Today marked a very important day in Nintendo’s history, despite the fact that there wasn’t any huge splash that came with it. Today, March 31st, Nintendo released its first-ever mobile application, Miitomo. Now I know technically the app had already been launched in Japan, but that made its accessibility limited, and without some proper finagling, most Nintendo fans couldn’t experience it. But today, the rest of the world got to hit “Download.”
Even though Miitomo saw pretty amazing success in Japan, how well it’s going to do overseas is still up in the air. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a few days to really see what the numbers are like, however, we can say that Miitomo has successfully reached #1 on the iTunes app store– at least for the free apps!
At this point, anyone following any sort of Nintendo news was bound to know the ins and outs of the application, so there’s really not anything new to cover here. Still, we thought it’d be good to go over our own thoughts regarding the game!
I wanna start off by saying that Miitomo is really adorable. Functionality aside, the game looks clean and well put together, perfectly representative of everything Nintendo stands for. It did a really wonderful job in representing itself aesthetically as a company with this app, and that’s exciting. Not only does it mean that when you’re using Miitomo, you actually feel like you’re using Nintendo software, but it also bodes well for Nintendo in its ability to create mobile applications that feel like a Nintendo game, albeit on a lesser scale.
The Miis in Miitomo are also wonderfully expressive, which makes interacting with them all the more fun. Whether you’re taking Miifotos, answering questions or listening to answers, or looking at all the comments on your answers, your Miis will react appropriately. It’s really nice to see your Mii tremble when you say the word “fear,” or get hearts in its eyes when you mention romance, and I appreciate these small touches that Nintendo made.
Additionally, the fact that your Miis speak out every word that you write for them adds an extra ounce of cuteness. I know that online avatars talking isn’t exactly considered new and innovative at this point, but to hear all your friends’ Miis talking out their comments in their voices is admittedly pretty goofy and completely entertaining.
As far as how the app functions go, the app runs extremely smoothly with virtually no hiccups– in my personal experience. I do want to mention that I heard of one or two cases in which the app glitched out on certain occasions, or ran somewhat slowly at points. I didn’t personally run into any of these issues and actually had a rather easy time with the app since I’ve started playing. Really, Miitomo runs just as it’s supposed to, and that’s another thing that leads me to believe Nintendo has a promising start in the world of mobile apps.
At this point, you may have noticed that I’m trying my hardest to avoid calling Miitomo a game, and that could not be more deliberate. Do not download this game and go into it expecting a fully fleshed out Nintendo game. If you do, you’ll be horribly disappointed. First and foremost, Miitomo is a social app that’s meant to connect you and your friends, and hopefully if you approach the app knowing that, you’ll have a much more enjoyable time playing with it.
It most definitely serves its purpose as a social app, and that’s where a line is drawn as far as functionality goes. I’ll be the first to admit it: There’s not a lot to Miitomo. There really isn’t much to do (yet, at least), so if you’re the kind of person who needs a change of pace every five minutes, you may not enjoy Miitomo the way you appreciate other kinds of app or game genres. However, as far as connecting you and your friends goes, the simplicity of the content doesn’t make it bad. Nintendo has done a great job in creating a plethora of questions, some of which are rather general and others that are quite interesting. And while your answers are limited to 200 characters, they go a long way and allow you to be as creative as you want within that character limit.
Something I want to commend Nintendo on particularly is its lack of censorship in Miitomo. Nintendo is definitely known for its family-friendly reputation, but in Miitomo, your Mii can freely speak however it wants to: curse words, innuendos, and all. This was a very smart choice for Nintendo to make, in my opinion, as it allows people to still act like and be themselves, as well as effectively keep anything from barring another person who may want to speak like that from playing, especially a person who has had little involvement with Nintendo products prior to Miitomo. While some might be surprised by Nintendo’s choice, especially considering Miitomo’s status as the company’s first app, I’d say that because of a free mobile app’s accessibility, this was 100% the right choice for censorship, or lack thereof. Plus, some of the most entertaining things your Mii (or another Mii!) says will be the risqué stuff.
Overall, I think that for a first application, this is a really great start. It’s a fantastic way to introduce people to the idea of Nintendo on a smartphone, and simple enough for anyone, from small children to grown adults, to grasp. Dressing your Mii up is cute, fun and easygoing, and the minigame Mii Drop is anything but necessary. The Mii customization system is better than ever, as well– and personalizing my Mii’s personality and behavior, and then seeing it come to life, was actually so much fun.
I reiterate this again, because I feel it’s important to point out, that Miitomo is not for everyone. Be prepared for that. It’s certainly not Nintendo’s best product ever, and I truly believe that’s because Nintendo’s best will always be on a home console. That doesn’t make it bad in any way, though. If you can enjoy simplicity and silliness between your friends, then you’ll enjoy Miitomo! It’s not something you’ll need to check all the time, but no social app is. It’s a great way to start people on the path towards Nintendo applications, as well as the new My Nintendo rewards program.
I think that if you’re a Nintendo fan, it’s definitely worth downloading Miitomo. Even if you’re only checking it once every few days, it’s a nice app to have on your phone, and at the very least, it should be able to provide you with a minute or two of entertainment when you’ve got some time to kill.