Thursday, March 2, 2023

Discontinued Social Media App and Pachinko Game Review: Miitomo

Miitomo was a short-lived social media app by Nintendo. It was the beginning of Nintendo's expansion into the smartphone market.

It allowed people to create Miis, Nintendo's popular avatars that debuted on the Wii, decorate their Mii's rooms, and answer questions from their friends. 

It also contained a video game element. The game had candy, coins, and tickets. These could be earned through doing tasks such as logging in daily, answering questions from friends, changing the outfit of your Mii, or by playing Miitomo Drop. For a set number of tickets or coins, people could play the latter. 

Miitomo was a pachinko game that involved dropping a Mii down a series of pins. When the Mii reached the bottom, clothes could be earned for the Mii to wear. If unsuccessful in getting a piece of clothing, candy was earned. Nintendo had events for Miitomo Drop that were themed after things such as cats, flowers, baking, fruit, ninjas, goths, royals, vehicles, weddings, rain, and the E3 games convention. For the latter, clothes based on modern The Legend of Zelda games could be earned in one pachinko board while clothes based on classic The Legend of Zelda games could be earned in the other.

Miitomo was initially popular. However, once the newness of a Nintendo product on a mobile phone wore off and Nintendo partnered with developers to release other mobile games, the number of daily users steadily dropped until the Miitomo servers were shut down on May 9, 2018.

Luckily, as fans are often wont to do, a group of fans known as the Kaeru Team, have been developing a replacement server known as Kaerutomo since June 10, 2018. The server is still in development As of this writing, most features are present, such as asking questions, shopping, and the Miitomo Drop. A few things are still not fully-functioning, such as taking photos of Miis.

Miitomo is a social media app that hit the ground running but ultimately did a face-plant. After Nintendo's full entrance in the mobile phone market, players left the game. This wasn't helped by Nintendo's slow process of adding new events for the Miitomo Drop minigame. It wasn't a full-fledged social media app by any means, but it was a fun distraction if you had a few friends who also used the app. It is no longer supported by Nintendo, but fans have patched it to make it functional once again. The patch can be applied by following the instructions on the Kaerutomo website. It requires MiiTomo to be installed, but luckily it can still be downloaded from app stores if you had previously downloaded it. If you have a few friends willing to give the revived app a go, it is as fun of a time waster as it ever was.

Final Verdict:
3½ out of 5

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