A while back Nintendo announced it was going to release an app called “Miitomo” for smartphones. It’s now been released in Japan, so I thought I would try it out and do a Miitomo review. This is Nintendo’s first original mobile app, not including whatever Pokemon apps they previously released. Let’s not waste any time and get right to it. On to the Miitomo review!
Starting Miitomo for the first time
Upon opening the app, I was greeted with some lovely relaxing background music and an option to either create a Nintendo Account, login, or use the Miitomo app without making any accounts.
I happened to have an old Nintendo Network ID account that I was able to use, so that was convenient. I logged in and Miitomo quickly asked me about making a Mii.
Making your first Mii in Miitomo
You’re given the option to use your smartphone camera so that Miitomo can automatically generate a Mii for you. I think this was a feature on the Wii U too. As long as you continue to hold the camera on your face, Miitomo keeps generating new faces for you to choose from after you choose to stop and decide.
I’ve never had any luck with Nintendo’s Mii face system, so I decided it was better to just make my own.
The Miitomo Mii Creator Interface
The UI is very streamlined and the choices are almost the same as they were on the Wii and Wii U. I did my best to choose what I thought would best represent me and off I went!
Something new: Voice adjustment
After giving your Mii a name, you can choose a voice for it. That’s right, your Mii talks! Of course, the app only supports Japanese right now, so my Mii talked to me that way. It was REALLY odd hearing my Mii speak! You could then choose from a chart and tweak your voice to your liking.
The Miitomo room
After you finish deciding everything, you are taken to your Mii’s new room. It’s pretty bare but looks nice. It’s really entertaining to listen to the background music and watch your Mii move about. I’m assuming Nintendo is going to want you to spend money to furnish your room further. I don’t see myself diving too hard into this, but you never know.
Money and Missions
The Miitomo app has “missions” that you can complete and get coins to use for buying stuff. I’m not sure if the missions are listed somewhere because I didn’t check, but I found myself randomly earning coins and completing missions the more I interacted with my Mii or did something in the store, etc.
Your Mii will ask you questions about your preferences, likes, hobbies, etc. The more you answer, the more your Mii will be able to share that information with friends or other Miis it might meet. I only spent a short amount of time in the Miitomo app, so my Mii only knows I like Pizza and watching Downton Abbey.
The Miitomo shop
This is where I imagine Nintendo is going to earn back for releasing this app for free and that’s fine. There were a few different clothing options when I checked, but I didn’t see anything that made me feel like buying. Maybe if there were more Nintendo-themed clothes I would be interested. For now, just a lot of generic stuff.
I was surprised by the friend-adding feature because Nintendo has some interesting ways to add friends. There are currently four ways to do it.
First option: Wirelessly in person
You have to be physically near the person you want to add as a friend. This is neat and does make this social app more interesting than others, but the other options defeat the purpose.
Second option: Facebook
Apparently you can use your Facebook information to add friends. For people that use Facebook, this is probably extremely convenient and will have people getting friends immediately. I’m not a member, so this method is not great for me.
Third option: Twitter
You can use your Twitter account to add friends. I like this better than the Facebook one, but I wonder what’s the point of having the direct method when you also can indirectly add friends via other social networks?
Bonus fourth option: Inviting someone
You can also invite people directly to be your friend and register for Miitomo.
There is a photo studio mode so you can adjust your Mii and change things such as backgrounds and add stamps. This specifically targeted towards the Japanese market in my opinion because it reminds me of purikura and the many LINE stickers that people buy. I can’t see the lasting appeal of this with a western audience after a day or two, but I could be wrong!
How to download Miitomo
As of now, Miitomo is only available for Japanese users or those that know how to read Japanese. Update: In my case, the language was in Japanese because my phone is set to Japanese. However, upon looking at Miitomo’s settings, you can change it to English, French, Italian and other European languages.
It’s available for both iOS and Android platforms.
See it in motion
Nintendo has posted a promotional video on YouTube for those wondering what Miitomo looks like in action. It should give you a better idea of what’s in store.
Miitomo Review: Final Thoughts
After playing with Nintendo’s latest Miitomo app, I’m not quite sure how this is going to play out in the future. The app seems very well designed. I forgot I was on an iPhone while I was creating my Mii. The interface definitely uses the Wii design language.
Will this app be something that people open up daily like Twitter/Facebook? Who knows, maybe it will take off as Nintendo becomes more transparent about its future plans. It’s definitely a fun distraction though I can imagine a younger audience really getting into it.
I don’t have any friends added yet, so I don’t know what is possible with more Miis. As soon as I add some people I will update this Miitomo review with my experiences.
What do you think? Is the Miitomo app something you’d like to use on your smartphone? Was there anything missing from this Miitomo review?
Let me know in the comments what you think the future is for it and if you plan to use it or not!