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Game Reviewed: Tomodachi Life
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
ESRB Rating: E
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What if you could put your best friends, favorite fictional characters, and most adored celebrities on and island and just see what happened? Well, Tomodachi Life lets you answer that question in the most ridiculous ways imaginable.
The game centers around your ability to make a Mii (avatars you can design to look however you want), then put them in the game, designing their personality and a digital voice so they can interact with all the other Miis on your island. Their personalities and interests define how they act, and the results lead to some rather ridiculous combinations.
For instance, you know Admiral Ackbar? The alien that yells, “It’s a trap!” in Return of the Jedi? I streetpassed with someone who made a Mii to look like him once, so I added him to my island. Over the course of the game he won a rap battle against my wife, started dating my mother, and performed an opera (to which I wrote the lyrics) about how frustrated he is about the fact that “It’s a trap!” I, of course, shared all these ridiculous moments to Facebook, which the game is made to easily allow.
…if you’re not already buying this game after hearing that description, it might not be for you. It’s some of the most ridiculous fun I’ve had in a while. And best of all, there’s not much to make you hesitate to get it for your kids.
What Parents Need to Know
Everything is mild and cartoony. If characters aren’t getting along, they might throw stuff at each other. There’s a minigame fashioned after classic RPGs, with turn-based battles in which you fight off various food items. There’s just nothing offensive about what little violence there is here.
Nothing. I even tested the ability to make characters say offensive words, and the game is VERY thorough in making sure nothing that sounds like bad language can be said.
Characters can date, marry, and have children. No sexuality is even implied.
Nothing of note. There’s plenty of weirdness, like strange dreams characters can have, but there’s nothing blatantly spiritual.
The one thing I really took issue with is that the game does technically include divorce. That specific term is never used, but when my Mii and my wife’s broke up after being married, it did list our relationship as “ex-spouse.” I honestly have no idea why anyone thought this was a good idea, as it’s really just frustrating and depressing, but it’s there.
A Child’s Perspective: If your kid doesn’t laugh at some of the shenanigans these characters get up to, I don’t even know how kids work anymore.
Tomodachi Life is just plain fun. It’s little else, but its dedication to wacky scenarios with people you know is just too entertaining to pass up. The ability to share your exploits to Facebook adds to the fun, since you can share the ridiculous situations with your friends and family (especially when it includes them).
The only issue I take with it is the presence of divorce, but that’s not a common enough thing to ruin the game, and the way it’s handled will probably make it fly over the heads of most children.
All in all, it’s just so much fun I have to recommend it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to make a new island with the entire cast of Game of Thrones. Just to see what happens. And I’m giving Joffrey a whiny, pathetic little voice.