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Tomodachi Life Review

Tomodachi Life Review

Video games come in many shapes and sizes but some are harder to categorise than others. You have your racers, shooters, puzzlers and some that are a culmination of a few and then there are some that don't seem to fit into any at all. It's hard to suggest Tomodachi Life on the 3DS is an entirely new type of game but I'm certain in saying there are few like it.

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Remember those things called Miis that sprung up from time to time on some of the most recent generation of Nintendo consoles; the lifeless, soulless avatars that served very little purpose outside making celeb lookalikes and playing the occasional sport? Well without them you won't be playing much of this game. Miis are the heart of Tomodachi Life, working as the characters of this intriguing reality title.'Fresh' is definitely something that springs to mind when first playing Tomodachi Life. With hints of The Sims and Animal Crossing straight from the get go, the player is presented with an island of which is nameless. Once you name said island, the real fun begins.

Your first task is simple - create yourself. Import the Mii of yourself from the 3DS's Mii Maker or create one within the game to get things started. There are additional options to the Mii creation however, as you must give your Mii a unique voice and set of traits. These traits define how your Mii acts in the game by themselves and with their fellow islanders.

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After publishing yourself onto your island, you need to learn how to 'play' the game. Why the inverted commas? Because you won't be doing much playing. After creating yourself, you can start to add more and more Miis into the game, each with their own traits and goals, different day to day activities, and their own opinions on their peers. Although creating a Mii in-game doesn't transfer it to the Mii Maker on the 3DS, it is possible to move them across later - saving you from jumping in and out of the game to create new Miis that you would like to keep on your console. It's easiest and most fun to create Miis of people you know, see how they act around each other and admire or be in shock of what antics they get up to. Though it does get a little creepy when you tell the people you've created that you've been watching them whilst they sleep.

I suppose Tomodachi Life could almost be described as a Mii life simulator in which you are an interactive god, working as a guardian, observer and carer of your island and its inhabitants. Similar to The Sims in several ways, you buy items, clothes and food, redecorate your Mii's rooms, oversee and adhere to requests and suggestions all whilst unlocking more things for your Miis to do on the island, from performing in the concert hall to long reflective strolls along the beach. Miis gain experience depending on how happy they are, levelling up once they get to a certain state of happiness. Once levelled, they can be offered gifts such as new phrases and songs to sing, giving them more of a unique personality.

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Love and marriage are some of the main goals to achieve between Miis in the game. Usually couples are formed based on their similarities in traits but that doesn't seem to be the only reason they hook up. Even when a Mii confesses love for another that's not a foregone conclusion - others can spoil the party confessing their love and it all becomes some sort of a Jeremy Kyle style affair once you brush aside the cutesy cutscenes which offer a character's story and lovelines. Same-sex couples don’t exist in the game, which is an unfortunate oversight in the current modern world, but expect such an addition to be included in future iterations due to the media exposure and highlighting the subject before the game’s release.

Whilst Animal Crossing gives players the chance to take control of your one character with no real goals from day to day, Tomodachi Life really just allows you to sit back and admire what goes on from afar, sticking your oar in wherever necessary. The lack of interaction can make you impatient at times, but all of your residents complain enough to keep you occupied most of the time.

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The game doesn't offer any multiplayer but Miis can be sent from one console to another through wireless communications or copied from scanning a QR code using the console's camera. In addition, certain special items for characters are only available through Streetpass.

One drawback is how childish the game actually is. Sure, its target audience wouldn't be the older generation but then the same could be said for Animal Crossing: New Leaf and that was a huge success across all age groups. Tomodachi Life does have somewhat of an appeal to a wider audience but I feel its charm would wear off quicker than some other games.

Tomodachi Life is a delightful and wholly enjoyable game. Bound to keep kids occupied for many hours with its endless amounts of character possibilities, it seems more suited to the younger generation as its trailers would suggest. Still, if you are a fan of The Sims and Animal Crossing, as much as I hate to refer back to these games as much as I have, then I'm sure you will enjoy Tomodachi Life in some capacity, be that for the short or long term.

8.50/10 8½

Tomodachi Life (Reviewed on Nintendo 3DS)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

Tomodachi Life is a delightful and wholly enjoyable game. Bound to keep kids occupied for many hours with its endless amounts of character possibilities, it seems more suited to the younger generation as its trailers would suggest. Still, if you are a fan of The Sims and Animal Crossing, as much as I hate to refer back to these games as much as I have, then I'm sure you will enjoy Tomodachi Life in some capacity, be that for the short or long term.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
James Bralant

James Bralant

Staff Writer

James spends his time playing almost anything. Talents include: having a socially-awkward hair colour and getting far too angry after losing

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