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Yesterday marked the launch of the long-awaited first gaming app of Nintendo, called Miitomo. While downloads have exceeded three million, as reported by Nintendo, it’s easy to understand why so many people are interested to try it out. Rather than a mobile game, which is what it was first originally called by Nintendo, Miitomo is more of an elaborate social media app.

Since its announcement, Nintendo has been referring to Miitomo as its first mobile game, and while it is kind of like a mobile game, it works more like a social community than anything. The point of Miitomo, really, is to discover a new way to interact with your online friends. So rather than chatting it up on Facebook or Twitter, you can “face-to-face” interact with your friends through your Mii.

There are certain “gaming” aspects to Miitomo, though. I wouldn’t say they are enough to quite call it a game, but enough to give it more of a gaming feel over communities like Facebook and Twitter. For example, your Mii friends can “come over” to your place and chat with you. And conversations sprout from you answering daily questions to earn more coins.

Your life on Miitomo is going to be all about collecting coins, because that’s how you buy more outfits, which is key in Miitomo. The outfits range from totally cool and hipster to an entire category of clothing dedicated to dressing like baked goods. Outfits in Miitomo are how you express yourself to your friends, alongside answering questions.

There are five categories at the bottom of your Miitomo app, which read Recent, My Answers, Friends, Shop and Menu. Recent will display all of the latest interactions you’ve had with your friends, including conversations and comments you left under each conversation. My Answers is where you take part in the daily questions, stimulating new conversation and earning more coins. Shop is probably the most important of all, because that’s where you can spend your coins frivolously. If you signed up during launch, you got a ton of coins, so I purchased a sweet new outfit. Now I was ready to start adding friends. Luckily, one of my Facebook friends had joined Miitomo, so I started with him. And like magic overnight, I began to have friend requests rolling in from people I’m not sure I even knew.

From the menu at the bottom, you can access your closet, your profile, an Edit Mii screen, your greetings, your photos in Miiphoto, Nintendo Missions, a QR Code, gift box and settings.

Nintendo Missions are exactly what you think they would be. They are simple little missions that start you out in order to get acquainted with the app, and then move you along to actually completing tasks for coins, like adding friends or answering your first question. They evolve into more in-depth missions like scoring a certain number of hearts (or Likes) on one of your answers in a day. And to do that, you’ll of course need to add more friends.

While Miitomo is an interesting take on interacting with people, I wouldn’t exactly call it a mobile game. It really is more of a community-based, social media app. I think the only real gaming aspects to it are the missions, gaining coins and designing your Mii.

Not too long ago, Nintendo released a trailer for Miitomo that was supposed to market to its young adult users, but many reported that the trailer had gone horribly wrong, and horribly creepy. You can watch it below.

So while Nintendo may now refer to it as their first smart app, I’ll be waiting to see what their next “mobile game” will be, since Nintendo has shown interest in pursuing mobile games eventually. I just hope their next attempt is more game-like and less glamorized social media.

Players: 1
Platforms: mobile
Developer: DeNA
Publisher: Nintendo
ESRB: Everyone

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