Few companies have enough obsessed fans or intrigued observers to get a new social network up to critical mass on day one. But only Nintendo could get away with launching an odd little social network where everything happens by proxy.
That proxy is a Mii, familiar to millions thanks to the success of the Wii. Your first task is to design the Mii that will be your representation in Miitomo, or let the app give it a bash via your device’s camera. Miitomo keeps taking photos and generates a stream of wildly inaccurate Miis, to genuinely and presumably unintentionally hilarious effect. I had every colour of skin under the sun; my wife had a variety of facial hair.
Then it’s down to business: answering questions. “What have you just been doing?” “What have you noticed that has become popular recently?” The questions come from your Mii, and the Miis of your friends. Finding friends is easy via Twitter or Facebook – assuming you know the sort of person who would immediately download a weird Nintendo thing and link it to their social media accounts, which if you’re that sort of person, you probably do.
You can visit your friends’ Miis, to have conversations in which they pass on some of the answers your friends gave them. Your Mii will also visit other Miis, and have conversations with them, then have conversations with you about what they talked about, which will be what your friend told their Mii. Your friends’ Miis will visit you too, where you can talk to them, or leave them to talk to your Mii. It’s a charmingly convoluted question and answer system.