Elias Pelcastre

First look: Nintendo’s Miitomo for iPhone and iPad

Nintendo launched Miitomo for iPhone and iPad in the Japanese App Store. The 80 MB app requires iOS 7 or later and is free to download. Is it fun to use this social network on a mobile device? Let’s have a look.

The app is available in eight languages, including English and Spanish. It offers different dialects like European English and Latin American Spanish. Nevertheless, Japan is the only option you can select in the “Country of Residence” section.

You will have to agree to both Nintendo and Miitomo’s privacy policy from the web. Even if you care, the text is in Japanese. Miitomo doesn’t force you to use a Nintendo account, but you can log in or create one right from the app (Miitomo will open an in-app registration web page, but you can only link one account to your device so choose wisely.)

Miitomo asks you to set your age details and takes its sweet time to download “new data” to move on to the next screen. In the meantime, it will give you some useful tips like how to score popularity points (that’s by getting comments from your friends) and that deleting the app will erase the data stored (that if you didn’t link a Nintendo account.)

Apparently, Miitomo takes privacy seriously, as “answers will only be shared with friends.” After a good five minutes, I was able to choose my style and colour of hair and miificate myself; Miitomo started generating an endless number of characters, and to stop I had to tap the “results” button. You can then modify your mii until you’re happy with the representation of yourself, including your character’s voice and personality. (Your mii can be super direct, quirky, and expressive at the same time.)

Your mii will start asking questions, and answering gives you “Miitomo coins.” The app displays a set of options on the lower side of the screen to add friends, see responses to your and your friends’ questions, and buy clothing and play minigames in the shop.

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Miitomo will give you 2,500 coins and a Mario cap as a way to celebrate the app’s launch. It will also host a set of contests, with “Cats and Mii” as the first one and the prize, an RT from the official Miitomo Twitter account. Miitomo offers an in-app purchase of 120 yen that will get you a thousand digital coins.

The app has a cool tool for adding friends. Face-to-face allows you to add close contacts by selecting a symbol and making your friend tap on the same one on their screens. You can also look for people the “regular” way on Twitter and Facebook.

It’s interesting to see that you need digital candy to hear your friends’ answers. Comment on them and you get a reward. Posting your thoughts also gives you coins.

The app includes a saving battery mode in the Menu’s settings, a nice addition in case you’re running low on juice and can’t stop “playing.”

Miitomo for mobile makes you feel like you’re on a Wii, the platform where the game officially launched. If you’re a fan of the console version, you will enjoy having Miitomo on your smartphone or tablet. For the rest of use, it plays better with friends – but if you use it solo you can still have fun with the mini games.

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