I beat Bravely Default last week. I meant to write a full review, I really did.
But then I bought Tomodachi Life. And that’s pretty much all I have been doing since then.
What is Tomodachi Life? Well, back in April, Nintendo released this
very informative completely insane video announcing the game.
Basically, Nintendo thought to themselves, “You know what, we should make a Sims game!” And then Nintendo got really drunk and made Tomodachi Life instead.
I had been wanting the game for awhile, especially after playing the free demo. Then I received a $25 Fred Meyer gift card from work, and while I was at Fred Meyer, I found Tomodachi Life on sale for $25, so it was pretty clear to me that I was meant to own this game, so I bought it.
The set up is simple. You are the owner/deity of a small island, which you can populate with up to twenty-four Miis of your own design. These can be Miis you already have saved on your 3DS, Miis you create specifically for the game, or Miis you download into the game using QR codes. The inhabitants of your tiny island kingdom make requests of you and do ridiculous things, and you watch them, take pictures, and giggle. Repeat ad infinitum.
The first inhabitant of the island is meant to represent you, and is referred to by all of the other islanders as your “look-alike.” The other twenty-three inhabitants are left entirely up to your own imagination. Want to throw a bunch of virtual versions of your friends and family together? Go for it. Ever wanted to see how Beyonce, Wil Wheaton, and Bruce Wayne might get along together? Totally possible. Want to just make up a bunch of people entirely from scratch and see what strange relationships develop? Also an option.
In my case, the first three islanders I made were myself, my husband, and William Shakespeare. Because that’s just how I roll.
The creator lets you not only determine what they look like, but also what they sound like and act like using a simple, straightforward system of sliders.
I was both surprised and amused to discover how generally accurate this system is despite its simplicity. Most of my friends ended up with pretty spot-on personalities, as did my other celebrity guest.
Once you’ve created your cast of characters (you can always make more later!), you start caring for these weird little people living in your DS. They make their needs known by shooting up little graphics in their apartment windows.
Maybe they are hungry for Italian food! Maybe they would like to dye their hair! Maybe they would like a breezy new outfit! Maybe they are madly in love with one another! Maybe they would like to play a dorky mini-game with you! It’s your job to sort out their requests as best you can.
Succeed, and your Miis reward you with cash and random stuff. Fail, and…nothing. There aren’t really any penalties for failure. Sometimes the Miis get sad, but then you can just give them baths and play games with them until they feel better.
My favorite feature of the game is your ability to take a photograph of literally anything that is happening on the top screen of your 3DS. The pics are automatically saved to your SD Card. There’s even an in-game application that allows you to use the 3DS internet browser to share the pictures via Twitter or Facebook. Theoretically, this service also extends to Tumblr, but that part doesn’t seem to be working yet.
This feature has allowed me to inundate my Facebook feed with hilarious and bizarre images of in-game versions of my friends doing hilarious and bizarre things.
Many of the later additions to the island are friends who saw these pictures on my Facebook feed, were SUPER JEALOUS, and asked to be included in this madness.
Let me tell you, a game like this is an introvert’s dream come true. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends to bits, but sometimes actually hanging out with, you know, actual people can be very stressful for me. With Tomodachi Life, I can hang out with my friends and feel like I am helping them out with their problems without the stress of dealing with real people!
(The above paragraph was only partly a joke.)
Seriously, Nintendo did an awesome job with this game. Including painless, in-game social media integration was a stroke of genius. Every image I share is just free advertising for them.
So thanks, Nintendo! Keep getting super drunk and making really weird shit. I love it when you do that.
In parting, here’s a picture of Doctor Who and William Shakespeare singing opera together.