What happens when you cross The Sims with Animal Crossing using Nintendo Miis? You get Tomodachi Life. The newest sim-based game for the Nintendo 3DS.
This is a weird little game in which you create and interact with Miis on your island. The Miis you create can be anyone, but more than likely they will turn out to be friends, family, co-workers or acquaintances. Which is part of the fun of the game.
Getting started with the game takes a little bit of work because you have to create your character, add personality and a voice type. Yes, your Miis will talk and sing in funny vocal styles. Then populate the island with others by creating or downloading them to the game using a QR code. You can have up to 100 different characters in the game.
The island has preset locations that will automatically be available at the start, like the Mii Apartments, Town Hall, Fountain, Food Mart and Beach. Other locations unlock as you progress thru the game and fulfill certain achievements, like the Amusement Park, Port, Clothing Store, Pawn Shop and Concert Hall.
Your control over your Mii islanders is very limited, interacting with them in mini-games, giving them food or items, watching and talking to them. Mainly you are influencing them in their actions when you answer questions/interact with them. They will interact with each other in different scenes as you play the game. As in real-life there will be some drama between them, some will become friends or couples, even get married and have a child. My best friend in real life in the game seems to be hitting on my sweetheart in the game, which I think is a bit weird.
The game uses the 3DS system clock for real-time day and night, so your islanders could be sleeping in their apartments when you check in on them if it is late in the evening. You can enter into their dream if a bubble appears over their sleeping head and receive an item. One dream had me as a snail crawling on the ground and when I woke up I received escargot.
Events are scheduled throughout the day in various locations, there is an Afternoon Market in the Park, Morning Market at the Fountain and Magic Show at the Amusement Park. One of the funniest you can watch is the Rap Battle at the Fountain. The rhymes are just silly. The Tomodachi Quest Event at the Amusement Park is like playing and old-school, 8-bit, RPG game.
There are some mini-games that you can play against your islanders for special items. The games are pretty basic, involving you to guess an object, catch an item, push your opponent out a ring and pick a card. Even if you lose you get a consolation prize. For some reason I seem to get toilet paper… a lot.
You can also get unique import items through StreetPass or SpotPass from travelers from other islands (StreetPass visitors) by visiting the Port or Import Item shop.
If you have a social media account like, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter, you can take a screenshot of a memorable moment in the game and share it.
Do you want to interact with celebrities, like Christina Aguilera or Shaquille O’Neal, on your island? There are official QR codes for them, along with Debby Ryan, Zendaya and Shawn White on the Nintendo Tomodachi Life website. There are websites with fan created QR codes for even more celebrities and famous personalities.
Tomodachi means “friend” in Japanese. Tomodachi Life = “Friend” Life. So bring your friends into the game and have some fun.
Tomodachi Life is rated E for Everyone and available now only on the Nintendo 3DS.
* Dean received an editorial copy for review purposes.