By: Devonne Tourre
Think you know your friends? Guess again! – Miitomo’s slogan
Miitomo is a free-to-play application where the user can create a Mii avatar and share questions and answers with friends in order to learn something that wouldn’t be asked in a normal conversation. Since its launch worldwide on March 31, Miitomo has had success around the world, topping apps in the App Store and Google Play Store such as Snapchat and Facebook Messenger after a few days it was available for download.
Why is Miitomo so popular?
Before the user starts, they are required to make a Mii—Nintendo’s simple avatar which first debuted alongside the Wii console—that looks just like themselves. After that, they are placed in a room and introduced properly, as this is where the game truly begins. After this introduction, the player is allowed to add friends (via social media and other places), buy clothes for your Mii, and answer questions for other people to see.
Because Miitomo isn’t so much a game rather than a pseudo-social media application, it is a truly fun experience. The questions that you are asked range from “What is your favorite food?” to “What do you think the difference between ‘beauty’ and ‘cuteness’ is?”. The Mii that the player creates can travel to their friends’ rooms, receiving the answers that they have provided to their own Mii and bringing them back to the player for them to discover. As your Mii details your friend’s answers, the answer can be liked and even commented on, producing a nice conversation if the answer is something to be discussed. This fun process brings a new perspective on ways to get to know people better, instead of getting the information from a simple Tweet or status update.
Along with the overall question-and-answer system, Miitomo brings along more aspects that can prolong any user’s experience: Miitomo Shop; and two ‘minigames’: Miitomo Drop and Miifoto. Miitomo Shop features clothes that the player can buy and dress up their Mii with the in-game coins that they can obtain by answering and commenting on questions. Miitomo Drop has the player playing a sort of pachinko, a Japanese form of pinball, machine in order to get special-themed clothes that can’t be purchased in the shop. Themes can include dogs, school uniforms, and even clothes from Nintendo’s recent game Splatoon. Miifoto allows the user to get creative in the game’s equivalent of a photo editor, as it can be used to set your Mii in a variety of poses and backgrounds to create pictures that feature them. These photos can even be saved to the device’s photo album and be shared all across the Web.
Miitomo also features microtransactions to get currency in the game, but it does not exactly throw it into the face of the player, which is a nice touch to any newcomer and frequent user of this application. The user does not need real money for this game, unless you really want to get a certain item in the Miitomo shop, which is just about why the player would need coins in this game to begin with. Another more obvious feature that Miitomo has is that it is not an application that the player does not need to check up on every minute. It has the ability to be put down and forgotten about for a bit, which is a great thing compared to the ever-updating apps like Twitter or Snapchat.
As Miitomo reached one hundred million users by April 27, the app is still going strong among fans. Nintendo’s first step into the mobile phone user-sphere has been successful, and their future on the platform seems bright.