Last week, Nintendo and Niantic revealed that they had partnered once again to launch an augmented reality game of Pikmin similar to Pokémon Go, with the aim of “make walking more enjoyable.”.
Niantic has started testing its Pikmin augmented reality app associated with Nintendo in Singapore and through an anonymous source, IGN has seen the first version of the game, currently simply titled ‘Pikmin App’, and read in the section of the help center an overview of the game.
As a result, we can reveal some details about how it will work when it is released worldwide. Of course, with the game under test, some features could change before the final version. Two features that will almost certainly change from this version are the lack of microtransactions and the points of interest (similar to PokeStops in Pokémon Go) that are currently not interactive.
Pikmin are first seen as dormant seedlings that you must find, pluck, and grow by walking through the real world with your smartphone. Walking accumulates energy that you can use to start and collect the Pikmin, adding them to your squad (and you can also change their name manually). Places of interest in the Pikmin app may be based on Ingress portals and not on Pokémon Go PokéStops.
Once the Pikmin have grown up, they can be added to a squad (not unlike groups in Pokémon Go). Once you have a squad of Pikmin, if you walk with them they will accumulate fruits that can be turned into nectar. Like the mainline Pikmin games, Pikmin that partake of the nectar will bloom leaves, buds, and flowers, and when the flowers shine, players can collect petals by tapping the blossomed Pikmin. The petals are used for the flower planting mode, described below.
Different Pikmin offer different colored petals, and the petals have a cooldown period before you can collect them again. Collected Pikmin also have health gauges, represented by small hearts.
There are several modes in the Pikmin app. Expedition mode allows players to send their collected Pikmin to places they have previously visited in the app to collect seedlings, fruits, and postcards. The postcards will feature Pikmin on his adventures framed in a picture of a real-world location submitted by Pokémon Go and Ingress users. Additionally, players will be able to delete inappropriate postcards and report them.
A flower planting mode is also available, which will leave a trail of flowers behind the player while walking. Players will need flower petals from their Nectar Bloom Pikmin to participate in this mode, which will make the seedlings easier to find and improve the Pikmin’s growth speed.
Players can plant flowers alone or with other users, and cooperative flower planting will allow you to share your data and your Pikmin squad with other players. If you are planting flowers, your flower trail will be visible to other players and will expand depending on how large your Pikmin squad is.
For its part, Lifelog is a section of the application that is used to catalog your trips in the game. Players will be able to view their statistics and record activities, photos, and thoughts in a journal that reflects their adventures. Additionally, your Lifelog entries will include steps walked, flowers planted, places visited, photos captured, and any written entries you add. You will also be able to see an animated summary of your progress in the application during the previous day, with possibilities to earn more items in this mode if you have taken long walks.
Types of Pikmin
The in-game help center reveals the Pikmin species in the game, each of which will have different characteristics (though those differences are not described in detail here). The Pikmin species will include:
- Red pikmin
- Blue Pikmin
- Yellow Pikmin
- Purple Pikmin
- White pikmin
- Rock Pikmin
- Winged pikmin
There is also a sub-category, Decor Pikmin. Decorative Pikmin can be found in Big Seedlings, and normal Pikmin can transform into them after interacting with them. Additionally, Decor Pikmin will wear special clothing that reflects where you found them. Of course, it is not clear if they offer other benefits.
The Pikmin app will launch globally later this year, and we expect it to launch smoothly in more regions before full launch. On the other hand, we remind you that Niantic has also been anticipating what appear to be AR glasses.