Nintendo's 'Miitomo' launches in Japan, social messaging app garners good critical reception

Nintendo’s first smartphone app for iOS and Android devices, the social messaging game Miitomo, launched in Japan today and garnered good notices.

In Miitomo, you use Mii avatars to encourage discussion between your friends. After you set up or import your Mii, you answer a set of “conversation starter” questions which are then gradually shared within your Nintendo Network friend list. You can also take photos and embed your Mii into them using a feature called “Miifoto.”

In-app purchases include clothing and accessories, and My Nintendo loyalty reward points are earned for linking Miitomo to your social networks and regularly using the app.

Here is some of the early critical reaction to Miitomo:

Miitomo is a little clunky at times, with too many load screens and the odd graphical glitch. But what Miitomo does have in abundance is the sleek, appealing quirkiness that Nintendo’s had a knack for ever since titles like Wii Fit and Brain Age. I wouldn’t bet on it becoming the next big thing, but it’s going to be a neat way for Nintendo fans to engage with the company and each other — and it might just be another notable source of revenue, too.”
— Sam Byford, The Verge

“If you’ve been paying attention to Nintendo recently, you’ve noticed that it has already been taking some cues from the mobile market in its free-to-play experiments on the 3DS. But while Miitomo‘s influences are obvious, it feels far more unique than something like Pokemon Shuffle Mobile, a competent Candy Crush clone with Pokemon in it. There are already plenty of ways to communicate using your iPhone, but the irresistible Nintendo personality of Miitomo helps it stand out from the rest.”
— Jordan Minor, PC Magazine

“Nintendo’s first of five apps has a lot of potential. It definitely misses opportunities with the lack of room customization, but the clothing options are pleasing. I’m most excited to see what kind of fun and creative images come out of Miifoto, and what sort of funny questions my friends will answer about me.”
— Miranda Sanchez, IGN

Miitomo is expected to be released worldwide before the end of the month.