Game review – Miitomo (Nintendo, 2016)

Around three months ago I was on holiday in Japan. Whilst over there, I was excited because it meant, completely by chance, I’d be given early access to Miitomo, Nintendo’s first foray into the smartphone apps. 

I was fairly excited about this, even if I couldn’t share that with anyone I knew in the real world. Or, for that matter, online. I suppose the news hadn’t made its way to Britain yet, but I was certain it would come out in the wash when it was released.

So it’s three months down the line now and I can’t help but wonder what exactly this app is supposed to do. I diligently logged in every day throughout March and April to make sure I got my daily prizes, which ranged from in-app coins to in-app game tokens. These could be spent in the shop on new clothing items or in the arcade on the various versions of Miitomo Drop – a game where you hold your Mii in a crane and drop it over a pinball-type area and hope it lands in a prize that isn’t the totally redundant bag of sweets.

The app itself isn’t awful. It functions well, with a few minor bugs (if I collect all my prizes I get an erroneous error saying I can’t collect them all, even though I have done). The main issue is the lack of people using the app. I’ve synced up Twitter because I don’t mind it posting on my behalf on Twitter. Usually nobody reads my tweets and if something was posted I’d just delete it. I’d never synchronise Facebook because I know it would post something on there that I’m either not keen on sharing or that none of my friends would care about.

So since I can’t search for friends I know, my app consists entirely of someone I follow on Twitter that I don’t know. We log in occasionally and ask each other questions. Sometimes we answer, sometimes we don’t. He hasn’t been online for a while. I don’t know who he is and the Miitomo name doesn’t match his Twitter name, so I’ve genuinely got no idea how to work out who he is. I sent a friend request to someone else I know but they never accepted, presumably because they aren’t using the app.

That’s pretty much it. I’ve got a cool Link outfit on and loads of Miitomo coins in the bank. I take a Miifoto every day. And that’s it.

A big disappointment.

Miitomo is the first of many smartphone apps developed by Nintendo, the next two of which will be respectively based on Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem. I truly hope they offer more than this.

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