Tomodachi Life Review Roundup

You already know it's a weird game, but is it one worth playing?

Yeah, it gets weird.

More than a year after its launch in Japan, Nintendo's quirky new 3DS life simulation, Tomodachi Life, is now available at retail and on the eShop. There were some questions before launch about whether the game deserved to be positioned as a regularly priced game--it sells for $35--and with its release today, we now have a number of reviews to provide some sense of what to expect.

Tomodachi Life made headlines recently due to its lack of same-sex relationships. Confusion over a patch for the Japanese version led some to believe Nintendo had deliberately removed the presence of gay marriage, but the company claimed that was not the case. A petition to have Nintendo add the option for the Western release of the game started up, and even comedian John Oliver chimed in on the subject. After Nintendo released a widely-criticized comment on the situation, it corrected itself by committing to "strive to design a gameplay experience from the ground up that is more inclusive, and better represents all players" if it develops a sequel.

Over on GameSpot sister site Metacritic, Tomodachi currently sits with an average review score of 71. Check out the reviews we've collected below and feel free to share your QR codes--allowing you to bring other people's Miis into your game--in the comments.

Destructoid -- 9/10

"In all, Tomodachi Life is filled with pure, unbridled joy. It puts a stupid grin on my face and keeps it there through its duration. Some might complain that it is 'not a game,' but they can go on hating. It does require the player to put in some love, flair, and wit, but what comes out is magic." [Full review]

Edge -- 7/10

"Given Nintendo is considerate enough to publish an annual report discussing how its practices could effect positive societal change, it's doubly disappointing that Tomodachi Life promotes a lifestyle that will exclude many, with some features gated off until two characters get married and have a child. Otherwise, this is a delightfully strange and often surprising piece of work; it's more plaything than game, perhaps, but the smiles it generates will be broad and frequent." [Full review]

GameSpot -- 7/10

"What you're left with is a sophisticated Tamagotchi, and a repetitive cycle of feeding, nursing, and entertaining that is hardly the most absorbing of pastimes. A much deeper system of development for Miis would have gone a long way towards keeping things interesting. That said, there are so many hilarious and curiously bizarre moments to be found along the way that even if the journey to fully fledged family life is a short one before the repetition sets in, it's well worth the trip." [Full review]

Eurogamer -- 5/10

"Tomodachi Life is a simple, throwaway toy, then - one with plenty of cute tricks, but not quite enough of them to stop you from tossing it aside after a handful of hours. There's no shame in that, of course - especially from a company that's excelled in novelty ever since Gunpei Yokoi's Love Tester, a device obliquely referenced in the metrics that measure the compatibility and chemistry between each of your islanders. Yet despite its exuberance and eccentricity, it's hard to recommend a life simulator with no real sense of simulation, and very little in the way of life." [Full review]

IGN -- 8.4/10

"Tomodachi Life offers a great kind of humor: it's just fun to laugh at yourself and your friends in absurd situations. Nintendo gets a lot out of mileage out of this Sims-like concept, but still manages to find ways to make it simple, accessible, and entertaining. The stiff, robotic voices could use improvement, but the effect of hearing the Miis speak is still novel in its own way. The easy-breezy pace makes it ideal for short bursts of play, and it leaves me eager to check in on my town early and often." [Full review]

Joystiq -- 3.5/5

"I don't regret the time I spent in Tomodachi Life's strange alternate universe, but like Animal Crossing, the experience loses its luster once you've seen the bulk of what it has to offer. Tomodachi Life wore out its welcome for me quicker than any Animal Crossing game ever did, due to its comparative lack of structure and progression, and its brilliant spark of creativity fades much more quickly than you'd like." [Full review]

USGamer-- 4/5

"[T]hat's basically the appeal of the game in a nutshell: The ability to create stunningly faithful cartoon renditions of everyone you know and love, then set them free to be weird. To let them have odd conversations and pursue impossible romantic relationships. There's a certain therapeutic value to the game as well — a chance to woo your secret crush, or torment the avatar of someone you hate. Like so many of Nintendo's casual titles, it's the kind of game you don't play in marathon sessions but rather return to regularly for little sessions to lord over a tiny world and watch it spin into hilarious chaos. And it's the kind of game that makes you want to return for those little sessions for a long, long time to come." [Full review]

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Twitter/Xbox Live/PSN/Nintendo Network: TheSmokingManX

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28 comments
PosiTVEMinD355
PosiTVEMinD355

 Having a blast with it so far.  It's weird in a good way.

remoticons
remoticons

oh come on, the game cant be this good, reviewers really make themselves look bad any chance they get

iamvinci89
iamvinci89

Thought it would be more like animal crossing. But you will run out of things to do pretty fast. And there is only so many times you can laugh at monotoned dialogues. Wish there was a refund system like on play store. Quite disappointing. I wonder why there wasn't a demo like some of the newer games?

hystavito
hystavito

It's sitting in my house right now, haven't played it yet, but a lot of what is here has me a little disappointed.  I was hoping for something a little more deep, or maybe a better way to say it is just plain more stuff to do.  Sounds like it's more of a simple game mostly based on the fun of making Miis of your friends and seeing what they do.  Since I'm a grown man, that doesn't sound so great for me :).

VegasAceVII
VegasAceVII

Sounds like another fun one for 3DS :)

benleslie5
benleslie5 moderator

Seems about right on review scores, a lot of people I know in StreetPass Groups are loving this game

tomservo51
tomservo51

Does this game really warrant a Review Roundup?

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

@tomservo51 Yeah it does! After all the hype from the LGBT community people want to know what they're getting. I mean its no Captain Rainbow but still.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@oddjob117 @Thanatos2k @remoticons Reviewers not agreeing with what remoticons thinks? HAHAHAHA, no way, because that would mean that they are unique individuals with their own opinions.

charliezard
charliezard

@freedomzealot I agree with a few points you make, but this is just blatantly untrue, and I hope that you don't actually believe this.

I find it shocking how many Americans actually think that their culture is so dominant that it would completely replace that of such a drastically different nation simply because we rewrote their constitution. 

Have there been influences? Definitely. But you would be surprised by how little many Japanese know about America.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@freedomzealot 

How so?

Perhaps you have not noticed that there are quite some amount of Japanese culture creeping into the USA itself, namely their anime and manga.

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

@xXl_z3r0_lXx @bunchanumbers @tomservo51 It was hype. They brought up this game that no one would have heard of otherwise. Its why this game is getting a review roundup. Its why Nintendo ended up in news sites and places they otherwise wouldn't be. It was pure hype for this game and for Nintendo. 

charliezard
charliezard

@xXl_z3r0_lXx @bunchanumbers @tomservo51 This is a point that is commonly made, but I don't think it's fair. The American LGBT community was only fighting for the opportunity for same-sex relationships in the American version of the game, as far as I know. 

It's not as if they were petitioning to go and steal copies of the game from little Japanese children and send them a revised version with same-sex options.

To be honest, what they were requesting would not have required much work, and they certainly weren't trying to force anything on anyone.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@freedomzealot 

You have spoken like a typical prideful nationalist.

You can say all that, but it won't stop games like Tomodachi Life going to where you don't like.

I would love to see your face when someone tries to show you how "fun" this game is.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@freedomzealot

Cringe some more then. You are going to see a lot more of these games around, more than you could ever ignore.