Tomodachi Life

Last updated
Tomodachi Life
Packaging artwork used in North America
Developer(s) Nintendo SPD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Noriyuki Sato
Ryutaro Takahashi
Eisaku Nakae
Producer(s) Yoshio Sakamoto
Composer(s) Daisuke Matsuoka
Asuka Ito
Platform(s) Nintendo 3DS
  • JP: April 18, 2013
  • NA/EU: June 6, 2014
  • AU: June 7, 2014
Genre(s) Life simulation
Mode(s) Single-player

Tomodachi Life [lower-alpha 1] is a life simulation video game developed by Nintendo SPD 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 in Japan in April 2013, June 2014 worldwide, and July 2014 in South Korea. The game received mixed 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 named "Mii Apartments", which can hold up to 100 Miis in total. Once giving the player's "look-alike" one of the five foods to choose from the Food Mart, an in-game food market, they will ask for a friend. After creating another Mii for them, a short video set in the future showing the "look-alike"s possible future spouse and baby, whose faces are hidden, will be shown. Afterward, the Town Hall will open, giving access to create more Miis.

The player visits a married couple's house, where they can be seen playing with their baby. TomodachiLifeGameplayHusbandwifebaby.jpg
The player visits a married couple's house, where they can be seen playing with their baby.

The player can import Miis from the system's Mii Maker, other devices, and QR codes. The player can also create Miis by scratch or by using the 3DS camera. The Miis are voiced by a Nuance-based text-to-speech software and have unique personalities, both of which can be controlled. Miis can then perform various actions, such as eating, trying on different outfits, feeling affection for each other, 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 get-togethers and meetings. As the game goes by, the player unlocks more locations, clothes, food, and other things for the Miis to play with, visit and use. They can even unlock a port, where they can give and receive goods with other islands via StreetPass.


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. [1] The game is bundled with two Nintendo eShop download codes for a 'Welcome version' demo, which can be given to friends. [2] 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." [3] 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. [4] 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. [5] 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", [6] 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." [7] 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, though pronouns will not match. [8]


Tomodachi Life has received mixed reviews. It holds an average of 72% and 71/100 on review aggregate sites GameRankings and Metacritic, respectively. [9] [10] [29] IGN gave the game a score of 8.4, calling it "a surprisingly funny and rewarding experience." [21] Polygon gave Tomodachi Life a 7.5 out of 10, praising its likeability despite certain aspects being repetitive. [27] GamesRadar gave the game 4 out of 5 stars, praising its weird humor and relaxing gameplay, whilst criticising the minigames for being too simple. [18] 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." [20] 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." [30] [31]

Tomodachi Life was the best seller in the Japanese video game market during the week of its release, selling about 404,858 units. [32] By September 2014, its global sales reached 3.12 million units. [33] As of September 30,2020, Nintendo has sold 6.63 million units of the game worldwide, [34] 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 . [35] 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. [36] In 2016, a similar game involving Miis, Miitopia , was released in Japan. [37] 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. [38]


  1. Known in Japan as Tomodachi Collection: New Life (Japanese: トモダチコレクション 新生活, Hepburn: Tomodachi Korekushon: Shin Seikatsu)

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