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Paris Games Week 2015  At Porte de Versailles In Paris
Gamers play the video game "Mario Kart 8" developed by Nintendo EAD on a games console Nintendo Wii U at Paris Games Week, a trade fair for video games on October 29, 2015 in Paris, France.  Chesnot—Getty Images

Nintendo Just Revealed Fresh Details About its Smartphone App

Feb 03, 2016

Nintendo just sharpened the focus slightly on plans for its first smartphone app, which was supposed to launch late last year, but delayed last October until March 2016.

The company just confirmed March is still on for Miitomo, a social interactivity app for iOS and Android phones and tablets that takes its name in part from the Mii digital avatars which currently populate Nintendo's Wii, Wii U and 3DS game-verses.

That much we knew. And we still don't have a firm date.

But if you preregister for Miitomo starting February 17 (with email, a social media account or your existing Nintendo Network ID), Nintendo's saying you'll get a "bonus" (though unspecified), as well as an early heads up on the app's availability next month.

What's Miitomo? It's not crystal clear yet, but it looks like a mashup of a Mii avatar, chat app and Nintendo's handheld StreetPass tech, which lets nearby 3DS systems exchange data. Imagine feeding a chat app (and your digital avatar) information about yourself, then that avatar going out and engaging other avatars and having "conversations," which you can peruse at leisure. An adjunct Miifoto tool lets you share snaps of Mii, too. The phrase "topical icebreaker" comes to mind.

Splatoon
Nintendo
10

Splatoon

Nintendo's best idea in years, Splatoon sees two squads of four players battling in skatepark-inspired arenas, outfitted with ink-spewing gadgetry and one imperative: to paint as much of their team's color on the ground as possible before time runs out. There’s nothing else quite like it, nor the cathartic dopamine jolt to be had when you sail up a paint-smeared quarter pipe, an Inkzooka at the ready, leap over the edge, take aim with your weapon, and reduce a startled opponent to goo.

[Wii U]

tobyfox
9

Undertale

In the guise of a Japanese roleplaying game, Undertale is an investigation of what may really be happening when we play so-called Japanese roleplaying games. It's a fantasy odyssey that deconstructs itself as you wander. It invites replays, winking at us like a smarter, subtler version of a "Let's Play" YouTuber shouting insults at the screen. And it's relentlessly, fastidiously obsessed with helping us see the consequences of the choices so often flippantly made, and the implicit violence we're wont to do in the name of freedom.

[PC]

Batman Arkham Knight
Warner Bros.
8

Batman: Arkham Knight

Rocksteady reversed the curse of the shoddy superhero tie-in when it surprised with Batman: Arkham Asylum six years ago. Arkham Knight is everything the company's learned since cranked to 11 with a side of 12. And it's not just a fitting fireworks finale that banks on past design glories rubbed in next-gen gloss: the studio took big risks by turning Arkham Knight into a buddy game, pairing Batman with the Batmobile, managing to make its inclusion both essential and exhilarating.

[PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One]

Ryan North’s To Be or Not To Be
Tin Man Games
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Ryan North’s To Be or Not to Be

Ryan North's To Be or Not to Be is the digi-fied version of a crowdfunded 768 page choose-your-own-adventure that came out a few years ago in book form. Studio Tin Man Games' digital version is the quirkiest, funniest, most insightful retelling of Shakespeare's Hamlet I've experienced in any medium. Multiply by a gazillion possible narrative routes, cultural takedowns and goofy cameos by everything from ghostly aliens to undead presidents. Like Inkle Studios' 80 Days last year, it's the smartest bit of interactive fiction you'll flick through all year.

[PC, Android, iOS]

Super Mario Maker
Nintendo
6

Super Mario Maker

It's Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros. U rolled into a rich but accessible toolbox, letting players create and share whatever bizarre level ideas they can dream up. Why it took Nintendo this long to release a Super Mario level maker is anyone's guess, but if one game sells the two-screen idea of the Wii U--the stylus is essential here--it's this one.

[Wii U]

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
CD Projekt RED
5

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

One way of talking about studio CD Projekt Red's open-world magnum opus The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt might be "the game that made me like Fallout 4 less." It's that near roleplaying perfection, assuming you like slow-burn fantasy games about potion-chugging mutants and ethical courses of action with inexorably bleak outcomes. The Witcher 3 is to the rest of the video game roleplaying genre as George R.R. Martin to J.R.R. Tolkien.

[PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One]

Her Story
Sam Barlow
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Her Story

A whodunit subjectively pieced together by scanning full-motion video clips that require you to spill real-world ink turns out to be a superlative example of how to rivet employing the sparest techniques. It's complexity from simplicity, a mesmerizing, hybrid investigative-voyeuristic experience where you observe a woman interviewed by detectives about a 1994 murder, unraveling (or deepening) the mystery by lighting on terms or phrases used to ply a vast but fragmented database, trying to puzzle out what happened — and why.

[iOS, Mac, PC]

Kojima Productions
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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima's series swan song turns out to be his finest work yet, a tactical stealth simulation wrapped in a colossal resource management puzzle inside a love letter to theatrical inscrutability. It's a clandestine feast of open-world prowling, a tactical toybox staged in sprawling bulwarks bristling with eerily sentient enemies--the new pinnacle of stealth gaming, and a triumphant final act from one of our luminaries.

[PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One]

Lara warms herself in front of a campfire as she looks outward into the cold, Siberian night.
Crystal Dynamics/Microsoft
2

Rise of the Tomb Raider

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[Xbox One, Xbox 360]

Prune
Polyculture
1

Prune

As its name suggests, Prune is a game about removing things to nurture other things, where you swipe your finger to sever restrictive limbs and free others to grow. But it's also about basking in a minimalist garden of forking paths as you work out the spatial logistics of coaxing a tree to blossom. It's both an arboricultural exercise and a meditation--on light, darkness, color, sound and perhaps most of all, the things we're forced to leave behind.

[iOS, Android, Windows Phone, PC]

And the company adds that My Nintendo, Nintendo's rewards program designed to both replace and scale far beyond its defunct Club Nintendo program, will launch in conjunction with Miitomo in March, as well as connect to the app.

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