Published on April 7th, 2016 | by octaneblue0
Platforms(s): iOS, Android
Release Date(s): March 31, 2016
Nintendo’s highly anticipated debut on mobile devices just arrived in the form of Miitomo, a free-to-play social app. A spin-off of Nintendo’s surprise hit on the 3DS Tomodachi Life, Miitomo is extremely appealing to all audiences and is a highly recommended download. Read on for the full review of Miitomo for Android and iOS devices!
What makes Miitomo so appealing to everyone is that it’s so easy to get started and, subsequently, get addicted to playing. After creating your Mii character, creating some catchphrases, answering some questions about yourself to obtain a profile, etc., Miitomo largely focuses on learning about and interacting with your friends. You’re given a few hundred different questions to answer, with the option to skip any of them as well. Your friends can answer the same questions, and you can view their answers too. Some questions are shared only between you and a friend. As of this review, adding friends can be done through being friends on Facebook or by being mutual followers on Twitter. You can also add friends via the friends list of a mutual friend, and there’s also a local option if you have someone you’d like to add right next to you. However, these are the only ways of adding friends as of this post; more ways to add friends would be a welcome addition in a future update.
Miitomo is Nintendo’s first title to have compatibility with the My Nintendo service. Fans may remember Club Nintendo, the company’s previous loyalty program – My Nintendo is the successor to it. Miitomo works seamlessly with My Nintendo; you just have to connect the app with your My Nintendo account. By simply playing Miitomo, you earn rewards. These rewards mostly are given in the form of Miitomo Coins; these are earned by completing missions, which includes answering questions, interacting with friends, changing your Mii’s clothes once a day, and so on. And these coins can be earned once per day, so it helps to play Miitomo for at least a small amount of time every single day. Miitomo coins are used on My Nintendo, and you can purchase items for Miitomo on the My Nintendo website. There’s also other rewards too, such as discounts for digital downloads on the Nintendo eShop for the 3DS and Wii U.
You also get daily bonuses at the beginning of each day, which usally yields gold coins or tickets. The gold coins are Miitomo‘s form of currency, and have nothing to do with My Nintendo. You can use gold coins in the Miitomo Shop to purchase clothing, outfits, and accessories for your Mii. Many of these items can be on the pricey side and, outside of daily bonuses, large amounts gold coins can take a while to accumulate. However, there is an option to spend real-life money to purchase gold coins for Miitomo, but keep in mind that this is completely and 100% optional. Gold coins, as well as tickets, can also be spent to play Miitomo Drop, a pachinko-style mini-game. Here, you’ll move a crane and drop a Mii down an obstacle course of sorts. Wherever the Mii lands, you’ll get the indicated prize. These is not as easy as it sounds, as there are obstacles such as bumpers that can get in the way of your desired prize. What makes this mini-game a bit on the addictive side is that the rewards here, specifically the clothing options, are exclusive to Miitomo Drop and cannot be bought in the shop. So be prepared to debate whether or not you should burn that fourth ticket to get that cat hood! This mini-game is also where you can get candy; this is used to give to friends to hear answers to certain questions that requires feeding them.
Your Mii’s home serves as your in-game hub. From here, you can check recent activity, look at your most recent answers and skipped questions, check out your friends list and visit their Mii’s homes, browse the Miitomo Shop and play Miitomo Drop, and look at the menu and change in-game settings. It’s all very well-organized, and you can pretty much do whatever you feel like without having to go through too many menus. The only problem I’ve noticed with the hub is that for the recent activity for your friends, there’s no way to get rid of an answer you’ve seen already without having to look through the likes and/or the responses. Being able to just swipe those out so that you don’t have to see them anymore would be a handy addition in a future update.
Miitomo has an extensive photo-taking mode called Miifoto. Here, you can have your Mii, and up to four other Miis from your friends list, pose in your choice of many different animations and facial expressions. You can use one of several pre-made backgrounds, or you can even use one of your own. There are other additions available too, such as text and stamps. Miifoto is surprisingly deep with its options, and its easy enough to use so that you can quickly create some absolutely crazy pictures. You can share these with your friends with Miitomo, and there’s additional options to save them to your phone or tablet and share them on other social media sites, such as Instagram.
Graphically, the game looks nice and just oozes charm. Although this is not on a Nintendo platform, Miitomo definitely has that Nintendo look and feel to it. And the expressions and animations of the Miis are just hilarious. The game runs very well for the most part; however, there have been several instances where the game loads for a moment in the middle of an activity. There have been times where I was listening to a friend’s response to a question, and the Mii just stops reading it in the middle of the speech. It’s awkward to say the least, but thankfully it’s never lasted more than a few seconds. The game’s soundtrack is absolutely brilliant. I guarantee that you’ll have several of these tunes stuck in your head after you’re done playing. Like in Tomodachi Life, the Miis in this game will read off everything to you. It’s actually quite funny to hear them speak to you sometimes, and if you want to skip the speeches, you can just tap and hold anywhere on the screen.
Miitomo is an excellent first entry in Nintendo’s mobile market strategy. It’s extremely addicting and it’s a very entertaining app that is easy to just pick up and play at least for a few minutes every day. The connectivity to the My Nintendo service is brilliant, and the fact that your earn rewards by simply playing Miitomo is a surefire incentive for any Nintendo fan to download it. However, the game has such charm and appeal that anyone can have fun with it.
+ Addicting and easy to get into
+ Plenty of charm and a great soundtrack
+ Several customization options
– Occasional pauses/slight freezes during gameplay
– Limited options for adding friends
– Needs an option to swipe away responses
Final Score: 4.5 out of 5