Fantasy Life

Live the Fantasy Life on 3DS and Role-Play Your Way

The folks behind Fantasy Life know that some of us expect a lot from life. With 20 available occupations (or “Lives”) in all, money may not buy you love, but it can certainly make your happiness gauge spike as well as a richness gauge. Just as you need to splash your cash to upgrade your gear, your character’s happiness level will affect your progress through Level 5 and 1-Up Studio’s adorable title, part life-sim, part traditional RPG.

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Fantasy Life plays accordingly to the “life” you choose. Soldiers wield like bruisers, a pilot flies planes, a fisherman fishes, and a treasure hunter hunts treasure. Doubling items or crafting better ones is only one anvil away with the Blacksmith class, forging iron ingots for a rainy day. Other days of your lives can be spent as a tailor, alchemist, animal tamer, and chef, and you can chat with various NPCs as you wander around the medieval kingdom of Kuruburuku and accept Life Quests from them.

You can customize your own character avatars using a Mii-style editor that offers tons of mix ‘n’ match options–gender, body type, facial features, hairstyle and so on in the fashion of a cutesy Animal Crossing RPG.

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Though the game’s being put together by various ex-Square veterans at Japanese developer Brownie Brown and published by Professor Layton maestros Level-5, Fantasy Life can’t help but resemble Harvest Moon or Animal Crossing, more relaxed sim-style adventures where the focus is on interaction with other characters. On that note, communicate with other players online or over Wi-Fi and via StreetPass, but it’s not always on the same, laid back note.

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The very open-world of Fantazeal is rendered in a slightly surreal, humorous, super-cute style. Characters are (we’re told) cartoonishly whimsical in their own subtle manner in retro style text dialogue and the world boasts a wealth of complimenting areas in which to hunt for treasures and fight enemies like a real-time Final Fantasy. There are monsters to slay on the woods to Grandma’s house and there’s plenty of lions and bears, oh my!

There’s certainly a polish to be seen in what Nintendo’s shown off. As a game about life, we hope it grows up to be quite the RPG world to sink our teeth into. “Don’t let the cute fool you,” its developers say. If Fantasy Life can hold its own with Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon, then we’ll love to believe it.

Fantasy Life releases this October to North America.