Review: Tomodachi Life

26 07 2014

Tomodachi_Collection_Series_-_Tomodachi_Life_-_LogoSometimes you come upon a game that doesn’t really feel like a game. Nintendo’s Tomodachi Life is one of those games to me. A life simulation game that comes off as a cross between The Sims and Animal Crossing, Tomodachi Life ends up being an entity all its own through sheer strangness.

Gameplay: 6/10
The gameplay in Tomodachi Life feels like a hands-off version of The Sims. You create your Mii characters (or import them from QR codes) and have them move into an apartment building on a small island.

The Mii creator is surprisingly detailed, although you have no option to change body types other than height and weight. The synthesized voices are a nice touch and surprisingly add quite a bit to the game.

HNI_0010_zps1912ea4dOnce you have created some Mii’s for your apartment, you then are expected to tend to their daily lives. I’m not going to lie here, they can’t even feed themselves. You are asked to do things from get them food to picking out clothing and even setting up their love lives with each other. As you fix their “problems”, your islanders will gain Happiness points which will raise their level when you fill an orange bar. A level up allows you to give gifts, teach sayings, or even songs to your Mii’s.

Where Tomodachi shines though is in it’s humor. You are able to import custom Mii’s from QR codes, so celebrities can be easily brought into your game to interact with one another and adding your own friends can cause for interesting scenarios as well. I recreated past members of an IRC channel I frequent and some of the humor came from the characters starting to take on traits that their real life counterparts had. Characters can dream as well, and these are by far the weirdest and yet most hilarious parts of the game.

HNI_0056_zps33ac03ddI was disappointed at the lack of unlockables in the game, it felt like I pretty much had everything I could get in the first couple weeks. I would have liked to see much more in terms of unlockable content and features, as well as a bit more versatility with the minigames.

Graphics: 6/10
The graphics are a strange blend of Animal Crossing styled buildings and characters with photo-realistic pictures of food and items. Most of it works, although it can feel strange at times. Once per day, you are able to play the Tomodachi Quest minigame as well, which takes four of your random Mii’s and throws them into a short, 8-bit RPG parody for an item.

HNI_0001_zps990a303dMusic & Sounds: 5/10
The music is pretty happy and upbeat and the addition of synthesized voices to your Mii’s enable quite a few interesting additions, such as the ability to teach your Mii’s songs and have them preform at the Concert Hall.

Overall: 5/10
Not a bad game for sure, but one that really doesn’t have enough content to justify a full price tag. If it was half the price, I’d be telling everyone to go buy it. For now though, you’re better off wait for it to hit the sale bin.

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