It's hard to keep up with sim games. All those little virtual pets demand your attention constantly, crying out from behind the screen to make sure you know they're hungry or tired or lonely or bored or whatever.
"Hey," you just want to say sometimes. "I have a life too, you know. What about my needs?!?"
But then you remember that you're a real human being with arms and legs and individual agency. Plus, you're in crowded subway, and everyone around you is starting to look worried about the grown-ass man cursing at his Nintendo 3DS. So you do the proper thing, the only thing you can do: you close the screen and get on with your life.
Ok, maybe that's just me. I really, really love Tomodachi Life. But man, Nintendo's new sim game can be tiring at times. In my original review, I liked it to a "parenting simulator." That means it's an amazing and charming experience most of the time. But, like real parenting, it's also exhausting.
I've been slacking on my Tomodachi Life duties recently as a result—forgetting to check in on my Miis throughout the day to make sure they're all well-fed and happy. This morning, I opened up my 3DS on the subway ride to work for the first time in a few days. I stopped in at one of my Miis' apartments, and was immediately taken aback when he had this to say:
I know, Seth, I thought to myself. I missed you!
But it didn't stop there. On to the next apartment:
Too long, Sasha. Too long. Here, I'll try to make up for it with some fish cakes.
Better? Ok, phew. Let's see what Bruce Wayne is brooding about this fine summer morning...
Ok, ok! I'm sorry. Can't we just move on already? Stephen, help me out here?
Thank god this is just a Mii version of my boss. I'm pretty sure the real one would have a lot more to say if I dropped off the face of the earth for a week.
As a newcomer to Tomodachi Life and Nintendo games more general, I find this gentle sort of prodding fascinating. But I should note that it's not a new technique. Nintendo has done something similar with the villagers in Animal Crossing, another of its popular sim games, for a long time now.
As far as guilt-trips go, Tomodachi Life's is one of the best ones I've seen in a game. And hey, even if it can be a tad annoying, it certainly beats getting hit up with push notifications whenever a friend is begging for extra turns in Candy Crush.
I won't let you down again, Miis. I promise.