Hey! Pikmin makes a fun-filled, adventurous debut on the Nintendo 3DS in a game that is charming, cutesy and above all else fun.
It’s Pikmin but not as you know it as the familiar 3/4 overhead perspective is changed to a side scrolling game that sees Captain Olimar crash landing on a planet, meeting and befriending many different types of Pikmin. Anyone familiar to the game series will feel right at home as the mechanics behind the Pikmin are the same as are some of the enemies which show up from the previous console versions to the handheld. New players have a handy tutorial to introduce them to the game, the characters and the cutesy Pikmin.
The premise of the game sees your ship in need of repairs and in order to repair it, you’re tasked with finding Sparklium which can be obtained by finding three relics that are hidden across each level. These will give you a generous amount of Sparklium for finding them however by defeating most enemies, you also receive a smaller amount. The levels themselves are varied and make use of both screens so sometimes if you can’t find a way out, try looking at the top screen. There are water level, ground levels, underground levels and more and as you progress through the game, you gradually unlock more levels to explore.
There also some bonus level where it literally rains Sparklium across the screens so you can grab some to add to your total. These level are fun as you can stand on one side and catch them while you simultaneously throw Pikmin across the scene to catch some on the other side. Also of particular note is that this game uses the touchscreen constantly and you can’t play without it. It’s how you select items on the screen that you want Pikmin to attack or just to carry and bring back to you.
I’ve read some reviews that found the game fiddly, boring or otherwise lacking. I haven’t really encountered these issues. I’m not saying the game is perfect as some levels cam come across a little same but at the same time, there’s enough variety to keep you going. It’s also the perfect game to play in sporadic bursts as the levels aren’t too long making it ideal to play on public transport as well. Being that it’s on a handheld, there were always going to be compromises so I’m not sure what other reviewers were expecting but it really is a delightful game that keeps you coming back.
It has a great blend of nice, colourful graphics with a lighthearted soundtrack to accompany it. This is one game that I’ve always started on console but never finished but I can really see myself giving this one a go for hours. It has a nice mix of easy and harder levels as well. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s a war in the park because it’s on a handheld or it’s adorable appearance. Looks are deceiving in this game and believe me, it will keep you entertained!
*Thanks to Nintendo for the review copy*
Final score: 8.5/10