Nintendo's first mobile game is about to come to smartphones everywhere, but Mario or Yoshi won't be hopping about on the handsets, as it'll feature Mii avatars instead. The upcoming title is called Miitomo, a communication-based game, which translates to "Mii Friends."
Miitomo is developed by Japanese mobile games maker DeNa, and it will be a free-to-play title that will come with in-app purchases. This collaboration between the two Japanese firms stems from the deal that Nintendo's former President Satoru Iwata made with DeNa when he passed away.
In his first appearance as Nintendo's new president, Tatsumi Kimishima elaborated that Miitomo will feature Mii interactions, where avatars will be able to interact with others on their own free will.
To play the game, players will create their own Mii avatars. The game will ask the players a series of questions. The answers given will then be communicated to other players, and Mii avatars will interact with each other, helping users share something about themselves to their friends. This will help friends and family members discover and learn more about one another. From the look of things, it seems like it's a "Mii-fied" social networking game, and it will help shy people talk to others more.
On an interesting note, Miitomo seems somewhat similar to Tomodachi Life, which landed on Nintendo 3DS devices on April 2013 in Japan, followed by English variants of the game in June 2014.
Regarding Nintendo-related mobile games, this isn't the first one, as titles such as Pokemon Shuffle on iOS and Android and Pokemon Trading Card Game Online on iPad have been up for quite some time now. Also, the much anticipated Pokemon GO was introduced earlier this year.
But to make things clear, Miitomo will be primarily developed by Nintendo, whereas DeNa will mostly focus on just the service side of things. Thus, it's considered Nintendo's first mobile game.
Miitomo will roll out by March 2016. More Nintendo-DeNa titles that use the Nintendo Account system will appear soon, as Nintendo plans to release four more apps by March 2017. However, games after Miitomo will be pay-to-download apps.