Talking to kids about video games
As many of you know, I am quite the gamer. Not only that, but I am quite the game collector. It comes as no surprise then that my daughter, Kaitlyn, would also follow in her dear old dad’s footsteps. Ever since she could walk and talk, Kaitlyn has been gaming. Obviously, there are limits to what she plays. She is only nine years old. Most of her gaming consists of family friendly games on the DS, 3DS and Wii U, like Mario Kart 8, Tomodachi Life,Animal Crossing, Kirby: Triple Deluxe and Hometown Story.
Today, we will be talking about Tomodachi Life, since that seems to be the hot game at the moment. I will ask Kaitlyn a series of questions regarding the game, such as how it looks, how it plays, and overall fun factor. I will then, in turn, reveal her thoughts to the world, as close to verbatim as possible. Pretty cool, huh?
Tomodachi Life (Nintendo 3DS)
Developer: Nintendo SPD Group
Released: June 6, 2014 (NA)
Q. Kaitlyn, how does Tomodachi Life look?
A. It looks good. Um, wait, why it looks good? It also looks cool because when you have more people, your apartment gets bigger, like, the hotel or something.
Q. Can you give me more detail?
A. It looks like, it gives a lot of information about what’s going to be there, like, on the bottom screen, it shows you what’s going to be there and how to unlock it.
Q. How does the game sound?
A. The game sounds pretty because it kind of sounds like an island, and sometimes in the afternoon there’s a bird that flies around on the top screen and you can hear how it sounds.
Q. How is the music in Tomodachi Life?
A. The music is pretty, because sometimes it reminds me, if I close my eyes, I can feel like I’m in Hawaii (she’s never been, by the way). It gives you the sound of the water, what the water sounds like. If you go to the beach, you can see the starfish that wash up. Also, if you go to the beach you can hear waves, and they sound like real waves. Oh, another thing I can tell you about the sound is that when someone’s hungry, it makes like a violin noise to let you know they’re (the residents) super hungry and want something to eat.
Q. Is the game fun?
A. I find the game fun because you can go to a magic show in the morning, and you can also in the morning, you can also go outside to the park and it will let you play Frisbee with two islanders, they throw the disc with each other. Another reason is that you can play with the islanders if there is green for the background for their window, if there’s green and they are jumping around it means they want to play with you. There’s another reason is that if you go to the main hall, which is right next door to your apartment, and if you tap on child info, if you have a child, you can see like, everything your child has done, if they've gone anywhere and stuff like that.
Q. Anything else why Tomodachi Life is fun?
A. Also in the main hall, if you click on a black square that has a bunch of squares in it, you can scan a QR code, you can go online and type in “QR Code Mario or Nintendo” they have all the people to put into your game. And if you can't find that person when you try to look them up, you can go to the Mii version of that person and scan the QR code next to them.
Q. How does Tomodachi Life play?
A. Tomodachi Life plays good, or well, or whatever you put it as, (her mom and I are always correcting her when she says "good" instead of "well") because it never seems to freeze up like other games, it doesn't freeze up for a hundred years and you won't lose all your stuff.
Q. Well that’s good, but how does it play, like, describe playing the game.
A. Another reason is that it plays well is because it would be like, you're real and you're in real life, like you’re the person in the game that’s walking around, but you're not.
Q. What do you think of the story in Tomodachi Life?
A. There is no story.
Q. Well surely there’s some story, right?
A. No, there’s no story because when you started, all it told you was, well, there’s sort of a story, but not really. The reason there’s sort of a story is because at the beginning you will be able to make your own Mii, make your own apartments, and tell them (the islanders) what they can do. And that’s sort of like a story.
Q. Why do you think kids will like Tomodachi Life?
A. The first reason that I think a kid will like Tomodachi Life is because it will be like, you can raise your own family. You can have a boyfriend or girlfriend, you can get married and when you get married, some people that you made will be there, cheering for you, clapping for you, and then after that you can have your own house. The people that got married will ask you if they should have a kid or not. If they do, a couple of days after the kid will be born. In a couple days after that, your kid will move out of the house and you will have a choice to send him or her off to travel the world or to let him or her have a permanent residence. But, the funny part is, they will still be zero years old! (hahaha – she started laughing).
Q. Would you recommend Tomodachi Life to your friends?
A. Um, yes. I would because, if your friends like creating their own friends or creating their moms and dads, they can. If you go onto the QR codes thing, you can look up your favorite person online, and you can look up their QR code and have them live in your apartments! You can have princesses from Mario and, just, famous people that you would like to have living there.
Q. Any final thoughts on Tomodachi Life before we go?
A. Yes! There is the final thought that I need to tell you, because I haven’t said it yet. It is that when your characters level up, it depends on how long the level up takes. If it takes a certain amount of longness (her words, not mime!) then, after that on the bottom screen, you will see all the money you have. Once that money fills up, it will last as long as the level up points. But be warned…you have to buy the food for the people; you have to buy their clothes, their hats and stuff. You have to buy their wallpaper that they have for decoration. And then, there’s a pawn shop that will open up eventually, if one of your characters wants to play with you, and you win that game they want to play, they will give you a small box, medium box and large box to pick from, and those will go to your treasure. If you go back to the pawn shop, if the music for what you got, sounds like sparkles, um, it will tell you if that item is like, a special item or a not so special item. For that, you can go to the pawn shop and sell those items to put that money back in to your money. And starting at nine o'clock PM, at the amusement park, on top of it will say “event.” If it says that, if you go directly at 9pm until 11pm, you get to play the Tomodachi Quest, but only once.
Q. Wait, Tomodachi Quest, what’s that?
A. Tomodachi Quest is when you have four of your characters from your apartment, it will, some of them will have a gold pickaxe, or one of them will have a black pickaxe, where at the top of it will have red, which is either regular attack or magic (fire from the way it sounds). The enemies will probably to you, look very weird, because either they will be some items you can win (some special), they will be giant items, like really big items, bigger than you, and that will be the boss. The regular items will be smaller than the boss and will still be either an item or just food, like dessert, sometimes drinks and regular food. Oh, in order to pay for the Tomodachi Quest you have to use your own money from the bottom screen.
This is about the point where she lost interest in talking with me and wanted to go back to playing games. As you can tell, a child’s train of thought is much different than an adult's. She was tough to reel in at certain parts as she just wanted to talk and talk and talk. I really want to keep doing this as she is always playing new and old games. I hope everyone had as much fun reading it as I had putting it together.