Tomodachi Life 3DS - Review

An Animal Crossing-meets-Sims crossover game has been requested for a while now, and whilst Tomodachi Life doesn't exactly match that criteria, it's probably the closest we'll ever get to having one, but what exactly is Tomodachi Life?

When I first heard of Tomodachi Life, I wasn't really interested at all, but as popularity within the western audience grew, and a localization of the popular Japanese 3DS game was announced, my interest for the game peaked and I became more curious about the game. I knew that the general gist of the game was that your Mii's would interact with other Mii's, but other than that, I was entirely clueless.

The game starts off by giving you your very own island, and prompts you to add your own Mii as an island resident, where you watch them live out their daily life. The game persuades you to keep adding more Mii's, which results in them interacting with each other, having them unlock more things on the island as the game progresses. The Mii's you add are totally up to you, they can be based on your friends, celebrities, TV characters, the possibilities are endless. Each Mii gets their own unique and customized voice, along with a personality. Certain personalities get along better, and certain personalities don't get along as well. The more personalities you have result in more drama on your island.

Over time, your Mii's will start to develop relationships with each other, whether it be on a friendly or romantic level. If your Mii's seem to be going well, they'll ask you if it's a good idea to ask another Mii out, and the two may begin dating depending on the outcome. If things keep going in a good light, they'll eventually get married, and live together as a married couple, even giving you the option to allow them to have a baby.

However, the features in Tomodachi life aren't just limited to relationships. Games, requests, music numbers, shopping and RPG-based games are just a few other things the game has to offer. If your Mii has a problem, you'll be given the opportunity to help fix it. It may be as simple as helping them sneeze, or as tedious as helping them out of their depressed state after being rejected by their crush. At first, these things are fun and enjoyable to do, but as you play the more you play the game, they get repetitive and feel more like a chore than an enjoyable gaming experience. Being able to produce songs seem to be the only reason I find myself helping out my Mii's, anything else I tend to avoid.

At first, I enjoyed playing the game, and found myself playing non-stop, but after a few days that play time died down to a mere 30 minutes, an hour on a good day. It's the little things that make the game feel boring. Whenever you enter a Mii's apartment complex, they'll either greet you with a "Hello" or inform you that you cured them of their hiccups. Whilst this is such a minor part of the game, it really does get annoying after a couple of days, making you wish there were a few more welcome phrases. Much like the mini-games, they're fun at first, but the more you play them, the more you don't want to play them. If the games were more varied and less frequent then they'd be much more enjoyable.

It's the small things that essentially make up the game, and I tend to find that the small things don't happen enough... Feeding your Mii's is an effective way to level them up, but it takes too long for them to get hungry. Similarly, phrases to say when feeling certain emotions are a nice touch, but I've found they're not requested enough, and most of my Mii's don't even have and emotional phrases apart from the catch phrase which can be taught by leveling up.

That said, the game still holds many unique elements of surprise. The game has so many crazy and unexpected possibilities, that it's strangely addictive. Watching your Mii's interact with each other, and especially interacting with people they wouldn't normally interact with is strangely satisfying. Even though the majority of the game is simply watching them live out their lives, it doesn't leave you feeling frustrated by lack of playable content.

After playing the game for two weeks straight, I'm always excited to start the game up and see what's going on, but once I start playing I simply find myself collecting donations and checking the stores. From there I'll usually spend some time helping out my islanders, and then stop playing once I feel satisfied with what I've done.

I guess the game was made to be played in short bursts over a long period, but myself as a gamer, I prefer having games I can play excessively for the first week or two, and then play the game at a casual pace for the next few months, which is probably why I enjoy games in the Animal Crossing and Monster Hunter series. I feel as though Tomodachi Life does show elements of this, because no matter how repetitive the game seems to be, I find my self loving it more and more each day. It's strange, the craziness of the game just makes it addictive, and stops it feeling tiring.

Of course, a game like this is impossible to rate. It's not made for everyone, and it definitely targeted towards a younger audience, but not meant to exclude adults. I definitely enjoy this game, but I wouldn't say its worth full retail value. If you're interested in picking up this game, I'd recommend waiting for it to go on sale instead of picking it up for full price. It's a great game, but for content, I'd rather wait for it to drop down to a cheaper price. Of course that's totally up to you, but if you have picked up the game, feel free to tell me your thoughts!


  1. I agree with you like 100%, and I think you did pretty good on the review itself too :)

  2. Ever since i've gotten the game i just can't stop checking back everyday for new food, clothes, hats and interiors. Oh and take care of my families and such I just can't stop playing it suddenly!

  3. I'm hoping to get this game and this review has been helpful. Thanks!

  4. I agree with you totally! I remember being addicted to the demo and buying it the same day I got the demo. But now I feel like I'm grinding for coins to be able to complete my catalog. I wish they would get hungry faster and oddly it bugs me that 1 item fills them up so much but I guess they wanted to make that part somewhat true to life (at least for me I get full easily but it isn't long before I want something else to eat again lol.) I wish there were more things to do in this game. I feel like it's actually a lot like ACNL but with less minigames. Sure they have matching and name that picture but it's not quite the same as say fishing... ah well. Lastly, I wish I could find more people to StreetPass with. It took me AGES before I got even one tag. And I've only tagged about 3-4 people so far so it'll be a long time before I can get all of the special export items. I haven't gotten any export food yet either. Ah well. Minor gripes I suppose as I still love the game... and one of my favorite things about this game is watching my real life friends' Mii characters interact... and seeing how similar they are to their real life counterparts. The personality system is great IMHO. And it doesn't take a long time to add a character unless you're going for spot-on caricatures.


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