As promised, Miitomo, Nintendo’s very first smartphone game, on Thursday released on the Japanese App Store ahead of its worldwide debut.
The freemium title, billed as “a friendly conversation starter,” is based on the Mii universe and invites gamers to customize their Mii avatars by mixing and matching from a bunch of costumes and styles to make it their own.
Your Mii characters created in the iOS app can then be easily shared with friends on social media. And by asking and answering questions, you can find out unknown aspects about your friends along with things that you share in common. “Your friends’ Mii characters will also visit you when you play,” said Nintendo.
Another cool in-game feature permits players to use their iOS device’s built-in camera to snap a photo of themselves that the app will then translate into Mii form. Or, they can import their Mii from the Wii U or Nintendo 3DS systems using QR Code scanning.
That being said, Miitomo is more of a social interaction game than a traditional title that you’d expect from the Japanese games maker.
“Miitomo makes it easy for people to express themselves and interact with their friends in new and fun ways,” said Scott Moffatt, Nintendo of America’s Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing.
For those wondering, Miis first appeared on Nintendo’s original Wii console, but they’re nowhere near as well-known as Nintendo’s other franchises like Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda and so forth.
More than 200 million Mii characters currently exist across Nintendo systems.
Nintendo singled out the following features in release notes:
- Make a Mii to look like you—Miitomo features the Mii characters that debuted on Nintendo’s Wii system. Choose from a wide library of facial features to make your Mii look just like you. You can also quickly create one by using a smart device’s camera. After creating your Mii and giving it a nickname, you can further customize how it speaks and even how it moves and behaves.
- Your Mii is your social go-between—In Miitomo, your Mii and your friends’ Mii characters act as social go-betweens. Your Mii will ask you questions about those little details about yourself you’d never think to ask. Your friends’ Mii characters will do the same. Your Mii and their Mii characters tell each other about these details, so you and your friends learn fun things about each other that you’d never find out without your Mii characters!
- Dress your Mii however you want—Costumes, streetwear, formal fashion, every-day style-you can find it all in the Miitomo shop. Mix and match clothing items to create looks that your Mii will wear when visiting friends, hanging out in your room, and appearing in Miifotos. You can get clothing items with Miitomo coins, which you earn by playing Miitomo. You can also purchase Miitomo coins.
- Win prizes from Miitomo Drop—Miitomo features a minigame in which you drop a Mii into a play field, and then watch it bounce around as it falls toward a variety of platforms. You’ll win a prize based on where it lands. Some clothing items are available only in Miitomo Drop. To play Miitomo Drop, you need Miitomo coins, which you earn by playing Miitomo or by using game tickets, which you can get as a daily bonus, among other ways. You can also purchase Miitomo coins.
- Make your Mii a star with Miifotos—In Miitomo, you can create images called Miifotos. You can let your creativity go wild, putting your Mii and friends’ Mii characters in images you make from a library of stamps, fonts, and backgrounds. You can also use photos from a smart device’s camera as backgrounds for Miifoto creations. You can share your Miifoto creations on social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Virtual currency in Miitomo is available via the In-App Purchase mechanism.
To learn more about the game, check out TouchArcade’s firs impressions.
Miitomo requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 7.0 or later and contains In-App Purchases. The app is localized in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.
Miitomo is currently available on the Japanese App Store.
We’ll update the article as soon as the app rolls out worldwide.