Part Sims, part Animal Crossing, Tomodachi Life is an odd and, at times, mixed experience. The entirety of the game takes place on an island beginning with an apartment complex. This is where your personal Mii moves in and the adventure begins from there. You can add tons of Miis and each of them will have their own issues and personalities that you will need to handle. For example, one might be hungry so you will need to go to the food store and pick something out for them. The more they end up liking the food, the more money you will receive which holds true for most of the tasks that are carried out and allows you to buy more items.
Tomodachi Life is not a free roaming type of game but a point and click. There are many different locations on the island that you will be able to visit including a clothing store, observation tower or, my personal favorite, interior store. Interiors can be applied to individual apartments and give the most personality out of all the items. There is a large amount of customization available here and that is one of the big draws of the game. For example I had Batman living in one of my apartments and all he did was complain. In return, I made him wear a dolphin t-shirt and ice cream hat to make sure he knew what he had done.
And overall that is by far the biggest draw of the game: the interaction between crazy Miis. When out of the blue Conan O’Brien wants to date Faith from Mirror’s Edge, that is pretty great. Or how about when Andrew Ryan from Bioshock is playing Wii U with Tony Hawk? Fun fact: did you know that Mr. Incredible, Cloud from Final Fantasy VII and Austin Powers are best friends? All of this is why the game is enjoyable. Couples (male and female only) can go on to have children as well and it truly is the evolution of these relationships that keep you coming back.
Unfortunately the game has its fair share of problems. After a while, the requests from the Miis become very repetitive. “I’m hungry. I want something new to wear.” The worst is when they want to play a game. None of the mini games here are particularly fun and take away from the relaxing ebb and flow to the proceedings. They get in the way more than they are enjoyable.
The voices of the Miis also become incredibly grating after playing for some time. All of the voices are computerized and robotic which you have the ability to change the pitch, tone, speed and other aspects of. But after playing for a dozen or so hours, I found myself listening to other things while playing which is a shame because the soundtrack is quirky and enjoyable. Also when the Miis are keeping themselves occupied and don’t have any problems, there really isn’t much to do in the game but come back later which avoids that feeling of always having something to do like in Animal Crossing.
However, while all of these problems cannot be overlooked, I found myself constantly checking in at points throughout the day. I wanted the Mii based on my real life girlfriend to fall in love with my Mii (which took quite awhile). I wanted to see the ridiculous Mii news casts and check the popularity charts on the island. Checking the compatibility percentage for two Miis with smooth jazz in the background was incredibly endearing. I guess what I am trying to say is that this game has some major issues, but there is definitely fun to be had here.