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Miitomo Is Weird, Yet Strangely Engaging

As Miitomo has been out for a few days now, I decided to download the app and see how it works and despite my general dislike of social media, Miitomo is actually a lot of fun.

The Mii Creator utilizes the same capabilities as the service offered on the Wii U and 3DS, but with the added feature of a voice. Your Mii can speak to you, and you can customize the pitch and speed of your avatar to match a robotic version of your own speaking patterns. Then, after setting your Mii’s personality traits, you’re free to vicariously live your own life.

The majority of time spent using the app is devoted to answering personal questions. These can range from “What is your favorite food?” to “What is one of your most bittersweet memories?” and everything in between. There is no reason you can’t answer any question as jokingly or as seriously as you want it; the app is meant purely as a go-between for you and your friends. I can’t put my finger on why, but it’s a lot of fun to see how your friends’ answers compare to your own. Your friends’ Miis can also answer questions that are just directly between the two of you, starting potential new routes of interesting dialogue. I’ve certainly learned new aspects about my cohorts that I would not normally have inquired about. You can also take Miifotos, where you can pose your Mii in front of pre-made backgrounds or your own photo, and attach a comment. Most of the time, you’ll wind up randomizing your Miifoto until you extract a nugget of visual gold.

Apart from the main interactivity mode, there is an in-game store where you can purchase new clothing for your Mii and minigames that allow you to potentially win exclusive clothing items that can’t be acquired elsewhere. These games offer nothing more than a cosmetic distraction, but when you see something like a cat clinging to your back, there’s a part of you which just yearns for it. You can also earn My Nintendo points, in order to exchange for rare outfits, by answering a certain amount of questions per day or completing various other tasks.

There isn’t a whole lot directly within the app, but for some reason, I can’t stop answering questions, buying new clothes, and interacting with digitalized versions of my friends. It’s oddly entertaining for a social networking proxy and, surprisingly, a good indicator of what Nintendo can bring to the mobile market. Although fans of Nintendo, myself included, would prefer an actual game, this experiment by Nintendo has been an oddly engaging success. Now, if only I spent time with friends in real life as much as my Mii does…

Written by Lee Feldman

Lee is a writer, game designer, and graduate student from Los Angeles, California. As a gamer, he is primarily inspired by fascinating worlds with deep stories, rich characters, and sharp gameplay, with a love of games both old and new. When he isn't collecting rare NES cartridges, he can be found obsessing over mixed martial arts.

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