On June 6, Nintendo will release Tomodachi Life on its 3DS system. The game, which is set in an apartment building on an island, lets players create Mii avatars that represent themselves, as well as their closest friends and relatives, and to watch those characters behave and interact with each other.
Players check in on the Tomodachi Life characters on a regular basis, solving problems as they arise, which range from being hungry to sadness, to issues stemming from their love life. While players cannot control the decisions of the Miis, they can influence them.
Whenever the player makes a Mii character happy—for example, through purchasing them a gift from the in-game store—the player’s on-screen happiness level increases. They also receive in-game money that can be used to purchase more items for the Miis, and these items rotate on a daily basis.
According to a Nintendo representative, social media is a large part of the game’s appeal. Using a share tool, players can take screenshots of friends’ Mii avatars doing something funny–the game has a very quirky sense of humor–and then post them for those friends to see on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
Tomodachi Life is also highly customizable: Up to 16 personality types are possible, and the rooms in the apartment building are also customizable. The success of another community simulation game, Animal Crossing, convinced Nintendo to import Tomodachi Life from Japan, where it has sold 5 million copies to date. The process of localizing the game took more than a year.
Singer Christina Aguilera has signed on to be part of Nintendo’s promotional campaign for the game, with a Mii character available at launch. Aguilera’s Mii character will guest star in a TV commercial showing celebrities mingling with Miis. Additional celebrities involved with Tomodachi Life will be announced during the coming weeks.