Tomodachi life loosely translates Friend life. The aim being you use Mii creations as your characters for yourself, friends or family and just about anyone else you may want to create.
Since advertised it has been one of the most pointless and uninteresting games I have ever seen.
Showing Reggie Fils-aime, Satoru Iwata and other Nintendo developers as Mii’s at E3. You see them getting into rap battles, falling in love and creating love triangles, broadcasting the news, singing on stage with a dancing troupe, fighting it out by throwing objects at each other, trying on different outfits etc.
I thought to myself why would I even want to do any of that, and it made me wonder how this would appeal to a larger audience than children.
But Strangely the more it was advertised and the more that it was shown, it started to have a little appeal.
Nintendo started to introduce celebrities playing it making it cause a global wave of interest aimed especially at young children and teenagers. Smart move. Even adults I know on social media started to get the game and share screenshots.
So we received the game and I was a bit hesitant. Not only was there not enough room to install it on either 3DS or 2DS but I also did not want to really play it. Regardless I ordered a larger SD card and installed it and passed it to my five year old daughter to play.
I sat and helped her create the Mii’s she wanted and helped her find her way around the game and the small island you live on.
We went on to spend about 5-6 hours on it. I continued to play it after she had gone to bed to try to unlock shops and areas on the island for her for when she plays it next.
For a game that is so pointless and is not anything special or a huge announcement from Nintendo for me, it is so much fun! It is addictive and intriguing just like the brilliant Animal Crossing new leaf. It was so easy to lose 20 minutes to 2 hours at a time without realising where the time went.
Nintendo certainly know how to make the right type of game at the right time.
There is something magical about playing games featuring Mii characters, this was proven in Animal Crossing and Mario Kart Wii, then being able to interact with other Mii’s is the next evolutionary step.
Interacting and being social with your Mii’s is certainly the key with this game.
As you make friends with Mii’s of your real friends, family and partners you want the Mii’s to get together with the people they are with in real life. I found myself playing it expecting mine and my wife’s Mii character to make friends and fall in love. Turns out we are not compatible in the game and she has decided to go after her real life’s best friends husband’s Mii character. Like a jealous man I have been trying to sabotage their relationship and new love of each other in the hope that my wife’s Mii character will take interest in my Mii character. So far, no luck HaHa.
My Mii character though is good friends with my daughters character so it’s lovely to see them having a lovely close friendship and doing thing’s together. As anything goes in this game though my daughters character thinks my character needs someone special and keeps suggesting the Mii character of my sister-in-law. It feels so wrong and keep selecting the that’s wrong response, but it is such a riot of fun and craziness of this unique title and what can happen. You will make friendships and relationships with the most unlikely choice of characters, though you can try to sway the decisions of the characters.
All the Mii characters live in apartments of the same building, there are 24 windows at least to start with, each one representing an apartment. You will see different icons on the window’s for when characters want to make friends with other characters. They let you know when they are hungry or want a new item of clothing, when they want you to join them to play a game which are mini games, when they are feeling ill and want some medication and so on. Sometimes the lights will be out and when you tap their window it will say that they have gone to another mii’s apartment. When you go to the other characters apartment you can see them playing a video game console, sitting around chatting, dancing together and much more.
On the island map there are 22 icons to unlock. They range from shops and landmarks. An unlocked icon starts out grey, by tapping on it it will tell you how to unlock it, from having so many male to female islanders ratio to characters declaring their love and getting married.
The game may start to feel a little repetitive, but to keep thing’s interesting and keep you on your toes, create as many Mii characters as you can and move them into an apartment.
Some of the unlocked landmarks also have an event schedule, letting you know what is going to happen in that area throughout the day, from market stalls to, ‘guys’ and ‘girls’ meetings (make sure you stick around to listen to the conversations, they are hilarious), rap battles and quirky questions.
Keeping your islanders clothed, fed giving them items they ask for will keep them happy. Often this will require currency. Oddly it seems the more you spend on your islanders the more you earn.
There is also an icon you unlock where you can share photo’s you have taken during the game. Tapping this icon opens the 3DS’ browser and will let you log in to either Twitter or Facebook.
Photo’s can be taken at any event or when visiting apartment by pressing X to take a photo of the 2/3DS top screen and Y for the bottom screen.
Using the send receive functionality at the town hall you can send and receive items with friends who also own the game and have items that you do not have. You can also send your Mii characters to a friends island as an explorer for a visit.
My 5 year old daughter loves this game and in her own words she said it is her very favourite. And as for myself I haven’t been able to put it down.
My over all view is that this is a surprisingly entertaining gem suitable for all ages, that once again teaches me the lesson don’t knock it until you try it. Will I ever learn?