Review – Miitomo

It came as a surprise to most people when it was announced that Nintendo was going to be making smartphone apps, considering that the last time they released their games on a non-Nintendo system ended up with… less than great results (But that was all just a horrible nightmare that some Nintendo fans had all at once and accepted as fact even though it wasn’t real, right? Right, it never happened. IT NEVER HAPPENED!!!!) Although when Nintendo also announced that their first app was not exactly a game as much as a social media app, people were even more surprised. I am not known to be of the social butterfly type, but I am known to be of the Nintendo-is-awesome type (and also the how-did-I-miss-that-360-YouTube-videos-are-a-thing-seriously-have-you-seen-this-we-are-in-the-future type, but that’s getting off topic), so it was of great importance that I downloaded the app. Let’s see how Miitomo turned out.

So when you first start out the game you have to create a mii, basically an avatar for yourself. You have the option to either create one from scratch or let the game generate one based on your face. It will create a lot of different options and it is somewhat accurate, a definite improvement over the facial recognition of the Wii U and 3DS. I still decided to create my own, but the ones they gave me were mostly okay. The character creation options are rather extensive, but nothing new from the Wii U and 3DS Mii Maker. After that you choose your voice (though no matter what you choose for that you’ll inevitably end up sounding like Siri) and personality, a feature and interface taken straight from one of Nintendo’s previous games Tomodachi Life. A lot of things in this app were taken from Tomodachi Life actually, from the robotic voice to the clothing shop to the apartment your mii lives in. This made a lot of people think this was just an HD mobile remake of Tomodachi Life when it was first announced (for the record, Nintendo, I would be totally down for an actual Tomodachi Life HD. Just saying.)

Your character starts off with a basic white shirt and gray sweatpants, but with the in-game store you can buy new clothes to make you stand out from everyone else. Speaking as somebody who absolutely dreads having to try on new clothes in real life, most of my time in this game has been spent trying on outfits for my avatar! Mostly because just about every option is amazing and only a few coins can be earned by answering questions and hearing friend’s questions, so I have to be careful what I buy or else I’ll need to use real money to buy more coins. Oh right, answering questions! I didn’t mention that yet. Well…

Once you’re done creating your character, they step into their apartment and ask you questions. Stuff like your favorite food, your favorite TV show, what you’re favorite thing about cats is, what the last thing you bought was, what you did last weekend, what you did a few minutes ago, at which point you realize you are being stalked by yourself. But wait, there’s more! If you connect the app to Facebook and any of your Facebook friends use the app, you can send them friend requests so you can stalk them and vice versa! I say this but I realize that it doesn’t really do any worse than Facebook or Twitter. This app is also how I’ve actually learned a lot about my friends that I didn’t know before. I never would have guessed that one of my friends really likes Courage the Cowardly Dog, but Miitomo let me find that out without having to do any of that pesky “actually interacting with other human beings!” I joke about that but it actually is a good thing for anti-social people like me. You aren’t technically asking the person, you’re just asking a weird video game version of yourself.

There’s two other features of the app: Miifoto and Miitomo Drop. Miifoto is basically a mode where you can use miis to create different photos. You can also add them into photos on your camera roll so you can see your miis in real life, in case you want to add your digital self to vacation photos or high five yourself. Miitomo Drop has you basically playing human pachinko to win outfits for your mii, but it costs game tickets or coins to play.

So far this app is surprisingly fun, though there isn’t a whole lot to do. Nintendo has said that in the future there will be more content than at this moment, so it could get better. I rate this a 6 out of 10.

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