Miitomo Review – Free To Say

Miibile gaming.

05

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Format: Android, iOS (reviewed)
Released: March 31, 2016
Free-to-play, microtransactions purchased

It wouldn’t be too wild a speculation to suggest that Nintendo could bring any one of its major properties to mobile phones and rake in an obscene amount of cash. From Mario to Pokemon, the publisher has enough universal brand clout to milk an iOS user dry.

Nintendo being Nintendo, however, it just had to approach the mobile platform in its own bizarre way.

So it is that we do not have a mobile version of Pokemon, a Mario runner game, or a Fruit Ninja/Legend of Zelda crossover. Instead we have Miitomo, the weird social app that uses Nintendo’s ever-creepy Mii characters in an unusual ecosystem of dress-ups and questions.

Taking inspiration from the 3DS sim Tomodachi LifeMiitomo encourages users to create a Mii based on themselves, connect with friends, and answer a range of banal questions. Tomodachi‘s text-to-speech function is in full effect – hilarious as ever – and the most important news is the complete lack of a word filter.

01

What this means is you can make your Mii say anything, and it will speak it out loud. You can talk about milking scorpions, pounding your genitals into an erotic pulp, or shitting in a toaster, and your cartoony avatar will repeat everything typed with its haunting robotic voice. This is by far the best part of the app, and its appeal will outlast most of what else Miitomo offers.

Essentially, it’s a game about taking surveys. Single-question surveys that exist simply for their own sake.

By tapping on your Mii, you’ll be asked such questions as, “What’s your favorite TV show?” or “What did you do last night?” You can answer them however you want, and your answers will be viewable by friends, who can “like” and comment on them in simple, Facebook-style threads.

You may receive questions from friends’ Miis, some of which may be private ones, which allow you to hit on people like a disgusting little sex person.

Miitomo pushes its social networking hard, and it’s not difficult to start adding friends. By linking existing accounts like Facebook and Twitter, you’ll swiftly find your pals in the game’s world, and you’ll not be short of suggested additions based on who you’re already linked with.

Responding to friend requests can be a tedious process unfortunately, as you can’t simply confirm every request at once, instead clicking on each one and manually approving it. The process of adding a single friend requires several taps with loading in between. As an incredibly popular boy who has a ton of requests to answer every time I fire the app up, this is a wearisome process, and I’d love the ability to just mass approve.

I’m really popular, is what I’m saying.

02

Answering questions and leaving comments for people will earn you coins which can be spent in the shop on new clothes. Clothes are unisex in nature, meaning you can wear whatever pants, chicken outfits, and fishnet tights you want. In a surprising move for a Nintendo product, you can find some rather kinky attire on offer.

Of course, since this is Nintendo and a freemium app, there is a hard limit on how many coins you can earn in-game per day, and it’s not enough to do serious shopping on a regular basis.

You can of course buy more coins using real-life cash. The microtransactions are fairly reasonable as far as free-to-play economies go, and it’s certainly more worthwhile than Nintendo Badge Arcade, if only for the fact that the social element makes dressing up as much performance as personal gratification.

By changing clothes regularly and interacting with friends, you’ll level up your popularity and fashion meters, which can reward you with more coins and game tokens. These tokens can then be taken to a little arcade machine where a Mii is dropped into a column full of bumpers in the hopes of landing on some unique clothing items.

The arcade game is rubbish.

The Miis will very rarely land on the clothing items, and since it’s all completely luck based, there’s not a lot of fun to be had here. This token slice of gameplay will mostly net you pieces of candy, which can be given to your friends’ Miis in order to hear more of their answers. I don’t know why you need to do that, but you do, so let’s not question it.

03

This app is stupid, when you think about it.

What else can you do? You can link your Nintendo ID to undertake missions, but they’re all passive tasks like “change your clothes” and “answer three questions” in exchange for Nintendo Points.

The star attraction, by far, is the photo mode, in which you can pose your Mii, use custom backgrounds, and add text in order to create all manner of ludicrous images. These pictures can be shared on Facebook and Twitter, as well as added to your Miitomo feed for the amusement of everybody. Once again, there are no restrictions, so you can be as grotesque as you want.

Is this memes? Yes, it can be memes.

Miitomo is cute, silly, and relatively fun to dick around with, but it’s not exactly packed with reasons to keep going back. While the social aspects are fun, and it’s interesting to drop in to see who reacted to your latest perverse gibberish, the longevity of such chicanery isn’t exactly remarkable. In fact, in less than a week since downloading it, I’ve been finding myself less and less motivated to go back to it.

06

Part of this longevity will be based on how active your friends are. If they start to suffer the same quick fatigue I have, then you’ll find yourself with even less to do. Fact is, this is one of those neat little gimmicks with limited potential, and I can’t see it having that long a tail.

I could be wrong, of course, and this could be something people are raving about a year from now. If my personal experience is indicative of the common consensus, however, we’ll all have forgotten this exists before too long.

In several ways, Miitomo is the perfect kind of app for Nintendo to bring to mobile devices – it’s unexpected, silly, and it doesn’t make any sense. It’s also quite a bit of fun for however long such entertainment lasts, and it’s had a lot of thought put into it – it could easily have been cobbled together quickly for a quick cash-in, but it’s a highly polished time waster.

04

Still, in the time since starting the first draft of this review a few days ago and typing in this final line, I’ve had no real desire to use it again.

Even making a Mii say “fuck my shrimp hole” has a shelf life.

6.5/10
Alright

sillyskeleton
Guest
sillyskeleton

Unfiltered speech, hey? Sounds like Nintendo’s next big predator breeding ground following on the heels of Swapnote.

Anarchy Pony
Guest
Anarchy Pony

“Drink of my chungus”
Words to live by.

Enuo
Guest
Enuo

I’ll fuck your shrimp hole.

Keyes
Guest
Keyes

I feel like this app summarizes Nintendo’s contempt of mobile gaming, yet what they feel is a begrudging need to set some sort of foot in the market, however late to the show they may be.

Contrary to popular belief, we have some great games on mobile. Shironeko, Monster Strike, Granblue Fantasy… At least make an effort, Nintendo.

Zo
Guest
Zo

I just really want that Twilight Princess Picross game you can earn through My Nintendo with Miitomo points. It’s the only reason I downloaded it. I can’t have too many Picross games for my 3DS

Chürz
Guest
Chürz

This type of apps are pure cancer.

Cameron Ward
Guest
Cameron Ward

not really surprised by the rating to me honest. for a first time app, its commendable and hopefully we see what happens in the future for their future games or apps they put on the store

Brotown
Guest
Brotown

Add in a match 3, 4, or 5 minigame (ala candy crush) with Zelda and Pokemon characters and Asia would eat that shit up. Where’s my consultation fee payment? *holds hand out*

buttman
Guest
buttman

Hey jim… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BESRuscSpI (don’t tell anyone!)

Dawn Foster
Guest
Dawn Foster

What this really needs is for Nintendo to add a few more time wasters into this, even if you don’t get much of a reward, or even any, for using them.

greyXstar
Guest
greyXstar

+ We can all be a horrific Freaky Constantina army.

– I can’t actually communicate with it because Nintendo.

Rickter
Guest
Rickter

Dear Jim,

A fine read as always but ya done a typo me old mucker…

“…however, then we’ll all forgotten this exists before too long.”

Should be “we’ll all have forgotten…” I would posit.

Pedant #4653 Out

Pen Scott
Guest
Pen Scott

Personally, I just enjoy answering every question with “HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH”
It’s a real joy to hear a computer try to say that.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Other than the ludicrous pictures, some of the best fun I find is in really long comment sections to troll responses. It’s so funny to see everyone going along with it, especially when you see one guy who totally takes it seriously.

Besides that, it’s actually surprisingly relaxing for me. Just answering questions as calmly or ludicrously as I feel without any real excitement is surprisingly enjoyable. To me, the simplest way to describe Miitomo is just as a small talk simulator. You do it when you have free time, and just mess around on different topics your friend brings out.

RedsDead21
Guest
RedsDead21

As an introductory app for Nintendo on the app store, it’s not overly impressive at first glance, but being honest, it’ll probably manage to hold onto some life despite the fact that it gets boring fast.

Because the internet is freaking weird.

Mika Rose
Guest
Mika Rose

I think my biggest issue with Miitomo is the inability to search for friends that aren’t added to Facebook and Twitter. Aside from it getting boring fast…there’s no real interaction. I wish there was a chat box at least or private messages. I honestly just misd Snapchat.

Owen Chambers
Guest
Owen Chambers

More like is this Miimes

Tank Dsouls Ordialot
Guest
Tank Dsouls Ordialot

Trash like this is the reason i still take my PSP to work instead of resorting to the app store! Ive had smart phones for 4 years now and only ever played FFIV and VI on the dam things! For god sake Nintendo im literaly waving my cash in you face for any pokemon or zelda port

Zaruian
Guest
Zaruian

My twitter feed is full of “this app is garbage, WHY IS IT SO ADDICTING”

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

As a long time NIntendo fan, this first dip into mobile depresses me. Your feelings are basically the same as mine, only I just watched what my friends did, never downloaded the stupid thing. Plus I hear its a battery vampire.

Try again Nintendo… or better yet, stick to handhelds where you are king.

CL128
Guest
CL128

I have a Blackberry :*(

Aria DiMezzo
Guest

“This app is stupid, when you think about it.”

Well said. My thoughts on it exactly. Think I’ll stick with Twitter and Facebook, thanks…

Fortyseven
Guest

Yup. I enjoyed it for a good 3 or 4 days before the novelty wore off. I’m incredibly surprised Nintendo allowed it to be so… unrestricted. I thought for sure they’d throw the hammer down pretty quick.

But yeah, fun’s over. Done now. And my tablet’s battery has thanked me repeatedly for uninstalling it.

Jpkurihara
Guest
Jpkurihara

These pictures are hilarious.

BAH!
Guest
BAH!

And that’s about the size of it. Though for me, the attraction is answering questions and seeing how well I can balance “tasteful” and “funny” while actually giving a relevant answer. It’s not easy.