Nintendo's Tomodachi Life released in Japan in April 2013, but the title gained attention earlier this year because same-sex marriages cannot take place in the game's fictional world. The title is a Sims-like game starring Miis inhabiting an island. Friends, family and anyone else you can think of can take up residence on the island through the use of Nintendo's Mii creator, which is available through all of Nintendo's recently released game consoles. Making friends, eating delicious food and finding love are just some of the activities players can expect when playing Tomodachi Life, although gamers will soon find plenty of surprises in this quirky title.
A cast of Mii's only limited by your imagination
As we mentioned earlier, players can add a Mii version of anyone they can think of onto the island in Tomodachi Life. If you already have Miis of your friends and family on your 3DS, adding them into the game will be relatively easy, especially if you already have their birthday and other information put in as well. When adding a new Mii, you'll input their personality traits. Personality traits focus on five separate categories: movement, speech, expressiveness, attitude and overall. When choosing one of eight pegs in each category, the game helps you understand what each peg means by displaying a text informing you how much in favour or against a Mii is with a certain category. For example, choosing the sixth peg in the movement category will give your Mii a "moves pretty quickly" result.
A Mii's personality trait isn't the only portion of their character you'll be able to edit, as Tomodachi Life also gives Mii's a voice. A total of six presets are available that give your character the voice of a child, adult or an elderly person. You can also choose to give your Mii a random voice, or fine tune their voice through six categories: pitch, speed, quality, tone, accent and intonation.
The entire process of adding Mii's can feel tedious at times if you don't have a large enough library of characters. Thankfully, Nintendo allows players to scan QR codes that will add a Mii to your game. Tomodachi Life even uses a special QR code that contains a Mii's personality and voice, but most online databases of Mii QR codes only contain a person's looks. So adding your favourite celebrity, musical icon or anime character will challenge even the most die-hard fan when you attempt to input someone's voice or personality.
Mii's just want to have fun
Once you populate your island with Miis, that's when the fun really begins. You can purchase food, clothing, hats and interiors, among other things, for your Miis. When you give a Mii something, they'll often comment on whether they like it or not. Feeding Mii's a wide variety of food is one way to see what kind of reactions you can get from them, which range in simply liking or disliking, to a more exaggerated melting if they really hate it, or dance around if it's their most favourite dish.
Most of your time in Tomodachi Life will be spent solving your Miis' problems. These can vary from being hungry to wanting a change of clothes or scenery. Miis will also ask for your help in making friends with one another, even going as far as calling you if they ever decide to pop the question. From time to time, you'll be able to experience special events that occur at certain dates and times. Most of the events are the same every day and feature magic acts, different markets throughout the day and even a photo shoot starring the player. The game also holds special events based on particular dates, such as a Mii's birthday.
Share the fun on various social networks
Tomodachi Life gives players the option to share everything you experience within the game through a built-in screen capturing feature. Players can take a screenshot of either the top or bottom screen by pressing the X or Y buttons, respectively. When a screenshot is taken, it'll automatically be saved on your 3DS SD card. This allows you to download your photos on your computer and share them anywhere you like, but you're able to share your shots on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr within the game. The process takes a couple of steps to complete, but its convenience means you'll most likely share nearly anything and everything you experience in this game.
Prepare to spend your days with Tomodachi Life
Tomodachi Life will take up a lot of your time. The process of adding Miis at the start of the game can feel tedious if you already don't have an army of Miis available on your 3DS. But once you feel comfortable with the number of Miis you have to play with, following and watching them grow is very satisfying. Players will experience a number of quirky and unique moments during their time with this title, but they're few and far between. As a game promoted as one where players need to see what happens next, we wish these quirky moments happened more often. When they do occur, though, you won't forget them any time soon.
GAME's Verdict: 7/10
- Watching Miis grow from their humble beginnings is satisfying
- Quirky and unique moments that will often surprise
- Nintendo makes sharing these moments extremely easy
- Adding Miis to your island can be a painstaking process
- Quirky moments aren't as frequent as wed like
- Repetitive gameplay