Standards at the age of six.

Several years later, along came the Tamagotchi; apparently a proper lifelike virtual pet and it multitasked as a clock. Out came the pocket money again and, to be fair, Tamagotchi was certainly a bit cuter and more entertaining than a dried up branchiopod, although again not quite what we'd envisaged.

Tamagotchi Angel is a sort of angelic mobile remake of that original Tamagotchi toy. There's not much more to it than caring for your bleeping blob (now with fluffy wings and a halo) – you feed it pie, clean up its virginal poo and give it medicine when it's feeling less than heavenly.

As the game is very similar to the original keyring toy, this means it's also supremely dull to play for longer than a few minutes. Then again, Tamagotchi isn't really designed to be 'played' at all – it calls more for a long-term investment of time, with your tiny pet ageing and growing in real-time.

One day of our time is the equivalent of one year in Tamagotchi time, so your pet changes and evolves fairly regularly. The greatest satisfaction you get from the game is getting to see all of the various stages your Tamagotchi goes through before eventually returning to its Celestial Virtual Home (once its work on earth has been completed).

But other than that, your Tamagotchi is roughly as entertaining as watching MTV with the sound down. You gauge what your pet needs by checking the health icon (which also tells you how old and how hungry your pet is, as well as displaying the 'deed' and 'effort' meters) and act accordingly.

If it's hungry, for instance, you can feed it pie or candy. Candy is a fairly attractive foodstuff for passing bats, so if one swoops down, pressing '5' scares it away. Fail to do so and your pet throws a Tama tantrum.

You can also play with your pet, which could have been the saving grace for the game if only it wasn't so dull. You simply press a numbered button to make your Tamagotchi leap over the shooting stars that fly towards it. They get quicker but it's still very basic. Playing with your Tamagotchi keeps the effort meter filled and your pet happy.

Which is what will keep the other meter – deed – filled. By praising your virtual creature when it does something good or when it's bleeping for attention, you keep it feeling as loved as a puppy in a playground full of children.

In addition, remembering to turn the lights off for your angelic pet so it can sleep and using the 'flush' icon to clean up any mess it makes, also contribute towards a happy state.

In terms of visuals, Tamagotchi Angel is very basic. However, there is at least colour and also an attractive customisable background. There's also a digital clock, which can be displayed at any point, in keeping with the retro Tamagotchi feel.

Still, it's tough to deliver a verdict on a game which isn't really designed to be played. There's some novelty in having a Tamagotchi living on your mobile phone, and checking on its needs regularly can become an obsessive distraction.

Like a pet land snail though, your Tamagotchi gives you little back in return. It has a few cute animations but, that aside, it just wanders off, whines when you give him medicine and beeps every minute or so for more attention.

Anyone who missed out on the Tamagotchi phenomenon first time round will probably play this and be amazed there was any fuss surrounding the concept at all. Having said that, there remains something of an undeniably endearing element – at least up until your first Tamagotchi has flown off back to virtual heaven and you need to start all over again.

And with the experience out of their system, it's unlikely many will be bothered to do that.