Top Critic Average
Tomodachi Life is more toy than game, but it's an intriguing, colorful, and consistently surprising one.
Tomodachi Life has plenty of appealing zaniness and utilizes Nintendo's familiar Miis better than ever before, but the actual gameplay could use some more variety.
It is difficult to give Tomodachi Life a direct score, but the game does have the unique Nintendo look, feel and charm. The setup does take some time to progress, and it would require a little effort to truly benefit from the amusing and sometimes surreal moments between friends, family and random celebrities. Having dinner with Shigeru Miyamoto? It is possible. Going out on a romantic beach stroll with Beyoncé? Bit of a "maybe," but still within the realms of 'feasible' in Tomodachi Life. The concept is more of an experience than a game and, as such, is not for everyone - but it is certainly worth a go.
A life less ordinary.
You can look inside your characters' minds to see what they're thinking, or even more oddly what they're dreaming (normally involving ninjas and superheroics, obviously).
The fact that it's almost impossible to cover every aspect of Tomodachi Life in a single review is perhaps testament to the vast scope of the game. There is so much going on here and so many months of potential enjoyment on offer that this would easily become your most-played 3DS title. But again, that thorny issue remains — is this really a game in the strictest sense? It's closer to being an expanded version of Bandai's famous '90s craze the Tamagotchi, with your main duty being the happiness of your Mii population, rather than any skill-based challenges. In fact, there's precious little skill involved at all — given enough time, you'll be able to see everything this has to offer regardless of how "good" you are at it. Of course, that doesn't make the process any less entertaining or rewarding, but it's worth keeping in mind if you prefer your games to be a little more demanding.Despite concerns regarding its suitability for core gamers, Tomodachi Life is a title which has truly universal appeal; the barrier to entry which exists in many pieces of software — Animal Crossing: New Leaf included — is all but removed here, making this feel more like a casual mobile title. Some will see that as a negative, but under Nintendo's watchful eye, this cookie-cutter concept is expanded and improved almost beyond measure. Tomodachi Life is perhaps best described as the glorious culmination of the Mii concept that was heralded by the release of the Wii back in 2006, and at long last gives your virtual avatar a life of its own — as well as many humorous and entertaining escapades to enjoy.
Ridiculous, hilarious and full of the unique surrealism that Nintendo does so damn well, it's hard not to fall in love with Tomodachi Life and the characters you create. The sedate pace and minimal interaction might not be everyone's cup of tea, but this is guaranteed to be a cult hit. Worth experiencing at least once to see something genuinely funny and unusual, this is the kind of game that reminds you how imaginative Nintendo can be.
A bonkers life-sim with bags of personality and lots of charm, the entertaining Tomodachi Life is let down only by its limitations as a gaming experience.
Tomodachi Life is more a weird interactive soap than a game, but that doesn't make it any less compulsive. You might not be entranced by the simple, repetitive gameplay, but you'll become embroiled in your Mii's virtual lives, and you'll be surprised, baffled, boggled and bemused by the whole shebang. If you found The Sims or Animal Crossing dull then it's not for you – there's less to achieve and this is even less a game – but for everyone that hates Tomodachi Life there will be others who keep coming back for more.
Tomodachi Life brings the quirk in spades, but it's not long before the novelty wears off.