Nintendo's First Smartphone Game, Miitomo, Has Arrived Worldwide

Free-to-start Miitomo app launches today in the west following its release in Japan.

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Following its launch earlier this month in Japan, Nintendo's first smartphone game, Miitomo, has landed in the west, right on schedule. You can grab the free game right now from iTunes and Google Play.

Miitomo was a big hit in Japan, having reached 1 million downloads in its first three days. It also climbed to the No. 1 spot for free apps on the App Store and Google Play. Nintendo will be hoping it can repeat that success for its western debut.

"With Miitomo, Nintendo takes its first step into the world of smart devices," Nintendo marketing executive Scott Moffitt said in a statement. "Miitomo brings the special Nintendo charm and polish that people around the world love to an entirely new format and audience."

Miitomo is more of an app than a game per se. Developed in partnership with DeNA, the app allows users to create and customize a Mii character, then sync up with others, much like the Mii functionality on Wii and Wii U. Users can then link their Facebook and Twitter accounts to Miitomo to find friends to interact with.

The app also lets you create "Miifotos." For these, you can place Mii characters in images from a smartphone's image gallery. You can click through the image gallery below to see some examples that Nintendo provided. These images can then be shared on social media sites.

Although Miitomo is free to download, it also has an in-game shop where extra clothing and items can be purchased with Miitomo coins. Real-world money can be used to purchase Miitomo Coins, or they can be earned via gameplay.

Check out the video above to see an overview for Miitomo. The new My Nintendo loyalty/rewards program also launches today, March 31.

Miitomo is just the first of Nintendo's smartphone games. Another upcoming smartphone game "will not be a communication app" like Miitomo, but instead a title that features a well-known Nintendo character--maybe Mario?

A total of five smartphone games from Nintendo are due to launch by 2017. These games, all of which will be free, are being produced under the guidance of longtime Mario Kart producer Hideki Konno.

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