Tomodachi Life[a] is a social simulation video game developed by Nintendo SPD and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS. The game, a sequel to the Japan-exclusive Nintendo DS title Tomodachi Collection, was released in Japan in April 2013, June 2014 worldwide, and July 2014 in South Korea. The game received generally positive reviews and good sales records. Many reviewers praised the gameplay but criticized the minigames.
The game begins with the player naming their island and creating or importing their personal Mii, who is referred to as the player's "look-alike" and lives in an apartment building. Once giving the player's "look-alike" food to eat, they will ask for a friend. After creating another Mii for them, a short video will play set in the future showing the "look-alike"'s possible future spouse and baby, whose faces are hidden. Afterward, the Town Hall will open, giving access to create more Miis.
The Miis are voiced by a Nuance-based text-to-speech software and can have unique personalities. Miis can perform various actions, such as eating, trying on different outfits, and engaging in many leisure activities. As more Miis are added to the island, many strange and curious interactions can occur between them, such as friendship, romance, conflicts, and even social events. As the game goes by, the player unlocks more locations, clothes, food, and other things for the Miis to interact with.
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 to unlock a bonus in-game item. The game is bundled with two Nintendo eShop download codes for a 'Welcome version' demo, which can be given to friends. A slightly different demo version was later publicly released for download via the Nintendo eShop, which does not unlock any features in the full game.
Following the announcement of a worldwide release, controversy arose concerning the impossibility of same-sex relationships. 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 Japan." In May 2013, it was widely reported that a bug in the original Japanese version of the game, which enabled 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 a third game in the series they would "strive to design a gameplay experience from the ground up that is more inclusive, and better represents all players." However, in a 2014 article by CNET, the writer discovered a solution to make same-sex relationships. The writer explains that by creating a Mii to have a masculine appearance, but assigning the gender as female, the Mii will be attracted to male Miis, and vice-versa, however pronouns will not match.
|Nintendo World Report||9/10|
Tomodachi Life has received positive reviews. It holds an average of 72% 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 for not enabling relationships between Mii characters of the same sex; Nintendo of America (NoA) later apologized for failing to include same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life, stating that it wasn't possible for NoA to change the game's design, or for Nintendo to change this aspect in a post-ship patch. It also noted that "if we create a next installment in the Tomodachi series, we will strive to design a game-play experience from the ground up that is more inclusive, and better represents all players."
Tomodachi Life was the best seller in the Japanese video game market during the week of its release, selling about 404,858 units. By September 2014, its global sales reached 3.12 million units. As of March 31, 2021[update], Nintendo has sold 6.66 million units of the game worldwide, which made it once the top 10 best selling games on the 3DS.
A stage based on Tomodachi Life appears in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Miitomo, a social networking mobile app for iOS and Android devices, was released in March 2016. The app was created by the same core team who developed Tomodachi Life, and features very similar ideas. Miitomo was shut down by Nintendo on May 9, 2018. In 2016, a similar game involving Miis, Miitopia, was released in Japan. It was released worldwide the following year. In a Nintendo Direct on February 17, 2021 it was announced that on May 21, 2021, an enhanced port of Miitopia would be released on the Nintendo Switch.
- Animal Crossing, a series of games published by Nintendo that features some similar aspects of Tomodachi Life
- "Club Nintendo Distributing Tomodachi Life Demo Codes to Select Platinum Members - 3DS News @ Nintendo Life". Nintendolife.com. 19 May 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
- MacDonald, Keza (May 21, 2014). "Tomodachi Life Comes With 2 Free Demos to Give to Friends". Kotaku UK. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
- "Nintendo resists #Miiquality campaign to let Tomodachi Life gamers play gayk=Guardian News". Associated Press. May 7, 2014.
- Ashcraft, Brian (May 8, 2013). "Rumor: Bug Makes Gay Marriage Possible in Nintendo Game [Update]". Kotaku.com. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
- Parfitt, Ben (April 10, 2014). "VIDEO: Nintendo to give Tomodachi Life a shot in the West | Games industry news | MCV". MCV. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
- lang, Derrik (May 7, 2014). "Nintendo Says No to Virtual Equality in Life Game". Abcnews.go.com. Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
- "We are committed to fun and entertainment for everyone - Nintendo Official Site". Nintendo.com. May 9, 2014. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
- Starr, Michelle. "How to have same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life". CNET. Retrieved 2020-11-25.
- "Tomodachi Life for 3DS". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on December 5, 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- "Tomodachi Life for 3DS Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
- Darren Nakamura (June 6, 2014). "Review: Tomodachi Life". Destructoid. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
- "Tomodachi Life review". Edge Online. June 6, 2020. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
- Eric L. Patterson (June 6, 2014). "EGM Review: Tomodachi Life". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Archived from the original on June 8, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
- Martin Robinson (June 6, 2014). "Tomodachi Life review A life less ordinary". Eurogamer. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
- Jeff Cork (June 6, 2014). "Tomodachi Life Little Nintendo People". Game Informer. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
- DANIEL BISCHOFF (June 7, 2014). "Tomodachi Life Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
- Mark Walton (June 6, 2020). "Tomodachi Life Review". GameSpot. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
- Gilbert, Herbert (June 6, 2014). "Tomodachi Life review". GamesRadar. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
- "Tomodachi Life". GamesTM. No. 149. Future Publishing. June 2014. p. 121.
- Moore, ben (June 6, 2014). "Tomodachi Life - Review". GameTrailers. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
- Otero, Jose (June 6, 2014). "Tomodachi Life Review". IGN. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
- Danny Cowan (June 6, 2020). "Tomodachi Life review: The surreal world". Joystiq. Archived from the original on June 8, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
- Damien McFerran (June 5, 2014). "Tomodachi Life Review (3DS)". Nintendo Life. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
- Zachary Miller (June 6, 2014). "Tomodachi Life Review". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
- "Tomodachi Life". Official Nintendo Magazine. No. 110. Future Publishing. August 2014. p. 68.
- Peter Willington (June 6, 2020). "Tomodachi Life". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
- McElroy, Griffin (June 6, 2014). "Tomodachi Life review: semi charmed". Polygon. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- Jeremy Parish (June 6, 2014). "Tomodachi Life 3DS Review: Conversation Piece". USgamer. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
- "Nintendo Apologizes For Not Putting Gay Marriage In Tomodachi Life". Kotaku. Kotaku. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
- "Nintendo Apologizes For Omitting Gay Marriage From 'Tomodachi Life'". NBC News.
- Jason Schreier. "Nintendo Apologizes For Not Putting Gay Marriage In Tomodachi Life". Kotaku. Gawker Media.
- "This Week in Sales: Tomodachi Collection Sees Big Launch Sales". Siliconera. April 24, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
- "Supplementary Information about Earnings Release" (PDF). Nintendo. October 30, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
- "Top Selling Title Sales Units - Nintendo 3DS Software". Nintendo. June 1, 2021. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
- "Tomodachi Collection: New Life stage". IGN. March 14, 2014. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
- Byford, Sam (2018-01-24). "Nintendo is shutting down Miitomo". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-11-25.
- Otero, Jose. "5 Things We Learned About Miitomo and Nintendo's Digital Future". IGN. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
- LeBlanc, Wesley (February 17, 2021). "Miitopia Announced for Nintendo Switch". IGN. Retrieved February 17, 2021.