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.

Something “witty” here
Guest
Something “witty” here

Hey!

Get in line!

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.

Locuas
Guest

i think Pokemon Go is their effort…

Logan Graham
Guest
Logan Graham

Pokemon Go probably won’t be as good or complete as the proper games, given that they’ve still got the proper games in development.

Sebs
Guest
Sebs

Oh right because Pokkén was half assed as a result of not being a main game and Pokémon Snap is not a cult classic /sarcasm. From what has been seen of GO, it will be a completely different beast from the 3DS games, not to mention that people can, surprisingly, enjoy both a free app AND a portable game that they buy.

Logan Graham
Guest
Logan Graham

Mobile games tend towards simplicity as a rule, and GO does look cool. That said, I’m not expecting as much as I would get from the 3DS games. I’m not putting down the regular Pokemon spinoffs, just the whole mobile industry.

Sebs
Guest
Sebs

That’s vastly oversimplifying, especially coming from a company such as Niantic (the developers for Pokémon GO) which made Ingress, one of the best augmented reality games that have been made.

chrisbrady
Guest
chrisbrady

Pokemon Go is not Nintendo. It’s the Pokemon Company doing something off the contract.

Redrum
Guest
Redrum

Except this was never meant to be a game, it’s a social networking service.

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

MechaSlinky
Guest
MechaSlinky
Agreed! Got that about a week ago and really enjoy it. The only downside is the regular and mega Picross modes both use the same sprites for their puzzles, so if you complete a picture of the heart container in one mode, for example, and then switch to the other mode and happen to select the puzzle with the heart container, you can pretty much just complete the thing from memory rather than doing the puzzle properly. The order of the puzzles is different in both modes, though, so you won’t know exactly what you’re getting before you’ve already invested… Read more »
BAH!
Guest
BAH!

Pokemon Picross is the same way, but there’s more than enough puzzles that, by the time you’re done with regular mode, Mega mode feels fairly fresh.

Chürz
Guest
Chürz

This type of apps are pure cancer.

FlawlessVictory
Guest
FlawlessVictory

Unlike actual cancer, they’re quite easy to stay away from if they’re not your thing.

thatdamnrat
Guest
thatdamnrat

As it has the capacity to be connected to social media your assertion is flat out wrong. It will leak and spread across the internet, growing much like a cancer spewing off memes like cancerous cells to lodge in other forums and grow making he whole internet stupid….well stupider.

Sebs
Guest
Sebs

Oh no! You’ll be faced with captioned images that can easily be ignored in favor of content you are actually interested in by simply going anywhere else on the near limitless medium that is the internet. Diddums man!

Sunset Shimmer
Guest
Sunset Shimmer

a portion of the internet collectively voted to name a research boat ‘Boaty Mcboatface’ – it’s already heavily unlikely that miitomo can make the situation any worse than it is.

Something “witty” here
Guest
Something “witty” here

And much easier to get rid of…

Chürz
Guest
Chürz

A cancer for gaming as a market. I should have been more clear. My fault.

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

FlawlessVictory
Guest
FlawlessVictory

Not meaning to be rude but did you actually read the review as well as the score?

There’s not much to be learned about a game like this from a review score to be honest. The fact the game might wither and die and essentially become unplayable in no small amount of time kinda’ devalues arbitrary number values.

Cameron Ward
Guest
Cameron Ward

Yeah I did ya jerk. im not surprised it got a 6/10. I’m just saying in general, im not surprised that Miitomo is an impressive if not fully substanced first time thing for Nintendo….

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*

Chürz
Guest
Chürz

If they did what the makers of LINE are doing in Japan, which distills down to not just releasing this shit but useful apps, interesting F2P games and cool stamp photo apps, they would rack in billions in microtransactions. I’m not exagerating. LINE does that with a few characters they made which became popular in Japan. Just imagine what Nintendo could do with the insane amount of worldwide known characters whose rights they own. Frankly, I’m baffled that they’re not flooding the market by now. They would make more money than with the DS by far.

buttman
Guest
buttman

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

Gervasius
Guest
Gervasius

I tried this technique. I unlocked literally every prize except for the Katana.

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.

FlawlessVictory
Guest
FlawlessVictory

Agreed – the whole point of this seems to be a casual time-sink, but somehow they forgot to put the time-sink elements in. I can only imagine they’re going to add bits later – surely?

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.

FlawlessVictory
Guest
FlawlessVictory

Nintendo are horrible when it comes to trying to trying to interact with your actual, real life friends. I have far more contact with strangers I street pass on the train than my buddy I’ve known for 10 years on the other side of the city – maybe Nintendo are just trying to encourage me to broaden my social circles!

Owen Chambers
Guest
Owen Chambers

More like is this Miimes

marvelator
Guest
marvelator

I don’t know whether to be angry or impressed with that one.

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

FlawlessVictory
Guest
FlawlessVictory

I won’t argue that dedicated gaming consoles like the 3DS and PSP are still the place to go for core gaming but mobile has come on a long way. Squeenix has produced the fantastic Hitman Go and Lara Croft Go, you have stuff like Threes, Prune, 80 Days, Plants Vs Zombies and Framed. Not to mention ports like Grim Fandango, the GTA series, Crazy Taxi and Sonic. If you have a phone with a nice big high resolution screen, some decent speakers and enough juice it can be a really great gaming system

Tank Dsouls Ordialot
Guest
Tank Dsouls Ordialot

Oh Grim Fandango you say!? Thanks for the heads up on that one, i had no idea! Definatly need more games like that, and if you think about it a touch screen is perfect for adventure games, you could argue even more so than a mouse

FlawlessVictory
Guest
FlawlessVictory

Yeah I picked it up not so long ago in a Humble Bundle. Adventure games definitely work real well on the touch screens, stuff like Machinarium and Botanicula are a joy to play on my phone.

It’s worth subscribing to their newsletter if you haven’t already as they release quite a few mobile bundles these days. I also nmanaged to grab a fantastic set of Warhammer IP through them.

Tank Dsouls Ordialot
Guest
Tank Dsouls Ordialot

Thanks again. Finally my ignorance has been rewarded with enlightnment, instead of abuse! Times are changing

Helmic
Guest
Helmic
The Shadowrun games by Harebrained Schemes release on Android and they’re fantastic, XCOM: EU and EW have mobile ports and I suspect 2 will get ported before long. Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath is still great though you’ll likely want a gamepad for that one. The DraStic emulator is really damn good for getting your Phoenix Wright fix while Capcom drags their heels releasing the English version on Android. PPSSPP is free on Android but you’ll need a very recent phone for the more demanding PSP games, useful for not needing yet another device in your pocket. Snex9x EX+ is great for… Read more »
Helmic
Guest
Helmic

Square Enix has some really good shit on mobile. I love their port of The World Ends With You. I just wish Capcom would release the English versions of the Phoenix Wright Android games. Core gamers have phones, we’ll buy the shit out of these games if we know they’re advertised.

Zaruian
Guest
Zaruian

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

Nutarama
Guest
Nutarama
It’s addicting because we feel the need to complete collections, get rewards for tasks, and display our differences. It’s core appeal is the same as an Olsen Twins game – complete the collection of outfits, dress up your character in neat little ways, and then show it off. There’s the same “do a (generally non-challenging) activity to get outfits” gameplay loop, whether it’s to buy the outfits or win them. The only difference is that instead of the Olsen Twins imagining girls sitting around a computer playing virtual dress up and imagining their character’s lives, Nintendo is imagining a bunch… Read more »
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.

Fortyseven
Guest

It’s typical Nintendo, though. Whenever they do something new, they almost always do it awkward. 😉

FlawlessVictory
Guest
FlawlessVictory

To be fair this may just be an experiment to buy them some time before they release some ‘proper’ games. They’re still pretty new to this whole internet thing and having cross-platform accounts and functionality is probably blowing a lot of Nintendo exec’s minds. I expect within the next year or two we’ll see some genuine titles that take advantage of what they learned from stuff like Miitomo

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

I kind of hope they do, I kind of hope they don’t. They can’t sustain 3 pillars. If they dive into mobile, something’s gonna go.

FlawlessVictory
Guest
FlawlessVictory

I don’t see any reason why they can’t. There’s more than enough money to be made in mobile gaming so it’s not as if it won’t be a return on their investment. Not to mention the fact that they already have vast experience in making award winning games on a handheld platform. It would not surprise me to learn the Nx, whatever it may be, goes one step further in tying all of Nintendo’s ecosystems together. I have faith Nintendo can really make waves in the mobile market, they just have to brave and commit.

Helmic
Guest
Helmic

I’m mostly disappointed they aren’t going to Square Enix route of porting premium games to mobile. It’s always wonderful to find some game on Android that I can just buy and not deal with IAP’s, and I’m willing to shell out a $20 for a straight port of an older game on hardware that’s actually quite capable. I’d be willing to pay the $40 for a legitimate Pokémon game without any microtransactions, and I’d feel way more comfortable buying such a game for my younger siblings than buying them currency in a freemium version.

Göran Isacson
Guest
Göran Isacson

Funny that you should wrap up your comment they way you did, because I suspect the fact that they ARE kings on handhelds is why they released this app and made it the way it is in the first place. I posted a big-ass comment up top where I go into further detail and it’s late and I don’t feel like summarizing, but TL;DR: it may be the case that Nintendo intends to keep games on their own platforms, but use mobile to experiment with their “quality of living” stuff that they talked about a long time ago.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew
It will be interesting to see how NIntendo gets people to go back from mobile to a handheld. I’m in the minority who does not want one device to do everything. It’s that whole “Jack of All Trades, Master of None” concept. I don’t mind having my phone for calls and texts, 3DS for gaming, ipod for music and a camera for quality pictures all in my pockets at times. But I know most people want it all in one. And well, I want real games, and Miitomo is not a game, it’s a time kill, and I don’t have… Read more »
Göran Isacson
Guest
Göran Isacson

Yeah, I get your perspective. It may be Nintendo’s way to just not develop games for a format they can’t control, and that could be both good and bad. I guess what we should keep an eye out for is how Pokemon GO will work out…

CL128
Guest
CL128

I have a Blackberry :*(

MJC
Guest
MJC

Those still exist?

CL128
Guest
CL128

Yup lol. You lose out on apps but BB phones are the most secure you can get. 🙂

FlawlessVictory
Guest
FlawlessVictory
FlawlessVictory
Guest
FlawlessVictory

The Blackberry Priv which came out in the last few months wasn’t bad at all. Wasn’t great, but they’re using a modified version of Android now. They might be making a comeback in the market

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.

FlawlessVictory
Guest
FlawlessVictory

Check out this guy’s Twitter feed – https://twitter.com/gabrielenguard

Some of them absolutely slay me

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.

FlawlessVictory
Guest
FlawlessVictory

I’m curious as to why there hasn’t been any sort of questions of privacy surrounding Miitomo to be honest. It seems like Nintendo have managed to pull off an absolute beast of a data vacuum by simply having the data mining coming from cute characters 😛

BAH!
Guest
BAH!

I’m not sure I understand what you mean.

FlawlessVictory
Guest
FlawlessVictory

Well, I may be mistaken but the whole game is built around users asking each other questions, correct?

This seems like a marketing company’s wet dream, you have users do all the data mining for you and then just collect and analyse the results. A question like ‘what is your favorite tv show?’ could of course be innocuous, or it could be a method for direct advertising. Not saying Nintendo are doing this, but it’s food for thought.

BAH!
Guest
BAH!

Ok, that’s what I thought. It’s certainly possible- likely, even. But since the user can say literally whatever he wants (and this being the internet), it seems a rather unreliable method for gathering anything of value.