The Tomodachi series is a series of life-simulation games released for Nintendo handheld systems as of 2009. The series is well-known for featuring Miis, digital avatars created from the Wii, 3DS, or Wii U to represent the player or famous icons, such as celebrities. As such, each game allows the player to import their own Miis for use in all Tomodachi games, configuring their personality, voice, and other features in the import process.
During 2008, Nintendo's SPD division decided to develop a feminine based RPG known as Fortune Telling Notebook for Adult Women. The game was targeted at female gamers and would only feature females as the main characters. Eventually, the focus shifted more to life simulation, and thus Tomodachi was born.
The series has been produced by Yoshio Sakamoto, best known for his work on games such as the Metroid series.
Tomodachi is a life-simulation series of games that focuses on Miis, or digital avatars, living all together on an island in the middle of a distant ocean. Each game makes use of the DS/3DS' built-in clock, using a "real-time" schedule likened to that of the Animal Crossing series. Miis can be given a personality and a voice, and can interact with other Miis on the island.
In-game, the player can interact with Miis and give them items, such as food, clothing, interiors, or even play mini-games with them. If the player gives them an item they like, their happiness will raise, and will level up when it reaches a certain amount. When a Mii levels up, the player is allowed to give a Mii a special item, such as a song, that the Mii can use. If a Mii is given a song, the player can have them sing a certain genre with lyrics the player can decide. In Tomodachi Life onward, two or more Miis that know the same genre can sing as a group, based on player input. When it is around Night, Miis will go to sleep for the night, and sometimes will dreams, leading to a mini-game the player can interact with.
If enough time passes, a Mii will have a problem the player must solve for them. Most problems are of them wanting a food, article of clothing, or interior, but some can involve interacting with other Miis, such as becoming friends with them, or helping them out of a fight.
If a Mii has strong bonds with someone of the opposite gender, they may gain feelings for that person and want to Confess their feelings for the other Mii. If the friend says yes, they will become the Mii's sweetheart, and will eventually lead to a proposal with the sweetheart. If the proposal is successful, the two will be married.
At certain times of the day, events can be held featuring the imported Miis. These events take place at public areas, such as the fountain, the park, and the cafe. Various events are recurring throughout the series, such as Quirky Questions and donations, which can be done at any time of the day. The majority of events appear as interactive mini-games, although several events are more for spectating purposes.
During 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM, Mii News will be launched, showing a random Mii broadcasting a news report about events taking place on the island, usually in a humorous fashion, before interviewing two other random Miis about their thoughts on the events.
The Tomodachi series is unique in that it features no pre-established characters. Instead, it features Miis the player creates on their own accord, including their own appearance, personality, and voice.
The Tomodachi series has become a widely successful series, and is often recognized as the most prominent series to feature Miis.
Original Release: June 18th, 2009 (JP)
|Tomodachi Collection is the first game in the Tomodachi series, released for the Nintendo DS exclusively in Japan in 2009.
The game is notable for setting the standard for all other Tomodachi games, such as Mii Apartments, levels, and events. It also establishes the idea of Miis interacting with one another, becoming friends or even sweethearts.
Original Release: April 18, 2013 (JP)
|Tomodachi Life is the second entry in the Tomodachi series, released for the 3DS in 2014. Life is notable for being the first Tomodachi game to be released outside of Japan, due to failure to localize Collection in 2009.
The game is also known for adding new content that is well known in the Tomodachi franchise, such as hats, new interiors and clothing, and events such as Rap Battle and Tomodachi Quest. It is also the first game to allow married couples to have babies, which, upon growing up, can be sent off as a traveler or a resident of the island.
Original Release: March 17, 2016 (JP)
|Miitomo is a spin-off to the main Tomodachi series. Miitomo was released for mobile devices in 2016 and ended its service in May 9, 2018.
In contrast to the numerous features in other Tomodachi games, Miitomo scales the gameplay down significantly, focusing only on the player's Mii and its interactions with other players. The player's Mii can be customized to fit the player, and can also be posted on various images and social networks, making it more of a social app than a regular game.
Original Release: December 8, 2016 (JP)
|Miitopia is another spin-off to the Tomodachi series, released for the 3DS in Japan in 2016. In contrast to the life-simulation genre that Tomodachi focuses itself on, Miitopia is an RPG with references to the main games, including the ability to import islanders directly from Tomodachi Life.
In the game, the player takes control of their personal Mii as a traveler, recruiting other Miis the player imports in various classes. Their task is to stop an evil Dark Lord, who is stealing the faces of everyone in the titular land of Miitopia. This game can be likened to that of Tomodachi Quest, an event that appears in Tomodachi Life.