‘Tomodachi Life’ Retro Review: One Of The Best For 3DS

In the mood to play Animal Crossing but tired of playing Animal Crossing? Are the Sims just too chaotic for your standards? Well, Nintendo isn’t going to release the newest Animal Crossing game or the Animal Crossing app anytime soon. Instead, realize that Nintendo decided to solve all of your problems with the 2013 3DS game Tomodachi Life. Or, at least, this game solves the previously mentioned problem. If you’re having thyroid problems I’m sorry to tell you this but the game will not, in fact, fix that.

Tomodachi Life, one of the best games for the 3DS, applies data from the Mii Maker to import Miis, little avatars that you could make ever since the Nintendo Wii came out. You can also make Miis from scratch for around an hour or so, constantly wondering if you got those eyebrows “just right.” Do not do this. The eyebrows will never be “just right.” You will live in a fool’s paradise and you will like it. Of course, seeing as how you can transfer your friends’ Miis from Streetpass into Mii Maker, most of the beginning of the game will be you deciding who your best friends truly are and how to transfer them to the game without losing your mind like I did. Finally, you decide what voice and traits this character will have that will ultimately decide its personality, which can be altered at any time.

“Is movement really a defining characteristic of the human psyche,” you ask. Good question. Ask me and the 12 steps I’ve taken today.

Character creation aside, the game focuses on a fantasy island where you and your friends are the inhabitants, slowly making friends with one another at a slow, life-like pace. You might have noticed that this game’s title sounds like Tamogachi as well. This is where I tell you that there is and is not a connection. There is and is not a connection (there, I said it).

In the demo version of this game, when I was slightly interested in this game and it did not yet take over my life, the game goes out of its way to explain that Tomodachi means “friend” in Japanese. The game is literally titled “Friend Life.” If you aren’t yet getting the notion that this is a real-life simulation game just like the Sims or Animal Crossing, then I’m sorry to say but there’s a strong possibility that your problem I mentioned before might not be a thyroid problem.

The basic premise of the game is to go to your Miis, solve their problems, feed them, and, thank god, not clean up their poo. As you solve problems and give presents you make the Miis happy, by making them happy you somehow get money, and the money is used to buy items for your characters; rinse, lather, repeat. Each time their happiness levels up you can give them free stuff that makes them interact differently with other characters. There is a bunch of extra content that I shouldn’t mention because it would spoil the surprises.

But I will: musical performances with customizable lyrics, rap battles, crazy dreams, minigames, more customization, and literally throwing your Mii into a wall. The music fits every situation, the Miis are programmed to talk to you in a way that is beyond my understanding and expectations of advanced programming, and the scenarios and interactions with other characters are ridiculous in a way that grabs your attention. Unfortunately, the slow pace somewhat takes away from the whole experience, but hey, that’s life, and it’s honestly my only complaint.

The most interesting aspect of Tomodachi Life is to get Miis of your friends to fall in love, get married, and make children. Interesting as in, at first, you simply pair up people who are romantically involved in real life. That’s until your mom hits on your best friend and you don’t know how to handle it, so you put your dad in. He proceeds to fall in love with your other friend and you just keep telling your parents no, but they won’t make friends with each other and you can’t get rid of them so they just continuously get sad and it makes you depressed in the process. But it doesn’t end there. Something grows inside of you. Some kind of sick curiosity, the same kind of curiosity you get when rubbernecking a car accident; you know it won’t be a happy experience but your desperate need to know overrides anything else. You begin to stop saying no. By the time it’s begun it can’t be stopped and you’re forced to look at what you’ve done. Your grandpa is in an intimate relationship with your dog. Friends who hate each other are now married with 5 kids with no stable job in this crumbling economy. You have dated every girl you know and have broken each and every one of their hearts for the 5th time just to see how it would go. You can’t show this game to anyone now. You can’t show the world what you’ve become. You’ve created a monster, and he’s right in the mirror, waiting for you every morning and every night until the day you die.

It’s essentially just like that episode of Adventure Time. You know the one. Where Finn plays with a bunch of dolls that act like people he knows for his sick amusement? This one right here.

Should you get Tomodachi Life? If you’re itching for wacky, lighthearted and non-violent fun safe for any age, this is the game for you. A chump like me who paid the full 40 bucks for the downloadable version should be reprimanded, try and get it for $20. Enjoy life, make friends, and, for god’s sake, get your thyroid checked out.

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