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Miitomo: Probably not Tomodachi:Mobile.

The great Nintendo smartphone invasion continues... Next March!... Woooo!..

So as most of us know by now, Nintendo are branching out in to the mobile gaming market. It seems that the company at the forefront of the handheld gaming market have decided to cut out the middle man and just release titles straight to our phones. Why? That's a discussion for another time. Today's discussion focuses more on the release of “Miitomo“, slated to drop in March 2016.

So what is this game? That's a fine question. Some folks on Twitter seem to agree with my initial thoughts, being that it's a less silly and more social version of Tomodachi life. Those of us in this school of thought may be skirting round the edges of the right idea, but I think we all may have missed the overall point somewhat. The game may LOOK like Tomodachi Life, but it doesn't play like it. It's a new game made from old assets. It's kind of like Call of Duty but cute. Sort of... where was I going with that?

It looks like Tomodachi Life, but isn't. It makes waaaay more sense, objectively.

Miitomo's design seems to follow Nintendo's ideas on mobile gaming in its purest sense: social interaction through video gaming. You create a Mii on your phone (with some cooler customization options available for a fee... of course... sigh) and then have a small conversation with it. Yeah, sounds odd to me too. From what I can gather, the Mii takes note of your responses and then, when it's finished, goes off in to the virtual world and has conversations with other people's Mii's. The end-game here is to share interests between people and forge new relationships through common interests and love of big-headed, odd-looking caricatures. They could also be taking this information straight to the government so that they can compile dossiers on the general public, who knows these days? It's a chance you'll have to take. There's some risk vs. reward for you.

Interesting. The government now know to check nearby rivers and streams if they need to find you and you're not at work.

At the end of the day, it's a good first step in to a new market for Nintendo. One must test the waters before one jumps in. After all, there could be sharks in there, you just don't know. Somewhat sadly though, I just don't see the point in this game. As good a first step as it may be, you don't see any children learning to walk winning gold in 100m sprint events. Of course I may be proved wrong in the future, but I'm probably going to give this game a miss. The gameplay relies on living in a crowded area or knowing other people who are interested in the premise (two environmental factors I'm lacking, somewhat) and can be negated by actually talking. Yes, it's fast-tracks conversation but that takes some of the fun out of it for me. Not to mention that the micro-transactions seem present purely to grab a few extra bucks here and there and that's just capitalizing on conversation at the end of the day. Yes, I may be proved wrong but at present: I'm not too excited. This is a test to see how well the mobile market works and should probably be seen as such.

I want to make one last expansion on the micro-transactions point. Putting a paywall in front of some cool customization options in a game designed to promote social interaction doesn't sit well with me. If I was to be greeted by a Mii decked out head to toe in high-end premium content then that just tells me that you're trying too hard to impress mii... me... trying too hard to impress me... damn it. Either way, I don't agree with it. Paywalls never work unless you're out to do some milking.

New eyeballs: £2.60. Not paying £2.60 for eyeballs: Priceless.

Miitomo is set to drop in March 2016 on mobile devices and is free-to-play, with micro-transactions.


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