Nintendo’s foray into mobile gaming began with the release of Miitomo less than a week ago, and if the app’s 3,000,000 (and counting) downloads are any indication, Nintendo is about ready to take over.
What Is It?
People will be quick to call Miitomo Nintendo’s first mobile game, and while that’s true, it’s really more of a social networking tool that combines aspects of Quiz Your Friends, Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds, Tomodatchi Life on the 3DS, and Nintendo’s own Miiverse.
You start off by creating your Mii. You’re given virtually every tool provided when creating a Mii on the Wii, 3DS, or Wii U, except in Miitomo, you can also adjust your avatar’s gauges for movement, individuality, expression, attitude, and manners. Your adjustment of the sliders then results in providing you with a personality profile, which obviously will be different for everybody.
The personality profile was definitely a surprisingly nice touch. When I was adjusting my sliders, I thought it only affected my tone of voice and how flamboyant my Mii would be with his mannerisms. My avatar is a confident brainiac, which is actually a pretty good reflection of myself, so that was a rather pleasing result.
After creating your Mii, you’re given a default set of clothes and it’s off to your pad. It’s up to you if you want to play games, add friends, or ask yourself questions from there.
Why Should I Care?
The meat of Miitomo‘s use will probably come from the customization options, primarily through dressing up your Mii. When you first start out, you’ll be wearing a default shirt and pair of pants, and every little thing you do on the app will earn you coins that you can use to buy more schwag.
And by every little thing, we really mean every little thing. By tapping on yourself, you can answer hundreds of questions that will all be shared with the people within your Miitomo network. From there, you can interact with everything your friends also decide to talk about by giving them a heart or responding to them. Doing both of these a number of times every day results in coins being deposited into your inventory. You can also upload pictures to use as backgrounds for your Miifotos, one of the more interactive features in Miitomo. One of my friends has one of his bike with his Mii lying in front of it with a so-called sexy pose, so naturally, all our friends made fun of him in the comments section. In addition to this, using the app every day also leads to some free coins among other things.
Aside from coins, you also have candy and play tickets that you can earn. When feeding your friends candy, they’ll be able to give you more information about themselves when you visit them. It’s usually nothing terribly interesting, and if you don’t have too many friends in the app, the candy pretty much serves no other purpose. Play tickets allow you to play a Plinko-esque game called Miitomo Drop, where you drop a Mii through a pinball-themed course with the hopes of it landing in a slot containing more clothes for your Mii. The clothes all belong to a specific theme–as of right now, the featured themes are cats and food. So if you’re lucky you go to your Mii’s friend’s homes dressed like a hot dog, or a hot cat. If you’re not lucky enough to land in a slot to unlock clothing, you’ll get candy instead.
Most of the fun you’ll have with Miitomo relies on interaction with your friends, and therein sort of lies Miitomo‘s biggest problem. There are only three ways in which you can add friends in Miitomo; by connecting your Facebook, connecting your Twitter, and doing so face-to-face. The Facebook and Twitter connectivity is self-explanatory, but it’s not 100 percent effective because I have quite a few friends on Facebook who have Miitomo, yet they’re nowhere to be found in my suggested friend’s list. There’s nothing wrong with the face-to-face method, but aside from that — there’s no other way to add friends.
Perhaps before reading this review you’ve seen people posting their QR codes to their Miis in Miitomo on whatever social networks you use, but surprisingly– it’s serves almost no purpose. When you scan someone’s QR code in Miitomo, it just creates a copy of their Mii that you can use as a separate avatar. The fact that you can’t add somebody by scanning their QR code was a big mishap on Nintendo’s part, and it doesn’t make any sense.
What Makes It Worth My Time?
Miitomo is a free app, and as of right now there are no “free-to-play” features or microtransactions, so you don’t have to worry about spending any money on it for now. When the app launched, I spent quite a bit of time over the first few days intrigued by it, but it’s died down a bit. It’s also quite a bit of a battery drainer. I have an iPhone 6 with solid battery life and when I was first using the app, it wasn’t out of the ordinary for me to charge my phone four times a day. I normally only charge my devices at night when I’m in bed.
The main value gamers will find in Miitomo is the fact that since it features connectivity with Nintendo’s new MyNintendo service, there’s a good opportunity to get some digital goodies by using the app. Aside from that, Miitomo is just another addictive and intriguing time waster like other social networking tools, and the thought of what’s to come next from Nintendo is pretty exciting.