My daughters can’t get enough of simulation games, and I must admit, I enjoy them, too! In addition to using their imagination to design their worlds, while playing, the girls improve their observation and logical thinking skills, work on problem solving, and learn from their mistakes.
Two great simulation games that Nintendo has released are Tomodachi Life and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. We’ve downloaded them to our Nintendo 3DS and the girls have had a blast playing them both! By the way, I used to refrain from purchasing games directly from the Nintendo eShop because I like to have the actual game in my hand, but now I see the benefits of it, especially with games like this that you want to check on periodically. Because you keep the game on the 3DS, you can access it anytime, without the need to carry around a card. It’s awesome. Here are our thoughts on these two games…
Tomodachi Life is all about Miis! You know, those avatars you use for multiple Nintendo games. The game takes place on a virtual island inhabited by these Miis. Here you can bring them to life by customizing their voice, personality, outfits, and even decorate their apartments!
There are all kinds of activities that you can do with your Miis. Explore the island (there are shops, a concert hall and an amusement park to visit), play mini-games, feed them, and give them gifts. Observe how they interact with each other. Over time, some of them may even get married and have little Mii babies. How cute is that?!
While there isn’t a strong message in the game, it does spark family conversations about developing relationships – making friends, falling in love, etc. Rated E for Everyone, Tomodachi Life is available now for the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, and Nintendo 2DS game systems.
ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW LEAF
In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, you are the mayor of your own little village and you decide how your town will grow. As the mayor, you control everything in the town, from how late shops open, to what public works projects will be constructed. Every thing you do will directly affect your town.
The customization options in this game are amazing! In addition to picking out your outfits (down to your socks!) and designing your house, you can even create cool patterns that are used on your clothes or the wallpaper and carpets in your home.
As for gameplay, improving the town and tending to your residents is basically what you do, but there are fun activities like fishing and more that are unlocked as the game expands. Played in real time, the town is always changing- with the seasons and even holidays! The leaves change color in the fall, trees are decorated with lights and covered with snow in the winter, and we’re looking forward to seeing cherry blossoms in the spring! There are different adventures every day. Rated E for Everyone, Animal Crossing: New Leaf is available now for the Nintendo 3DS.
Out of the two games, I think I enjoyed Animal Crossing more… because it’s just so cute and engaging! My 7-year-old daughter, Maura, also likes Animal Crossing, while 10-year-old Maya prefers Tomodachi Life by far. How are the games different you ask? I think the biggest difference is that in Tomodachi Life, you can’t actually control your Miis – they live their lives as they wish while you just observe. In Animal Crossing, you have complete control over your character. I’d say Animal Crossing will probably be played more, but Tomodachi Life is fun to check in on every day.
Do your kids like life simulation video games?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.