Wednesday
Jun252014

QCF: Tomodachi Life

m? Oh, yeah, I'm still here. Hard to stay focused with such an interesting microcosm brewing within the confines of my 2DS though. I'll try to stay on topic, but I'm also kind of watching an epic rap battle go down between George and Daeruna here too, so...

There's this game that came out on the 3DS lately from Nintendo that kind of takes everything you like about Animal Crossing and everything you like about The Sims and tosses in some Mii design convention to it all to create what could be one of the most interesting things I've thrown into Nintendo's handheld in quite a while. It's not often a game comes along with the kind f hooks that keep me coming back for more on a regular basis throughout the run of the day, but here we are; Tomodachi life does it for me, and if it surprises you that a game like this could be my jam, imagine how surprised I am.

The object of Tomoachi Life is simple; fill up an apartment complex full of Miis and watch (and hear!) them interact with you and each other. Some will need help from the original Mii's Look-Alike (you) with various requests and advice, but interaction can happen all on its own with some unexpected – and very interesting – outcomes. You can customize your Miis all the way down to their personality type, which is important in the way they interact with each other. Along the way, new commodities will unlock on your Miis' island, which you name yourself (I went with my Gamecube-era Animal Crossing town name of Egoedirp) and more activities will occur with greater frequency featuring virtual versions of the people you create. If you find yourself coming up short on peeps for your pads, you can also import Mii Data from your Mii Maker software and by scanning QR codes from other people's games... or online. You can even send Miis abroad to explore the outside world for even more to do and see.

Requests can range from playing mini-games for collectable prizes to providing food to a Mii, giving it stylin' new threads and changing its apartment decor, which, of course, will cost you cash. Fulfilling one of these demands will get you a monetary return though, and your Mii's happiness rating will increase indicated by a gauge is filled in the corner. Levelling up in this fashion allows your Mii to be gifted from several choices, such as new sayings for different emotion, exclusive apartment designs, items to occupy their time and more. The gameplay itself is startlingly basic, but it's not really your input in specific that's the main draw in Tomodachi Life; it's simply seeing how everyone gets along.

With varied personality types comes some really interesting situations that is sure to surprise anyone playing, especially with Mii-fied versions of their friends and family. Just wait until one of your IRL besties tries to shack up with the downloaded female avatar your other buddy has in his game. Others will fight. Alliances will spring up even without your help, and things can get pretty hot and heavy, which can result in screaming infants on your island in no time (note: it’s actually not as bad as you think, and you can turn babies off in the options.)

All the while, your Miis will star in various misadventures which will be covered on the evening news and in time-and-location-based events around the island. Peeking into their lives is something that I have yet to get bored with and it might be enough, but the collect-em-all nature to the items you will receive and buy should also appeal to the completionist in anyone. Street Pass and Spot Pass data exchange also boosts the amount you'll get out of Tomodachi Life as well and with the ability to have over 100 Miis in your complex (and married quarters), there's an awful lot to do.

It helps that the writing in Tomodachi Life is brilliant with all kinds of witty banter that will leave you laughing, speechless and confused as to how these virtual beings can so closely emulate their real-life counterparts. This leads to one of the games' downsides though; the stuff you see and hear will often be recycled leading to your typical, “ah, this again” moments. Regardless, you're still in for a more-than-varied treat when playing Tomodachi Life.

There's so much to this game that we haven't touched on here but to be honest, it would kind of ruin the surprise if I told or showed you any more. If any of what I've written here today piques any amount of interest in you, be sure to check out Tomodachi Life for yourself – you won't be disappointed. See you on the island!

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