Miitopia on Switch Review
A fun, family-friendly RPG.
Nintendo’s adventure role-playing game (RPG) Miitopia was released on Nintendo 3DS in 2017. Now, an updated version of the game has been released on Nintendo Switch, and we had the chance to check it out.
What’s Miitopia about?
Miitopia takes place in a fantasy world of the same name, which is inhabited by Nintendo’s customizable Mii characters. The Dark Lord has traveled throughout the world of Miitopia and stolen Miis’ faces, and then given them to monsters. Players will need to form a team of heroes to track down and defeat the Dark Lord while also battling monsters along the way in an effort to give Miis their faces back. (This setup is goofy and lighthearted, not gruesome.)
What do you do in this game?
To start, players will customize the look of their own Mii character that will represent them throughout the game. The Mii customization menu has a slew of options, and players can unleash their creativity to design any Mii their mind can think up. That is, players can go for realism and create a Mii that looks just like them, or they can create a Mii that looks like a celebrity, their favorite video game character, and so on.
In addition to designing their own Mii character, players will be able to design each Mii that joins their team as a hero, as well as many of the secondary Mii characters that play a role in the game’s story. They’ll even be able to design the face of the Dark Lord.
When players are asked to design a Mii (this happens regularly throughout the story), they may be able to create the character from scratch, choose a “Look-Alike” Mii as a starting point, or import a Mii that has been created by another player. Players may also be able to choose the game’s default Mii characters if they don’t want to design each and every Mii in the game on their own.
The Mii customization system has tons of different options for eyes, noses, hairstyles, and much more -- it’s a very detailed system, and players have already created some really impressive Miis that they’ve shared with the community. For instance, when I started Miitopia, I began by designing realistic versions of myself, friends, and family. But then I changed it up, and I’m now running around Miitopia with Mii versions of Mario, Luigi, and more, who were created by other Miitopia players.
Each time players are asked to create or import a Mii that will serve as a hero on their team, they’ll need to give the character a job. At the beginning, players can choose from jobs like “Chef,” “Warrior,” and “Mage.” Each profession has access to different abilities, so players can mix-and-match different jobs to create a well-rounded team. Early on in Miitopia, players will also be able to recruit a horse for their team, which can help them at random during battles (players will be able to name the horse and customize its appearance).
After players have created their own Mii, they can begin traveling through the world of Miitopia, which is split into different themed areas (like a forest and desert) that each have multiple “levels” or “sections” to explore. During each level, the player’s team will walk across the screen automatically until they encounter an enemy or find an important object, like a treasure chest. They may also stop to talk to one another (we’ll talk more about these teammate interactions in a bit).
Battles are turn-based, but players can only control the actions of their own character. Their teammates (up to three in each battle) will perform actions automatically, and these computer-controlled characters are thankfully pretty smart about effectively using healing items, magic spells, and more to defeat enemies and keep themselves alive.
You also have the option to automate your own character’s actions during battles for more hands-off gameplay. And, if a character ever gets into too much trouble, you have access to a limited number of “Sprinkles” that will allow you to instantly refill their health and/or magic points, as well as revive them if they’ve fallen in battle.
As players win battles, they’ll receive a variety of food items and coins. Food can be used to boost a character’s stats (like defense, speed, health points, and so on), while coins can be spent on new weapons and gear for the team. Players will also earn experience points for defeating enemies, which can help them level up and increase their stats even more.
Miitopia isn’t really a difficult game, but it is possible for the entire team to be knocked out during battle. If this happens, players can try the battle again right away, or they can go back and replay levels to earn more experience points and boost their team’s stats before trying again.
At the end of each level, the player’s team will rest for the night at an Inn, where their characters will heal and get to know one another. Miitopia focuses heavily on the relationships that develop between teammates. That is, your own character will form relationships with your teammates, and your teammates will form relationships with one another. As two characters become closer, their relationship level will increase and the pair will unlock new abilities that will activate at random during future battles. For instance, one Mii may "Show Off” for another during a battle, which boosts their next attack.
It’s also worth noting that characters can get mad at each other. When this happens, you’ll need to make them hang out together in the same room at the Inn so they can work out their differences.
At certain points during the story, the Dark Lord will kidnap your teammates and take away your current job, leaving you jobless, without a team, and back at Level 1. When this happens, you’ll be able to recruit a new group of Miis to join your team, and you’ll also need to choose a different job to use going forward. New job options like "Cat" and "Flower" (among others) are introduced over time, giving you more otions to choose from. (For the record, your previous teammates aren't removed entirely from the game.)
When you're first sent back to Level 1, it feels rather unfair, as though all of the work you’ve put in up to that point was for nothing. However, it’s actually a pretty clever system that forces players to experiment with different job types and step out of their comfort zone to see more of what the game has to offer.
Finally, Miitopia is full of random encounters between your teammates that add more flavor to the story as they grow closer or have arguments. The basic gameplay loop is pretty redundant, but these random events keep the game from feeling stale. You can also meet characters like the Nintendo Fan and Quizmaster on the game’s map, which give you new activities to complete in between regular battles. For instance, the Nintendo Fan asks you to scan amiibo with your Switch in exchange for free costumes for your team or in-game items.
Is there anything else parents should know about this game?
Miitopia focuses on being funny, but some of its jokes contain juvenile humor. For instance, while characters are running through a level, a team member may ask something like “Did someone toot?” In addition, there’s a turkey monster called a “Twerkey” that shows its behind to players, with the Mii’s stolen face appearing on its rear.
Finally, the game doesn’t feature traditional voice acting, so players will need to be comfortable reading lots of text.
What’s the final verdict?
Miitopia is a charming, clever experience that can sometimes feel too repetitive, but at the same time attempts to make up for this issue with a bunch of random encounters and events that come out of nowhere.
Since much of the game is automated, Miitopia is an extremely approachable experience for younger players or those who aren’t as familiar with traditional turn-based RPGs, as well as for those looking for something different in the genre.
All told, we recommend picking this one up.
Miitopia is available now on Switch for $49.99. A free demo is also available that allows players to play quite a few levels of the game and then carry their progress over to the full version if they decide to purchase it. Miitopia is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.
Disclosure: SuperParent received a code for Miitopia on Switch for coverage purposes.