Petal Runner is a cyberpunk RPG with big Tamagotchi and Pokemon vibes

An ambitious adventure
Nano Park/Iam8bit

Nano Park and iam8bit have been cooking up a secret slice-of-life RPG that’s part Tamagotchi, and they finally revealed it during Day of the Devs. It’s called Petal Runner, a cyberpunk tale told with a retro Game Boy pixel aesthetic that looks a lot like classic Pokemon games, and it’s also a clever twist on the pet care genre.

Petal Runner stars Cali or Kira, a young up-and-comer who just moved to Sapphire Valley and found work as a bike courier. Their job is delivering artificial pets to folks around town and helping tune them up through special cells their company develops. Your job is planting those cells, nurturing and calibrating them via cute little mini-games, and then watching as your customer’s HanaPet forms right before your eyes.

You have one yourself, but it’s an older model whose leap cell looks literally like an old Tamagotchi. They’re loyal, Nano Park says, but their old tech makes them a bit unreliable.

That all sounds very twee, but there’s a sinister mystery lurking under all that happiness. It’s your job to figure it out and stop the perpetrators from using HanaPets and the technology behind them for their own destructive ends. It’s very Team Rocket.

Obvious points of inspiration aside, Nano Park says they want use Petal Runner to tell a “wholesome coming of age story… about letting go,” which is about as far from Pokemon as you can get.

There’s no release date for Petal Runners just yet, but you can expect more news in the coming months.

Josh Broadwell