LOS ANGELES — Tamagotchi is re-hatching as an app.

Bandai America Inc. and Sync Beatz Entertainment are hoping to revive the electronic pet craze of the 1990s with a new mobile app launching Thursday for Android devices. The app duplicates the egg-shaped plastic toy that became a must-own sensation after it was first released in 1996 in Japan.

The app, much like the original toy, tasks users with taking care of a virtual pet by pressing buttons that simulate feeding, disciplining and playing with the critter on screen.

Sales of Tamagotchi have cracked the 78 million mark since the toy first debuted 16 years ago.

The Tamagotchi app is free, and an edition without ads costs 99 cents. A version for Apple devices will be available later this year.