Can a new title capture the same magic of Pokémon Go, with similar movement-based playstyle enhanced by Augmented Reality? We’ll soon see, with the launch of Pikmin Bloom.
Pokémon Go may no longer be the universal phenomenon that it was for those first few halcyon months in 2016, but its unique and rewarding combination of mobile gaming and walking still proved to be a winning mix that has invigorated the franchise and endeared it to a larger fanbase.
It’s hardly surprising that the creators, Niantic and Nintendo, want to recapture that success — but how will it fare when it’s attached to the similar-sounding Pikmin rather than the cultural behemoth of Pokémon?
The above trailer is a little light on actual gameplay, but shows an idealised version of the app in action as you go about your daily exercise. Pikmin is a game series first introduced to the Nintendo GameCube back in 2001, but if you’re not familiar then it’s enough to know that they’re cute little creatures who are plant-animal hybrids, and in this game your objective will be to build a garden with their help.
As more people in your neighbourhood play the game and pick up seedling from various locations, the shared gardens will bloom with new flowers — but you’ll have to make sure to get rid of those pesky mushrooms to make sure everything stays as it should.
The concept seems a little friendlier than Pokémon Go’s focus on making your animals battle against each other, and the constructive idea of building a beautiful common space certainly will hold some appeal and could encourage people to go out walking more and more often. But we’ll just have to see whether the craze will spread quite as quickly as the pollinating plants within the game.
Pikmin Bloom is currently rolling out on the App Store (iOS) and Google Play Store (Android), and it is free to download.