Miitomo: Nintendo's First "Real" Smartphone App

Finally! Nintendo made a move into the smartphone market in March 2016. I'm not counting Pokémon Shuffle, which was already released on mobile in August 2015, because it was a "Pokémon-game" and a simple copy-and-paste title  released on the 3DS ca. 6 months before. I didn't count it as native to the platform.

Miitomo, in the graphical style of a former game called "Tomodachi Life" for the 3DS, is about conversations with friends. You can connect to your existing Nintendo account or just start with a new one. Once hooked up, the conversation can begin.

Key features - The Mii

First and foremost you create your own Mii, which is a typical kawai/chibi-esque version of yourself that will become your avatar in this app. Most people who own a console from Nintendo from 2006 or later should be familiar with it.

You can even individualise how you sound, because most text will be read to you by a computer generated voice of your Mii. Pretty cool (but also creepy at times).

After that you will be welcomed at your social hub, which is basically a virtual living room with your Mii in it. 

The Questions

Questions work both ways, when you click on your Mii it will ask you a question such as "What is your favorite food?" or "What is your favorite band?". Basic one sided questions, that sometimes get into really deep stuff. 

 

Another layer of the questions is when you interact with other Miis. You connect with another Mii by adding them via their Twitter handle. You could also share a QR code, but that will only give you the chance to use their Mii, but not meet and interact with them - although they might fix that in the future. And people have to accept your friend request. 

Once you are settled there are different questions that are only shared between two friends/Miis. For example, you might talk to another Mii and he might ask: "What do you think is my most valuable character trait? (Just between us)". 

The dynamics when you answer those questions about each other is interesting and you are also given the option to jump those questions, which I also opted for a few times, because sometimes it can get very personal and even though you could lie, you normally wouldn't lie to your friends. So it's good that those answers are not shared publicly.

The Mini Games

 You can obtain tickets that let you play mini games for special items and clothing. So the major fun is to dress up your Mii and you can buy stuff with ingame coins you gain for answering questions or visiting friends, you can play games with these tickets and earn extra items. They work as follows, you let your Mii fall into a kind of course that will randomise the fall of your Mii and you need to land on a specific platform to gather the item you'd like to collect. 

It is fun to figure out the pattern and sometimes it gets tough but it is never unfair. And who does not want to show off his skills by displaying a cat on his should of his Mii?!

The App is great, I hope that Nintendo will leverage more of their IP in the future

Despite the fact that the app takes (too) long to load everytime it is a solid experience with a nice touch. Reports claim that there are already over 3m+ users globally so that is a very nice start for Nintendo. And the effect of bringing people closer togehter, be it 20 years ago with coop-play or now with questions through a dedicated app, it is still one of Nintendo's strong suits.

However, they got a lot of catching up to do when they really want to play the mobile game. 

What are your thoughts? Do you own any Nintendo consoles or handhelds? Did you used to own a Gameboy? Let me know in the comments below. 

PS: If you want to see more, just watch this video released alongside the app:

 

Thanks for reading!

Sebastian