North American box art
|Distribution||Nintendo 3DS Game Card|
Tomodachi Life, known in Japan as Tomodachi Collection: New Life (トモダチコレクション 新生活 Tomodachi Korekushon: Shin Seikatsu?), is a life simulation handheld video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS. The game, which is a direct sequel to the Japan-exclusive Nintendo DS title, Tomodachi Collection, was released on April 18, 2013 in Japan, June 6, 2014 in North America and Europe, and June 7, 2014 in Australia. The game was the best-selling game in Japan during the week of its release, selling about 404,858 units. As of March 31, 2014, its sales total 1.85 million. Along with good sales records, the game received positive reviews. Many reviewers praised the gameplay but criticized the minigames.
The game takes place on an island inhabited by various Miis, which the player can import from their 3DS or 2DS or other devices, or QR codes, or create from scratch using the 3DS' camera or the in-game creation tools. These Miis can be given their own voice, which is spoken in vocal synthesizer software, and a unique personality based on slider inputs given. Miis can then perform various actions, such as eating, trying on different outfits, falling in love with someone, and doing many leisurely activities. As more Miis are introduced, many strange and curious interactions can occur between Miis, such as friendship, rivalry, relationships, families. As the game goes by, you unlock more and more stores, clothes, food.
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In May 2014, a playable demo of the game was distributed to Platinum members of Club Nintendo in North America, the data of which could be transferred to the final version and unlock a bonus in-game item. The game will be bundled with two Nintendo eShop download codes for a 'Welcome version' demo, which can be given to friends.
Following the game's announcement for a Western release, controversy arose concerning how it is not possible to have same-sex relationships in-game. Nintendo stated, "The ability for same-sex relationships to occur in the game was not part of the original game that launched in Japan, and that game is made up of the same code that was used to localise it for other regions outside of Japan.”  In May 2013, it was widely reported by the Western games media that a bug in the original Japanese version of Tomodachi Collection: New Life, which would allow users to have same-sex relationships, was patched by Nintendo. This was refuted by Nintendo in a statement made April 2014, explaining that same-sex relationships were never possible, and that the patch in fact fixed a different issue. Despite various campaigns from users, Nintendo stated that it would not be possible to add same-sex relationships to the game, as they "never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of" the game, and because it would require significant development alterations which would not be able to be released as a post-game patch. The company later apologized and stated that, if they were to create another entry in the Tomodachi series, they would "strive to design a gameplay experience from the ground up that is more inclusive, and better represents all players."
Tomodachi Life has received positive reviews. It holds an average of 75% and 71/100 on review aggregate sites GameRankings and Metacritic, respectively. IGN gave the game a score of 8.4, calling it "a surprisingly funny and rewarding experience." Polygon gave Tomodachi Life a 7.5 out of 10, praising its likeability despite certain aspects being repetitive. GamesRadar gave the game 4 out of 5 stars, praising its weird humor and relaxing gameplay, whilst criticising the minigames for being too simple. GameTrailers gave the game a score of 6.0, stating "the pervasive sense of quirkiness in Tomodachi Life works, but can’t sustain the entire game." The game has received criticism in the Western regions for not enabling relationships between Mii characters of the same sex; Nintendo of America later responded that the game was localized without compromising the title's core programming as developed and released in Japan a year ago, but that the option may be considered for future titles in the series.
Appearances in other games
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- "Nintendo resists #Miiquality campaign to let Tomodachi Life gamers play gay". Guardian News. Associated Press. May 7, 2014.
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- "Nintendo Apologizes For Not Putting Gay Marriage In Tomodachi Life". Kotaku. Kotaku. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
- Otero, Jose (June 6, 2014). "Tomodachi Life Review". IGN. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
- McElroy, Griffin (June 6, 2014). "Tomodachi Life review: semi charmed". Polygon. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
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- http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/video-games/nintendo-apologizes-omitting-gay-marriage-tomodachi-life-n101861. Missing or empty
- http://kotaku.com/nintendo-apologizes-for-not-putting-gay-marriage-in-tom-1574185262. Missing or empty
- "Tomodachi Collection: New Life stage". IGN. March 14, 2014. Retrieved March 30, 2014.