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Miitomo: Nintendo's First Game For iPhone And Android


Unlike most other game companies, Nintendo has long stayed out of making games for mobile phones, preferring to publish games for the 3DS. But last year they announced they would start putting out games for iPhones and Android, and the first of those was released last week.

It’s called Miitomo, and it isn’t strictly a game. The name comes from the Mii avatars that have been available on Nintendo consoles since the original Wii, and the Japanese word for friends, Tomodachi (??).

When you start up the app for the first time, it will ask you some questions and have you craft a Mii in your likeness. It even offers to help, by looking at you through your phone’s camera, and suggesting starting points for your Mii’s face. As usual, everything about your Mii is customizable - your hairstyle and color, the size of your nose, even the distance between your eyes. After that, it offers to link up to Facebook and Twitter to find other friends you might have that use Miitomo.

Miitomo itself is a kind of slow-burn social network. It will ask you things about yourself or how your weekend was, and then your Mii will travel to your friends’ houses and deliver the news. So, instead of quickly scrolling through shared articles about the election or seeing baby pictures as you might on Facebook, with Miitomo you might learn about a friend’s favorite food, what smartphone app they can’t live without, or what they are doing on their next day off.

As you interact with your friends, you earn coins you can either use to buy different clothes for your Mii, or to play a Plinko-like game in order to earn special clothing items. (Of course, if you run out of coins, Nintendo is happy to sell some to you in exchange for real money.)

This is a great, fun first app by Nintendo, and it has made me more excited than ever for Nintendo’s future mobile games.