When Nintendo announced that they’d begin developing apps and games for mobile devices other than their own, the reaction was mixed. Many lamented the company for “abandoning” their own platforms, despite that never being the case, and others were happy about the company finally sharing the love. Unfortunately and fortunately, the whiny babies were wrong and so were those celebrating.
The first of Nintendo’s mobile apps is Miitomo, a bizarre social network that recalls Yahoo Answers more than Facebook. It’s clear that Miitomo hasn’t taken anything away from Nintendo’s core video game development, but it’s also clear that Nintendo don’t have much of a desire to create full games for the mobile market just yet. Whatever Miitomo is supposed to be, it falls short in every regard. As far as usefulness goes, it’s about as pointless as those fart or airhorn apps, but without the instant gratification and with a lot more stupid hats.
Upon launching the app for the first time, I was asked to create an avatar (a mii, if you’re a pedantic twat), and the front-facing camera made itself known. Startled by the sight of my own face, the app immediately started to take a few photos, and this is what the app thought I looked like:
I’m white, unfortunately, but Miitomo seemed to think otherwise. The only white Mii it gave me had a neckbeard, and while neckbeards are a prime example of peak white people, it was pretty insulting. After struggling with the app for quite some time, I somehow got here after it took approximately 200 vaguely unsolicited photos.
To avoid the risk of cultural appropriation, I decided to just create a mii to resemble me from scratch.
After making a mii that fully expresses who I am as a person, I set off to figure out what the rest of the app was about. Expecting cool and interesting opportunities to interact with my friends, the app instead offered me the chance to answer a series of uninteresting questions. Shortly thereafter, I found out that not only does the app let you answer mundane questions like “What are you plans for the weekend?” but it also let me hear the even worse answers from my super interesting friends.
After figuring out the app had very little to offer, the answers quickly devolved into a series of lewd confessions or immensely depressing statements.
The app has a number of game-like elements that allow users to level-up, but for the most part they’re completely arbitrary. After adding around 30 people as friends I leveled up and got the title of “Ultra Friend,” whatever that means. Recalling the App Development and Condiments episode from Season 5 of Community, the pointlessness of Miitomo rivals the fictional stupidity of MeowMeowBeenz.
That’s not to say there’s no enjoyment to be found from Miitomo, as the Miifoto portion of the app has already spawned a number of hilarious and borderline offensive moments between my friends. There’s an inherent memeability to Miifoto, which allows users to pose their miis and the miis of their friends however they want. But really, it’s the only saving grace for Miitomo.
As far as opportunities to hear how boring everyone I know really is, Miitomo is perhaps the most awkward way to do so. While the miis can showcase a lot of personality, they can also frequently look dead inside, which is what this app left me feeling like.