Pikmin Bloom recently released for mobile devices around the world. Nintendo fans weren’t sure what to expect when Pokémon Go Developer Niantic has announced a new augmented reality game based on Pikmin, the popular franchise starring half-plant, half-animal creatures. As the game draws inspiration from Pokémon Go, it’s a completely different experience that’s more like a fitness app than a real game.
Niantic calls Pikmin Bloom “An application that brings a little joy to your daily journeys on foot. This holds true, given that it looks more like an activity tracker portrayed as a Pikmin game. It features walking as a basic part of the game, and progress is highly dependent on the number of steps you take and where you go. Players level up based on the number of steps they take, the number of Pikmin they grow, and the number of Expeditions they complete. They can also unlock Decor Pikmin, or Costume-Wearing Pikmin, as collectibles.
Pikmin Bloom also asks players to plant flowers to build a more lush neighborhood. Players feed on Pikmins’ nectar, which in turn causes the leaves to grow on their heads into glowing flowers. Tapping on these flowers turns them into petals that players can plant in their neighborhood as they walk. Players can also find Expeditions to send their Pikmin around the region, which can produce even more nectar and seedlings to grow their squad. Around 9 p.m. local time, the app compiles your daily progress into a journal where you can write a small journal entry for yourself.
It’s a much smoother experience than the original game. In Pikmin, Captain Olimar uses the help of the titular plant creatures to help him collect parts for his spaceship so he can return home. However, there is no need to throw Pikmin into dangerous territories with deep puddles or toxic fumes in Pikmin Bloom. Players don’t have to worry about monstrous predators eating their plant / alien friends. They also don’t have to worry about sending a distressed player character back home with their family.
Unfortunately, this also means Pikmin Bloom lack of stakes. It also doesn’t provide as much engagement as Pokémon Go, where players can find PokIt ismon at random spawn points throughout their area. Pikmin Bloom does not have as many of these points of interest. So, for anyone living in a suburban area (like me), the map probably looks like an empty green field with nothing to explore. You might come across shoots that you can help bloom in your area and trails of flowers left by walks, but that’s it.
Pikmin Bloom primarily encourages activity through its gameplay. Developing a Pikmin team means removing seedlings when they’re ready, roughly every 1,000 steps. Leveling up also requires a number of stages, which in turn unlock more Pikmin and other in-game features. Players must reach level six before unlocking Expeditions, which is one of the primary ways to harvest. nectar and seedlings in the game. Fortunately, the game lists what you need to do to level up on your profile.
Pikmin Bloom lack of purpose as a “game”, even if it offers something to do on daily walks. I wouldn’t recommend it for people who don’t like to walk because you won’t be able to play anymore. It could be an engaging experience for those who have played Pikmin, but I can’t imagine it having as much appeal as Niantic’s other games. It actually made me walk to get more Pikmin, but there’s not much but curiosity and nostalgia to keep it on my phone.
Pikmin Bloom is now available on iOS and Android devices. It’s free, so there’s no downside to trying it out the next time you go out.