Tomodochi Life is a quirky relationship simulation game featuring Miis. You can create just about anyone you want as a Mii, or import friends and celebrities, and then watch as their lives unfold. It’s a simple concept, but has a lot of fun and funny results.
The game is not a traditional role-paying game where you don’t control the characters first hand. You can help influence their decisions, give them gifts and feed them, but you aren’t in control of them. If you’ve ever played The Sims then you’ll know sort of what to expect, though this game isn’t nearly as intricate or complex.
The first thing that you do in the game is create your first Mii character. If you already have one saved on your 3DS you can quickly import him or her. After a quick run at filling out your characters full name, birthdate and personality type, you can set your character’s voice and move into the Mii Apartments on the island. This will be the first building. Half of the fun in the game is seeing how the Miis interact, so you should add another one or ten. The more people there are the more there is for them to do.
You can also import celebrity Miis from Nintendo, including Christina Aguilera, Shaquille O’Neal, Debby Ryan, Zendaya and Shaun White. There are sure to be more coming in the future, but these will help you fill in some faces until you create your own population.
Once started you can give your Miis new clothes, hats, customize their apartments in different styles, give them gifts and even feed them. In not too long some of the stores start to pop up which will allow you do purchase all of these things, and they all have daily specials with various limited time items. Feed your Mii something that they like and their experience will raise quickly. Feed them something they dislike and it won’t go up that much.
That’s right, you can level up your Mii.
Leveling them up raises their happiness and when they do hit the next level you will be able to reward them with something. You can choose to give them a customizable song, which they can perform at the concert hall, a custom room design, give them personalized sayings or give them an item they can use at home. I gave my Mii Scylla a Wii U and my main Mii, Jason, a 3DS XL, but there are tons of other items.
It’s also possible to receive items via StreetPass and SpotPass. Nintendo will be releasing items via SpotPass, which will show up in the Import shop on the island. Clothing items from those you may meet on StreetPass will also arrive at the shop for you to buy. Answering a few questions will set up your customized bit of clothing that you will be sharing with the world.
And sharing is just part of the fun of Tomodochi Life.
You can also share your Miis with friends. You can either send your Mii to a friend’s island via local play (it’s a one way trip, so be careful) or you can create a QR code of any of your Miis that your friend can scan into their own island.
As you unlock the various locations within the island, you will start to see your Miis relaxing and hanging out at them. You may see one walking along the beach or taking in the sights at the observation tower. They may even start out hanging out in pairs or groups, and some of the locations have timed events. The Miis can get together for a rap battle, barbecue or other social events. You can even buy special items at a pop-up farmer’s market or vendor’s table.
There is a lot to do and see, and that doesn’t even scratch the surface into helping your Mii’s fulfill their needs, helping them in their relationships and playing a bunch of mini-games with them. And when you win or complete these different ‘quests’ you are rewarded with items. Try giving the various items to different Miis and see what actions, events or items you can unlock. You will be able to see what your Mii’s want or need help with from their windows. Green means that they want your attention to play a game, the black bubble means that they need help and the orange face means that they are in need of some friend advice.
The one thing that is surprisingly lacking in the game is support for play coins, which are the currency that a lot of 3DS games make use of from the 3DS menu. Spending some of these coins for special items would have been cool.
Overall Tomodochi Life is everything I had hoped it would be way back when it was first announced in Japan last year and I am thrilled that it made its way to North America. It is certainly a place I want to visit every day.