The smartphone has emerged as the ultimate casual gaming platform, but too many of its key games are full of violence and discord. Look at Clash of Clans. Look at Angry Birds. Look at Lords Mobile.
Thankfully, there are games about peace and cooperation too, and Mini Life is the latest to have captured our attention.
Developed by a studio collective called Krafton, who have worked on high profile games like PUBG, Mini Life is a happy, healthy slice of interactive fun in a world of swords, explosions, and deadly magic.
It sees you trying to impress your fellow players in a number of ways. Firstly, there are avatar customizations – more than 20 billion of them, all but ensuring that every avatar is completely unique. There are over 3,000 different fashion items too.
And, because why not, you also get a mansion to decorate, complete with a garden to tend and landscape into a horticultural marvel.
It’s not all surface stuff, though. At the heart of Mini Life is all the interacting and socializing you’ll do with your fellow players, as you engage in real-time chat with people all around the world. Pitched as both an MMO and an SNG (MMOSNG?), Mini Life encourages, and rewards, congenial behavior.
How does it reward congenial behavior? With a gamified reward system, of course. The more you interact, the more your profile is upgraded – and you can upgrade it further through special server-wide events at certain times.
There’s a Night Market, too, where you can meet up with other players to trade virtual goods. This activity is a helpful draw, bringing lots of players together in the same place at the same time for some friendly trading.
Like Animal Crossing and other life simulation games, Mini Life’s little world has a full day/night cycle and dynamic weather effects. It’s a living, breathing universe inside your phone. And you can make it venture outside your phone, sort of, with the neat AR functionality, which lets you take photos with your avatar, or even groups of avatars.