I played Nintendo's first smartphone game -- here's what 'MiiTomo' is like

After topping the charts in Japan, Nintendo’s first smartphone game, MiiTomo, is officially available in the U.S. for both iOS and Android.

If you’re wondering what a Nintendo game on a smartphone looks and plays like, this guide will take you through the game’s setup process, providing you with an overview of MiiTomo’s gameplay.

It’s yet to be seen whether the game will catch on internationally, but in my time with it, I could see it becoming a surprise smash. MiiTomo is only the first in five games Nintendo and mobile game maker DeNA are set to release in the next year.

Here’s what it’s like to play.

Getting Started: After downloading and installing the app, you're asked to chose your location and whether to link MiiTomo to a new or existing Nintendo account. Doing so will allegedly net you some in-game bonuses.

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Making your Mii: Using your phone's front facing camera, MiiTomo will make a Mii -- an avatar Nintendo first introduced in 2007 alongside the Nintendo Wii -- whose facial characteristics match yours. The results aren't perfect, but you can easily customise all of the Mii's attributes to your heart's content.

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Personalizing your Mii: In addition to altering your Mii's physical appearance, you're also able to customise their voice and personality. The voice controls are surprisingly robust, and while the results aren't particularly natural sounding, it's possible to approximate your natural speaking voice.

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Welcome to the world of MiiTomo: Once you're done creating your character, you're ready to enter the world of MiiTomo, which is largely based around...

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...Answering questions! The more you answer, the more coins you get.

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Coins allow you to further customise your Mii using MiiTomo's shop. While you're at it, you can tweak your Mii's personality a bit further with custom greetings.

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And then you wait: MiiTomo's underlying hook is asynchronous multiplayer. Your Mii can interact with the Miis of your friends; trading questions and answers. Friends can be added in-person or through Facebook or Twitter. You then begin the cycle of checking your phone periodically to see how your friends answered their questions, answering some more questions yourself, and further customising your Mii.

Brandt Ranj

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