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