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Miitomo Is Super Dumb, And I Can't Put It Down

by Jeff Cork on Apr 01, 2016 at 01:03 PM

Yesterday, Nintendo released Miitomo, its first app for iOS and Android. It's an incredibly silly hybrid of Mii maker, messaging app, and quiz generator. I've already spent way too much time playing around with it, so I may as well give you a quick tour. Warning: Super dumb stuff ahead.

After downloading the app, you can either link your existing Nintendo ID to Miitomo or create a new account. If you're planning on taking advantage of Club Nintendo's successor, My Nintendo, it's worth linking. Some of the activities that you complete in Miitomo will earn you virtual coins, which can then be spent on Club Nintendo-style prizes. For example, you can outfit your Miitomo Mii in a Mario costume.

Once that's out of the way, you get to make a Mii. It's the same setup that you've seen since the Wii days, so don't expect anything surprising. Settled on a new face? Great! Then it's time to mess around with your voice settings and a quick personality-trait thing. Then your Mii moves into his (or hers, or its) new pad.

The opening moments are pretty similar to Nintendo's earlier life sim, Tomodachi Life, but it's definitely a more social experience. You can link your Facebook and Twitter profiles, which will populate your feed with friend suggestions and streamline the sharing process when you're ready to unleash your terrible images onto the world.

There's a store, which you can purchase additional outfits, individual pieces of clothing, and accessories for your Mii. I immediately grabbed the dumbest-looking thing that I could find, which was a baby outfit. I've since swapped out that outfit (earning coins and increasing my fashion rank in the process), but I like to wear the bonnet. It really pulls things together, as you can see in the images below. 

As your Mii wanders around their sparse room, you'll periodically have questions fired at you. You can ignore them, or choose to reply. Answering questions earns you coins, and it also pushes your responses into your friends' games. I've noticed a mix of approaches to these, with some friends responding with earnest replies, and others treating it like a score-free version of Quiplash. If you enjoy a friend's response, you can like it, or respond with a message or photo.

The Miifoto portion of Miitomo is a big time sink. You can position multiple Miis around, pose them, and share the results. You can use canned backgrounds, or incorporate photos from your phone's storage. Most of the pics I've taken have been super dumb, but there's something satisfying when everything lines up properly. Or stupidly.

Nintendo understands that the appeal here is to make your Mii stand out, so players can win special hard-to-collect items by playing a minigame called Miitomo Drop. It costs tickets or coins to play, both of which are earned in game (and can be bought with actual money). It pulls your friends' Miis into the game, and you drop them into a complicated Plinko-style setup. If the Mii lands on a prize, you win. That's how I've been able to get things like that baguette outfit featured in the top image and a cat that sticks to my back. The worst prize is candy, but that has a purpose, too. You can pop into a friend's room and feed them candy to hear the results of specific responses to questions they've been asked. There's a chance you'll hear them eventually, but if you absolutely need to hear what Tim Turi did last weekend, you can find out – provided you ply him with the sweet stuff first.

People are having a lot of fun with the photo portion of the app, as you can see in this feature from Kotaku. If you plan on doing that My Nintendo thing anyway, Miitomo is an easy way to get some coins, and you might learn a thing or two about your friends in the process. Things like, "Reiner doesn't like his Mii to wear pants," or "Hanson's favorite thing about cats is 'Rye.'"

I don't even know.