It’s quite a challenge to have a daughter who enjoys playing video games. Well, the challenge is not that she likes to play them. After all, it was kind of expected since I’ve always been into video games and have played them with her for years. The challenge lies in finding games that are age-appropriate and appeal to her.
While Munchkin is not a girly-girl that loves pink, Barbies, and babies, she’s not a full-on tom boy. Generally, games that focus on fighting, sports, dress-up, and cooking just don’t interest her. So what’s left? Life simulation. The issue with that is that many titles in that genre are very mature and too intense. Well, Tomodachi Life and Animal Crossing: New Leaf have both found a perfectly balanced formula to win over my tween gamer on her Nintendo 3DS XL.
Tween Girl Gamer Hit – Animal Crossing: New Leaf
It was a few years ago that we came across the first game in this series for Nintendo DS, known as Animal Crossing: Wild World. My daughter loved the idea of roaming a land populated by animal neighbors. The characters were cute and quirky, as were the tasks to be accomplished. Then, Animal Crossing: New Leaf was released for the Nintendo 3DS.
This has turned out to be than just a sequel. New Leaf reinvents the gameplay and takes it to a whole other level. This time, the player is the mayor of the town and gets to have a say in how the town expands and the residents in it. The graphics are clearer (and in 3D if you like that), there’s more variety in characters, and there are oodles of options to customize the player’s avatar, home, and town. Players can also visit the towns of friends who also have Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
Since Munchkin is the one who’s spent countless hours playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf, you should hear from her why it has been her favorite game (until just recently).
I really like it compared to the older game because this time you can swim, you’re mayor so you have more control, and there’s an endless amount of clothes/shoes/socks/headgear. I especially like shaking trees and running away into a house if there’s a beehive. It’s fun hitting rocks with my shovel so I can find gems, money, or bugs. I built this club in the town, since I’m the mayor, where you can get emotions like happiness, pride, and showmanship. I’m very keen on building snow people as well. – Munchkin
Tween Girl Gamer Hit – Tomodachi Life
I mentioned that the above title was my daughter’s favorite game until just recently. Now that she’s tried Tomodachi Life, she has a new favorite video game on the Nintendo 3DS. The characters and how they acts crack her up to no end. I was afraid this game would be too old for her but it has just enough “silly” to be innocent enough for those late tween/early teen years.
Players begin by creating an avatar, or Mii, that looks like them and assigning them a personality and customized voice. Interaction with other characters and how the game progresses will change based on this. Augmented reality allows the player to get a better perspective of the area around them.
The first thing Munchkin did after making Miis of Frans and me was try to set us up. How weird is that?! Our daughter’s character was dropping hints and setting up dates for us. She wanted us to end up together because, otherwise, it would just be wrong. Silly mini matchmaker.
Next, she added all of her friends (“tomodachi” means “friend” in Japanese). She just enjoys watching what the characters do in the game (rap battles, off-the-wall dreams, etc.). The conversations are funny and they are always doing something unexpected. Sometimes, she’ll even have them perform in a musical number or two.
I’m sure there’s more but my daughter will have to share that with you.
It’s a teeny bit repetitive but there are always new things popping up out of no where. Every day you get new hats, rooms, and outfits, which is fun. When you see these little guys rolling around on the floor, singing, skipping around, and doing things that the people they’re modeled after would do (or not do) but in the virtual world you can’t help but burst out laughing.
So now you know what the perfect gift would be for a tween/teen gamer girl. For girls ages 8-13, Animal Crossing: New Leaf would be an ideal choice for tons of gaming fun. Tomodachi Life seems to skew to a little older crowd so I’d say around 11-14 years old would be a better fit. Either way, your kids are going to have a blast playing these!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.