TO­MODACHI LIFE ★★★★ 3 cert, Nin­tendo, 3DS

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FUN & GAMES - CIARA O’BRIEN

The ap­peal of To­modachi Life is dif­fi­cult to ex­plain. Imag­ine if your friends and fam­ily sud­denly be­came Mii char­ac­ters in Nin­tendo’s uni­verse, com­plete with bob­ble-heads and strange fa­cial fea­tures. They’re happy and care­free. Now imag­ine that they had to live out those lives trapped in­side the Mi­iverse, lo­cated on an is­land where they in­ter­act with each other, with only a lit­tle in­put from their mas­ter and over­lord (you). That’s sort of what To­modachi Life is.

It sounds sim­ple, like some­thing that you should spend about 10 min­utes play­ing be­fore mov­ing on to a “real” game. And yet you’ll find yourself com­ing back time and time again.

You can cre­ate a crew of Miis to live out their ex­is­tence un­der your watch­ful eye, or add to your Mi­iverse with QR codes and swaps from other play­ers. That means you can let your Mii do­ing the talk­ing (and walk­ing), as your Mi­iverse ex­pands be­fore you eyes.

It’s not quite the Sims, in that you can’t di­rectly in­flu­ence what your tiny Miis do in their world. in­stead, you must sit back while they walk them­selves into daft sit­u­a­tions, then lend a help­ing hand, act­ing as a benev­o­lent prob­lem solver who can guide them back to the right path.

As with the Sims, you can eas­ily while away hours play­ing with the Miis you have cre­ated for your world. But you can’t throw a span­ner in the works just be­cause you’re feel­ing mis­chevi­ous. There are no paths to fol­low, no life goals to achieve. It’s an al­to­gether sim­pler game ex­pe­ri­ence that seems con­tent to let you just be “yourself” with­out forc­ing you into an ar­ti­fi­cial path for the sake of it.

The game is not with­out it prob­lems, the most well­known be­ing Nin­tendo’s re­fusal to al­low any­thing but the most con­ser­va­tive of re­la­tion­ships to de­velop – no same-sex cou­ples here. Happy and slightly mind­less, but a lit­tle ad­dic­tive.

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