The Pokemon Go developer’s latest augmented reality game Pikmin Bloom has started rolling out globally.
Currently the game is only out in Australia and Singapore, but is set to come out in more countries over the next few days. The game is similar to Pokemon Go; your main goal is to collect and grow Pikmin. You plant the Pikmin in your backpack, and like hatching an egg in Pokemon Go, you need to walk a certain number of steps before they’re ready.
As you collect more Pikmin, they’ll join you on your journey. Flowers will start to bloom as you walk, with you being represented by a Mii. That’s right Mii lovers: never say die. According to a preview from The Verge, “much less of a traditional game than Pokemon Go.” They described it as more of a “passive experience”, something to leave running in the background as you go about your day.
The original Pikmin games are a mixture of real-time-strategy and puzzle games, so Pikmin Bloom marks a departure from the format.
making something magical
Niantic CEO John Hanke wants Pikmin Bloom to be something that helps people get out on walks. “Even though the benefits of walking are clear for physical and mental health, we know it’s not always easy to get up off the couch.” He goes on to say, “As more people walk and plant flowers in your neighbourhood, you’ll start to grow a shared garden, that we hope makes your daily walk just a little more magical.”
It’s nice to see Hanke wanting the game to be more of a relaxing experience. Pokémon Go is quite an in depth experience, so having a game focused more on the walking experience is welcome. I do have some reservations though; it’s a mobile game, and it’s free to play. The Play Store does state that the game offers in-app purchases, so I wonder how good the game will be for players’ mental health.
Mobile games have a tendency to harbour mechanics that prey on vulnerable players. Hopefully the monetisation of Pikmin Bloom isn’t too intrusive, and is easily playable without spending any money.
Will you be playing Pikmin Bloom when it releases in your territory? Let us know across our social media channels.
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Featured Image Credit: Niantic