As always, I have a not so timely review for something that has been available for sometime, but then again I like to review things in my own time.
What is it?
Miitomo is Nintendo’s approach to social networking, and very much like everything else to do with Nintendo, it is quirky, original, and is not meant to fit in with its competitors.
Other social networks focus on driving clicks to external services, advertising, meeting new people and sharing posts with friends. But what happens when a company creates a social network?
Miitomo uses the customisable brand of character, first introduced with the release of the Nintendo Wii, as your avatar. Your Mii wanders around a small digital apartment randomly, and you will be able to begin the main focus of the network: answering questions. This really doesn’t seem all that exciting, and really it isn’t, but in a way the app is interviewing you about your life and interests. You can add friends through other services, such as Facebook and Twitter, and you will be able to view their responses to questions you have been asked.
This is the point that makes it most interesting, as it divides it into being less social and more informative of your friends. You can learn a lot about someone through this service, but it remains a limited service.
By logging into the app, answering questions and interacting with the app, you will earn a small amount of coins that can be used to purchase clothing for your Mii avatar. You can also earn tickets, which can be used to play the pachinko style mini-games within the app and win special items for your Mii. You can also take photos of your Mii, and you can use sweets to buy hidden answers that your friends have submitted. There are in-app purchases, however these are very discreet and are not pushed on the user.
It’s a simple social network, with the classic Nintendo charm. Some additional features would be welcome, such as being able to personalise the digital apartment you inhabit, but the system is very much usable as it is.
Whilst it is a social network, it is better to be seen as a small addition to your current networks, and I can’t see this replacing any other accounts. It is fun, but not a necessity.