Tomodachi Life Review
Tomodachi Life Box Art
System: 3DS
Dev: Nintendo
Pub: Nintendo
Release: June 6, 2014
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: N/A Comic Mischief and Mild Fantasy Violence

Back when The Sims 2 came out, a few of my friends and I got into the habit of playing dynasties. We'd start a new game with a handful of families in a town, and see what happened. Sometimes we'd determine who would get married or become friends, other times we allowed gave them a measure of free will. We'd watch these families grow and blend together over virtual decades. I can easily see that happening with Tomodachi Life. Players will get involved in these colorful and fanciful Miis' lives, and will spend weeks and months watching as their apartment fills with all kinds of original characters based on their tenants.

Tomodachi Life Screenshot

Tomodachi Life is a pick-up-and-play game, to be sure, but I also think it's a start-it-and-leave game as well. It's the kind of time sink that can be enjoyed while you're engaged in other activities. Want to read a book or browse the web? Have your island open on your 3DS nearby, and check in every 15-30 minutes to see if anyone needs anything. Check in on special events that happen throughout the day, but live your life in between.

There's something else that I realized, thanks to Tomodachi Life. It's really helped me appreciate the Mii avatar creation system. I always thought they were cute, in a quirky kind of way, but now that I'm interacting with them on a daily basis, I appreciate how much detail it captures. The more I look at them, the more I realize how much the Miis of friends, family and celebrities that I have imported into the game resemble them.

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Tomodachi Life is a unique game. It's a simulation, sure, but the random elements and varying personalities of the Miis keep it from being as straightforward as something conventional like The Sims. It's more of an opportunity to put Miis into a virtual world and play around with them. The players won't always have control, but they'll still have a good time. That said, I can see some people who are craving something more straightforward feeling letdown by the fact that don't have total control over the Miis lives and actions. Overall, I think anyone who takes a chance on this unorthodox property will have a positive experience, and hope Nintendo will build upon this franchise.

By
Jenni Lada
Contributing Writer
Date: June 6, 2014

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
Tomodachi Life is cartoonish and surreal.
5.0
Control
The touchpad is life and all you'll ever need.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The tunes are poppy, but the synthesized voices can get annoying.
4.0
Play Value
It's absolutely entertaining, but there is room for improvement and treasures seem underutilized.
4.4
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Play fun games with Mii characters, give them gifts, and watch their relationships grow into something more.
  • Observe and participate in a vibrant world where unexpected things happen every day.
  • Create Mii characters, pick their personalities, ages, voices, and more.
  • Take pictures of your islanders and share them via Nintendo Image Share.
  • Share Mii creations with friends locally or online by creating a QR Code.

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