Let’s talk about Peridot! (The Game by Niantic)

I’ve had a few people ask about what I’ve thought of the game at this point due to having played some of the Beta and I think the biggest thing is I constantly kind of regret not putting more time into the Beta, but I suppose I couldn’t predict the kind of changes Niantic would make before launch, to say the least.

That sounds kind of overly cynical and I don’t think every change is necessarily bad, but I do think they made some replacements where there could have just been additions, some things were made grindier, and I’m not sure a single person who played the Beta, and heck, even those who haven’t, enjoys how the Nests were changed. Before I get into all the stuff with Nests and Hatch-a-Dot (the game’s breeding system), I do want to talk a bit more about some of the other features.

The game essentially gives you a cute supposedly completely random Pet (I say it this way because I’ve seen some that genuinely look identical, and I can only assume the change is as small as like… identical twins) and it’s honestly pretty adorable. I love how the Dots look. I think a lot of the traits are really neat.

The game is more or less AR exclusive, with only menus and certain special screens (IE: Hatching/Breeding Dots) not being AR, which depending on how you feel about AR will be how you feel about this. I don’t necessarily dislike AR, but find it tends to use up a lot of power. Quality settings were added towards the end of Beta and is one of the main reasons I didn’t (or honestly, couldn’t really) play very often before this addition. Even on Low, my phone gets quite hot. It’s not that old, but I have to constantly close the game and generally can’t have any other things in the background when it’s opened.

And that’s really my biggest issue with it– the battery drain is huge, my phone gets really warm, and for me, phone concerns far outweigh any kind of enjoyment I get from seeing my Dot in the real world more than I could get from seeing it in some random environments like when catching a Pokemon in GO. I haven’t actually taken a single AR photo of one of my Dots due to just not having any good lighting anyway. And when out, I usually need my phone to not be dying so I can’t have it up much because of how much it drains the battery.

Personally, I’d love to have a PC Companion thing where I can have my Dot play around on my desktop like the old Desktop Pets/Shimeji would do.

Regardless, as cute as they are, there is only really so much you can do. Are there still cute to just watch? Sure, absolutely. There’s a lot of impressive things with the AR as well and how the Dot can tell how close or far something is based off the environment and where you’re tapping. The AR can even react to even a Dot goes behind something and so from a technical standpoint, there is a lot of really neat stuff here, but as someone who is just into “cute pet yay”, I think what you may get out of it can vary, especially if you also have Phone Power issues with AR constantly up.

The Dots themselves, they can only dig in a certain spot so many times before having to wait again (though, I suppose if you’re somewhere with a bunch of different surfaces, maybe it feels less an issue), growth has a limit to how much you can earn at a time (which you can easily hit faster than your 30 minutes Speed Sprout runs out so it can very quickly become a waste :/) outside of Desires as you stop earning growth from anything else once your Dot’s bars are full, you can play with your Dot by teaching them tricks (currently there are only 8), playing fetch, and petting them, but again, they will only earn growth until their Hunger and Happiness Bars are filled. Still can be worth to learn those tricks, but I generally find it’s best to work on them while you can still earn growth from them. As mentioned earlier, Dots can still earn growth through their desires which they get roughly every hour. These Desires can be refilled with Dewdrops which is what you’ll need to hope you have a bunch of if you don’t want your Speed Sprout to go to waste (That said, I find “A Small Walk” to be super glitchy to make count and having no Habitats near me, that ends up being another wall I can hit– Dewdrops will NOT Refresh any incomplete desires so if you have 1 or 2 “Take a Small Walks”, the Dewdrop will only refresh the empty spots).

Thankfully, Dewdrops can actually be found in the wild. Initially, they were used to develop your Dots personality more with each Dot having three traits (one per stage) that could each be upgraded three times to be more developed. While I do think the Dewdrops have more use now, I kind of miss feeling like Dots’ personalities were more complex. Having just one trait in the end (with it adjusting as they grow) feels a bit more one-note and I’m not entirely sure why the change. Like… Fine, make it so traits are automatically fully upgraded, but I don’t think we needed to lose having three traits to end up with just having one. Either way, I’m going to try and not think of all the Dewdrops I wasted (or the Dotnips as well before I realized how they worked).

The photo mode can be fun, especially if you’re walking out and about, but because of the fact that I haven’t been able to do much of the latter, I haven’t really done that at all. You can also dress up your Dots, though, I find the cosmetics kind of limited and most seem to only be part of expensive bundles over ever actually showing up in the shop’s small daily rotation.

I also am genuinely happy they can’t die or get sick. One thing I find exhausting with a lot of other pet games is stuff like that– I don’t need the same worry/concern from taking care of a real pet when I’m caring for a virtual one. I know some people like that kind of realism, but I’m not here to play a pet game for that.

Besides your Dots own desires, you also have Daily and Weekly tasks which contribute to getting your Keeper Level up. The maximum level is 50. I kind of hope they don’t increase it, though, I’m sure as they add more traits they will. They adjusted various things with the experience needed and I really do wish I managed to get up to a higher level before launch, but with the lack of quality controls to help lessen battery drain and overheating (and it’s still bad now), I just couldn’t put as much time in so all I really did was check to see what Stray Dots were around and then more or less went on quite a hiatus, only really coming back when those changes were in… and not long after that did some of the more… controversial changes end up happening as well.

One other big thing that I haven’t really gone into though is the general care for your Dot beyond mentioning the growth system. Your Dot can be fed (they have a hunger meter) and has a happiness meter as well that goes up as you play with them. They also have a Growth meter which when hit, your Dot will grow from a baby to a teen and when hit again, a teen to an adult. Only Adult Dots can breed. It takes about 4,600 total growth in order to grow your Dot up fully. I will say, as much as I like watching them grow, I find the growth animation kind of… creepy? It looks like our pet is being mangled as it transforms into a bigger size, and I’m really confused why they went that way as I feel like it always looks like they’re in pain. I know some people find the growing too fast, but I actually don’t mind it. I think part of the issue is, especially with the Hatch-a-Dot changes, is there’s not much new to do with your Dot after they grow up and learn all the tricks. I love my Dots, but there truly isn’t much to do with them right now. I think they could easily add other things (Something akin to Pokémon Contests/Musicals or Chao Garden Racing) for more Solo Content, but right now, you’re mainly just watching them interact with stuff or breeding them.

Hatch-a-Dot is currently one of the biggest features in the game though, in the sense of it having the most variables, which considering the advertising of how unique the Dots are and the encouragement with getting new ones to discover new traits and archetypes, yeah, it’s a really awful choice to make them cost only real money. It’s also something a lot of people really look forward to trying their hand in with these types of games.

I think, offhand, a lot of people not as well-versed with these types of games could end up thinking Hatch-a-Dot is a side part of the game and a luxury to enjoy more, except it’s really not and that’s part of why people are so upset. Even the newsletters that have been going out since Peridot launched talk about breeding, the Hatch-a-Dot system, having new generations of Peridots, and finding new traits as if people are going to be super okay with spending $5 per new Dot, let alone to experiment with some RNG in hopes of getting one they want. Discovering Archetypes is supposed to be a huge part of the game and the lore but is now almost completely behind a purchase price.

While obviously you don’t need to discover the Archetypes to enjoy the game to the fullest, that doesn’t change the fact that the game is actively encouraging for people to do so while not actually giving any real way to earn them beyond paying.

During Beta, you could earn nests from finding Nest Parts while digging, using the Premium Currency to buy them, and even from Daily Login streaks. It wasn’t super common, but if you played enough, you could at least earn some and build those up. Those who played the Beta were given a random free Archetype Dot alongside 5 free nests, but when there’s people who played for a long time and have like 40+ Generations of Dots, it really doesn’t make up for how much was lost with this change. Even with my infrequency, I had about 20 nests built up. Sure, only like 10-15 weren’t given to us, but that’s a lot for someone who had a lot less time with it.

I did find Nest Parts a bit overwhelming (as you could also find nest parts for specific types of traits for a Dot which could help better control what Dot you may be trying to breed for), but you could gift them to one another as well and I think I’d deal with the overwhelming part system and slowly try to work that out over the way nests work now.

And yes, some of those people still paid. But it’s a lot more reasonable to purchase some Premium Currency where you’re short to get a bit more for something or as you level up and just play– essentially making progress towards it versus having to chuck out $5 every time you want to breed a Dot. This also means less people are willing to experiment and even feeling more like a gamble as you can put that money on the line and not get anything you actually want.

These were my very first Dots. Squishy was the one I got upon starting the game while Pearl is the first Dot I bred, back when nests weren’t pay-walled.

Initially, you could not see random people’s Dots at all. You could only find random Stray Dots at Habitats to breed with. One day, I saw a Unicorn Archetype at our “closest” Habitat. As you’re probably aware of at this point, Pink is my favorite color, especially lighter pinks, so I booked it over there and Pearl ended up being more or less perfect to me color-wise.

My goal from that point was to hopefully get a Dot with Pearl’s colors, but with more of the Traits I actually liked in a Dot. As much as I love Squishy, he is very basic, and Pearl inherited all of his traits and none of her Mysterious Unicorn Mother’s beyond her colors. Despite saying that, I actually do not care for most of the Unicorn traits. In fact, most of the required traits for Archetypes aren’t my thing. I think the closest would maybe be the Cotton Candy one?? Kintsugi can be kind of pretty too, though, I think it would depend on what color I got to go along with the gold. And well, the Rabbit one just requires Rabbit Ears and a Tail (but I find the Rabbit Tail… oddly pointy?), so I guess if I liked everything else enough, maybe it’d be okay.

Celestial I do like a lot, but with my color preferences, as much as I like them as an archetype, that would keep them from being a top favorite. Cassiopeia ended up being my first Archetype Dot, due to being the free one I got as a gift for playing in the Beta.

She is very fabulous and looks like a Pop Star. But I do not like the Picks shape for the Ears (I also do not care for the Square or Heart shapes either– too edgy). I find the way her curls are makes it, so the Picks don’t bother me as much at least, but those are probably some of my least favorite Ear styles in the game.

The short of it is that I really do not have much interest in collecting Archetypes because I actually like them versus the need to fill out my profile essentially and be a good “researcher” so to speak. Like I said, some I do find appealing, but a lot of the time I’d want something that would actually cause the Archetype to be ruined/not count.

That said, while I do miss seeing Stray Dots at Habitats (and don’t see why they needed to be removed– this really could’ve been an added on thing over a replacement), I actually like being able to see other people’s Dots in the wild. I think this opens up a lot more flexibility for one with what you could find, but also more chances to try again as well. This also doesn’t require you to be in range like it did for Stray Dots at Habitats which as someone who can’t go out very much is really appreciated, especially as they continue to murder Pokemon GO’s Accessibility every update.

But removing the option of Stray Dots as habitats does cause an issue for those who don’t want to ask people or have any real interaction with Campfire, Niantic’s own social platform that Hatch a Dot requests get sent through. I feel like having both could’ve been helpful to everyone so I just… don’t really understand the choice for the full replacement.

I do wish there was an option to auto-accept requests though. I like helping people and it makes me happy to see people ask so I try to approve them ASAP, but I always worry one maybe is just sitting there or I somehow miss it and just… It’d be nice if I could set it that way considering there is the option to not get requests, it feels silly there isn’t an auto-acceptance either.

But when it comes down to it, let’s hypothetically say I only want to earn each of the Archetypes. There are 22 different Archetypes in the game. While some Archetypes can overlap (IE: You could probably have ones like Kintsugi and Patina alongside Rabbit or one person I befriended who happens to have a Dot that has both the Ram and Bismuth Archetypes), I wouldn’t really bet on that so at maximum, I would need 22 nests. That’s $110. That also assumes that I will breed perfectly each time and one of my three eggs will be that archetype I’m trying for. We’re not even accounting for if it’s an appearance I like.

Most likely, you will need much more than 22 nests. And considering the focus and encouragement of this feature, the only way to get them being locked behind spending real money is just really really bad. And unfortunately, it’s not something I think will end up changed. At this point, because I’ve played too many games and seen this justification happen for why it can’t be changed even if it still should, the people who did spend money will be angry if it gets changed because they wasted their money. Personally, I’d rather a heavily advertised feature not be locked behind a paywall more than being upset that I used some money up.

Right now, there’s 6-8 Hatch-a-Dot Requests I’d really like to try to send out to Dots that people on my friend’s list have, but I can’t justify spending $30-$40 to do that. That’s an entire game I could buy. And as cute as they are and I would love to try my luck getting one as cute as I think their offspring could be, I can’t justify that in any way. Not to mention it’s probably even a bit more expensive for any Traits I don’t have unlocked I may want and would need to use premium currency for.

And maybe there would be other fun projects to do. Like besides going for all Archetypes, I know some people have tried getting a Dot with all the same star rating Traits… I think if I tried for that, I’d want:

  • 1 Star Traits – Gradient Pattern (or maybe Baguette depending on how the colors looked), Asparagus or Bear Tail, Cow or Goat Horns, Hermes or Skirt Plumage, Glitter Material, Round Face, and Bear or Llama Ears
  • 2 Star Traits – Loops Pattern, Agave or Radish Tail, Asparagus or Meringue Horns, Spades Plumage, Bedazzled or Glimmer Material, Heart Face, and Pigtails Ears
  • 3 Star Traits – Celestial or Cracked Pattern, Ribbon Tail, Shell or Bun Horns, Curls Plumage, Starry Material, Star or Bandit Face, and Heart Ears but I don’t really like any of the 3* ears…
  • 4 Star Traits – Breezy Pattern, Paradise or Whale Tail, Narwhal or Trident Horn, Bee Wings Plumage, Iridescent or Furry Material, Octopus Face (though, I honestly kind of dislike both 4 Star Face Shapes), and Seraph Ears

Of course, considering my level, it’ll be an expensive Dot to breed unless I max out my leveling first… Some traits can be cheaper (just a few 100) while others can be $10-$20+ by themselves to unlock early just for that breeding chance. And then there’s the consideration on if it would be better to be a lower level and do that or purposely not pay a premium currency because those higher level traits are ironically the only ones you don’t want.

Supposedly, part of it is that Niantic wanted people to focus on the Dots they have more which is part of why things were changed, but then we do need more we can do with our Dots. And there shouldn’t be such a big highlight around Archetypes and getting all of them. I feel like people will still spend for Cosmetics (especially if they divide them up and make them $1-$2 each instead of being part of a bundle) and even for Premium Currency from time to time without flat out making Nests real money only.

And that’s the thing– there are so many ways Pet Games and Sites have made monetization possible without literally forcing you to pay real money for more space. Those are usually saved for in-game currency, if anything. Some examples of how sites (I know I’ve seen tons of people who play Flight Rising bring the game up) do monetization are:

  • Cosmetics – People love to dress up their Pets. Right now, we have very few cosmetics and even worse, as mentioned, most you can’t even buy individually. People would absolutely be buying more cosmetics if they had more Dots and if there were more ways to buy them in the first place (IE: Buying individually or offering a Choose # out of a selection for bundle discounts)
  • Instant Growth. For those who don’t want to go through the growing process. Here’s something that could be an easy $5, would still be an option for people who want to rush to being able to breed their Dots, and does not literally make you pay for actually being able to breed.
  • Make Your Own Dot. Some Breeding Games/Sites have an option where you can use everything currently available and make your dream Pet (at generation 1) without going through all the Breeding RNG. You pick each of the traits/patterns/colors from the predisposed options in the game. Think of it like “Create a Character/Avatar” but just your very own Peridot. Would be super helpful for people who maybe want to have Dots based off certain characters, whether their own or for something they like. These aren’t cheap (I want to say $20-$30 is the average– lowest I’ve seen is $10-$15, but I have seen $50– I don’t think that price would work well here, but I do think $15-$20 could and $5-$10 definitely would), but it’s something that pulls people in, especially if they use it as a start to breed more of what they do want. I know I’d be tempted by this, not just for making something with all my favorite traits, but maybe seeing if I can get an Archetype closer to what I’d like or a Mega Audino-themed one or something.
  • Archetype Bundles. Or just the ability to buy a Stray Dot of a specific Archetype. This could rotate, but would be an option for people who don’t want to deal with the nest RNG.
  • Pick another Egg when breeding – Sometimes I do want a second egg of the three or in rare cases, all of them. There’s no reason something like this wouldn’t work well– again, would be better as a premium currency cost, but I do think it would be a well-liked feature.
  • Lifetime Option – Let people pay like $60 or something to “buy” the game and make breeding completely free for those who do. Those who don’t would have a premium currency option.
  • Edit a Trait/Color – I do think this would be a better one with in-game currency, even if the Premium one, than straight up real money only, but if you get a near perfect Dot and either hate the color(s) or just have one trait off or something or very little off, I think this would be nice to be able to adjust a breeding and pick what you want out of only traits in relation to the Parents. Other subsidiaries of this could be:
    • Eye color choice
    • Locking specific traits that HAVE to be included with each Egg.
    • Crossing out traits you absolutely do not want passed down (essentially the opposite of the above

But there are options. So many better options to add a monetization system without literally locking a whole part of your game behind a paywall and every day that no change is made to this, I worry about being given more excuses on why it won’t be changed back.

I would say my other wish with the Hatch-a-Dot system is the option to actually be able to grab more than one Egg from a Breeding if you have enough nests available. Let me pay more Sundrops on the spot, I do not care. If I have the nest room (or heck, even give me the option to buy one or two more nests DURING it to grab those egg), give me the option to pick more than one egg T~T It doesn’t happen too often, but there have been a few breedings now where I would’ve absolutely picked two eggs, if not all three.

I’d also really love if I could gift Dots to people and vice versa. I think that would be nice.

At the very least, I did manage to get a lot of very cute Dots in the time I played. Sakura is pretty much what I wanted– having a Dot with one of my favorite traits (the Ribbon Tail) with Pearl’s color scheme. She’s still fairly basic, but I absolutely adore her. I don’t know if more traits would’ve made her any better for me. Even the Llama ears have grown on me at this point.

Sure, maybe she could’ve looked nice with some horns, but personally, I think she looks very cute as is. And with how many breeding attempts it took hoping to get something like this, I would not want to try my luck again.

You can check out all my other Dots over here, but here is a few more of my favorites:

I do wish you could see your Dot’s family tree. I think that’d be neat. Just like with ones you own, but maybe even the option to show a number of how many other Dots a Dot of yours has bred with.

But when it comes down to it, there’s just not much else to currently do in the game. And while I do think the Dots are cute enough on their own to still warrant having it up, the power use due to the constant AR makes it impossible for me to do so.

Even the Community Day, announced for this upcoming weekend (May 20th & May 21st), feels a bit underwhelming as it focuses on Breeding, you know, that thing that is apparently not at all the main point of the game :| The game gives discounts on breeding costs and a discounted Nest Bundle which… if you can’t put real money into the game, then there’s not much for you?? None of these discounts are applicable to anyone who doesn’t have any nests. Maybe you still have your one free nest, but if not or after that?

Dewdrops will be dropping twice as often, but if you already grew up all your Dots and can’t get new nests, it’s kind of pointless and you’re just stocking them up to sit there. At least they don’t expire like food can.

There will be a special Dewdrop Archetype Bundle, but it is unclear how much it’ll cost* and I am curious how Event Archetypes will work. Will they always be limited like this? Will we never see this Archetype again? If not many people can afford the pack, will the Archetype be especially hard to get? I’m hoping if they continue to do these, they’ll be closer to the price of additional special research in GO if anything. But at least for now, it seems like the majority of Community Day will only really benefit those who can pay which… kind of kills part of the point of a community day.
*Edit post-community day: They ended up being $15. Which is… not great. That is very expensive. That is $180 a year which unless you work with others, you would need to end up spending because there is no way to get those traits for those Archetypes otherwise. Also need to hope you know someone willing to breed their Dot with you and as someone who did NOT buy the Archetype (As it’s a random one and I just did not like the color options I got), the number of resources I wasted trying to get one and failed is insane. The amount of pay to complete/play in this app baffles me.

I’m hoping maybe some adjustments can still be made or maybe there are some special surprises we don’t know about, but right now, it seems kind of underwhelming for Free-to-Play players.

Outside of stuff with your Dot and the Hatch-a-Dot with others (which can be done with Strangers too if you see them at a Habitat or Nearby list), there is slight interactivity with anyone on your friend’s list in that you can give friends 400 Sundrops. These Sundrops are not taken from you so there’s not really any reason not to, but it can take a lot of time if you have more than a few friends because:
-Every time you give Sundrops, your friend’s list scrolls back up to the top.
-Every time you accept Sundrops given to you, you’re kicked out of the friend’s list and once again, scrolled all the way back to the top.

Considering this costs nothing, it’d be nice if there were Give All and Accept All Buttons and I’m genuinely not sure why there aren’t.

tl;dr: Very cute, nests shouldn’t cost real money (there are better ways to do monetization), needs better power settings and/or a way to toggle AR off at times. Would be nice to have more ways to play with/interact with your Dot. And better QoL for the friend gifting system is absolutely needed.

I REALLY do like it, I think it has a lot of potential, and I LOVE my Dots, but I think something needs to be done about the nest system and the game absolutely needs more optimization. But if I can get a plushie or figure of my favorite Dots, I would buy those so fast. I already genuinely really want the Dot Plush they keep showing at Press Stuff :(

THIS IS SOMETHING I WOULD ALSO PAY REAL MONEY FOR, NIANTIC. WHERE IS THE PLUSH PERIDOT. YOU HAVE A PHYSICAL MERCH STORE IN THE IN-GAME SHOP AND THE PLUSH PERIDOT IS ABSENT. XP Despite the caps, I am serious and I want one so bad and it constantly taunts me :( It’s all my favorite colors too…