Tomodachi Life Review

Live Your Best Second Life with Nintendo's Quirky Life Sim

Tomodachi Life's zany Miis assemble. Nintendo

Tomodachi Life is, without a doubt, one of the strangest games to ever grace the Nintendo 3DS. This quirky life-sim is full of scenarios that will make your head spin, like going on a beachside walk with Christina Aguilera or Shaquille O'Neal or singing in a metal band with your best friends. Pretty much anything can happen -- even things you aren't expecting.

I was hooked from the very beginning, as Tomodachi Life was definitely a game I could get used to. I knew I was into some very crazy gameplay as I began the game proper and promptly set to creating my Mii, which would happen to remain my avatar in Tomodachi Life. The peaceful-looking apartment complex I would soon move into belied the off-the-wall charm and happenings of the rest of my humble little island, which I had named myself.

I made some necessary physical adjustments and altered my Mii's eye color, height, build, and hair, and then went onto the important stuff: giving my Mii a voice and personality. You can alter your Mii's voice by starting with a default timbre, or you can go wild and use the sliders to assign a voice that makes sense for your digital representation or whichever wacky character you've decided to create.

When all the vanity choices have been decided, you have a set of sliders to adjust to give your character a personality, mixing up how direct your Mii's conversation style is, how quirky they are, how friendly they are, and other various subsets of personality that will become integral to the interaction between island inhabitants. Tomodachi Life serves up a lot of multi-faceted gameplay quirks and sets you up for success in this way, so it's 

Completing favors for your Mii yields experience and items as they level up, as well as the ability to learn new catchphrases and poses. This is your key to discovering what each individual Mii likes and enjoys, and that's right at the heart of Tomodachi Life. You'll want to take care of all the Miis you bring on board, mainly to watch them grow and evolve, as they enter relationships with each other, fall in love, get married, and sometimes bring children into the fold.

There are several places on the island that you'll want to explore, but the main draw, like with the eerily similar Animal Crossing, is checking in on your Miis periodically when you have about 30 minutes or so to see what all they're up to. I truly mean it when I say you can't possibly predict what kinds of situations you'll find your diminutive little island-dwellers in -- and that's what makes it so darn fun. It’s not the kind of game you play for hours and hours, but one that you soak in little by little. It grows on you over time, to where eventually you’re so enamored with your little Miis that you couldn’t imagine life without checking on them for at least fifteen minutes a day.

Tomodachi Life is indeed one of the quirkiest, silliest life simulators I've ever had the pleasure of playing, and if you've got a hankering for the kind of craziness that only Nintendo of Japan can provide, you owe it to yourself to run, not walk, to the store and pick up a copy.