Release Date: 31st March 2016 (UK)
Shareholders have been pressuring Nintendo to release some games on mobile phones for a number of years now. Each meeting the question would arise, and finally, Nintendo have decided to jump into the mobile zone. And no, their first app isn’t Pokemon Go. There is this thing called Miitomo which launched a few months back…
Miitomo is a social app, with the focus being on questions. The game will present a question such as ‘what are you doing right now?’ or ‘would you rather sink or swim?’ or ‘what is your favourite movie?’ The questions are simple, rarely unusual, and you answer them to unlock coins and My Nintendo platinum coins. It’s that simple, and the social aspect comes from reading friends answers and maybe offering up a comment. Maybe something like ‘yes, I quite like the colour red, too.’ That’s pretty much it, but they wrap it all up in that magical Nintendo charm we all know and love.
The avatars which present and answer these questions are the popular Mii characters Nintendo introduced during the Wii era. It’s pretty easy to make a decent look alike, though it’s also easy to make your Mii into something incredibly freaky looking too. Mouths on heads is a possibility, as is eyes as nostrils. Nightmare fuel is always present with the lovable Miis!
Coins gained through answering questions can be used to customise your Mii. There are plenty of costumes to unlock, from standard fashion fare to the more bizarre. I’ve seen men dress in skimpy skirts, everyone dress in giant novelty hot dog suits, and everyone wanted to be Link from The Legend of Zelda when his tunic dropped onto the servers. It’s perhaps the most fun aspect of the app, plus it’s easy to make some humorous snaps to share online with the Miifoto creator. I’ve scattered some of my not so humorous snaps throughout this review.
Talking to Miiself
The problem that lies with Miitomo is how limited the appeal is after the novelty of hearing your Mii say dirty words with the robotic voice whilst dressed as a cow. The questions quickly repeat and new outfits are hard to earn thanks to the slow trickle of coins. There are also game tickets we can be used to play Miitomo Drop, a pachinko like game of luck, but those tickets are also rare, with the reward most likely being candy, which is for all intents and purposes useless. A new update has allowed for candy to be used in another pachninko like machine, but don’t expect it to go far.
Spending real money for the goods is an option, but there is little drive to do so. With the likes of Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and actual mobile phone texting, Miitomo is jumping into an already heaving pit of social communication apps. It takes longer to load, it’s most likely a hard sell to get your friends on board, and whilst it present social communication in a fun and quirky manner, the question/answer mechanic means you can’t really communicate in the ways you’d usually expect. To make use of the app, my Miitomo is made up of random internet people connected to random social media internet friends. And when the questions usually only lead to dry or rude answers, things start to feel a little dull.
The reason a number of users keep Miitomo stored on their phones is for the MyNintendo rewards. MyNintendo is a new service provided by Nintendo which allows users to gain platinum and gold coins to spend on discounts and free games for their Wii U or 3DS. It’s a great way to reward customer loyalty, but the only way to earn points so far outside of weekly check-ins to the site, is through Miitomo. So people, such as myself, continue to log in and answer ten questions, listen to ten answers, and change outfit every single day for a meagre collection of coins. Even I don’t know if it’s worth the hassle, I don’t think anybody knows.
And that’s Miitomo all in all. Talk to strangers dressed as a cat! Then talk to yourself for virtual cash!