Hey! Pikmin Ditches The Strategy For Easy Exploration

Hey! Pikmin Ditches The Strategy For Easy Exploration

This isn't Pikmin 4, it's something else entirely.

In addition to my hands-on with the New Nintendo 2DS XL, Nintendo took me for a spin on some 3DS titles coming in the near future. Ever Oasis, Miitopia, and Hey! Pikmin represent further growth of the 3DS' already impressive software library. Does Nintendo have more winners on its hands?

Hey! Pikmin's Pikmin Plaza.

If you're looking for Pikmin 4, this isn't it. Hey! Pikmin is the other title I demoed that's launching on July 28, alongside the New Nintendo 2DS XL. The game carries many of the series' concepts forward, like Captain Olimar, the various colored Pikmin, and tiny folks wandering through a huge world, but this isn't really a Pikmin game.

Instead of a simplified strategy experience, what you have here is a side-scroller with tiny Pikmin as your equipment. The game is primarily a touch-screen experience. The directional pad and the face buttons do that same thing - move Olimar - allowing for ambidextrous control. You tap the touchscreen with the stylus to throw Pikmin in any direction. There are also on-screen buttons for your Pikmin whistle and a short-lived jetpack.

You're given a limited number of starting Pikmin and you can find others within the level. Throwing Pikmin is your primary interaction with the world. You can throw Pikmin to attack enemies or you can throw Pikmin onto platforms in the lower and upper screens to move obstacles, grab Sparklium seeds, and more. You can throw Pikmin into certain objects to push them over or destroy them.

There's still some resource management here, as certain numbers of Pikmin are required to trigger certain platforms and switches. These platforms tend to offer alternative paths to greater Sparklium rewards, but not much else.

In-between levels, there's the Pikmin Plaza, an area of various hazards. You can assign Pikmin to certain areas, with certain types of Pikmin being better at clearing specific hazards. You'll return to find that your industrious Pikmin have cleared a hazard giving you a small reward, usually Sparklium.

Honestly, Hey! Pikmin is pretty simple. Nintendo only let us play levels 1A, 1B, and 2A. All were straightforward and finding the path ahead wasn't hard at all. The simple level design reminds me of the kid-focused Kirby games. Red Pikmin are resistant to fire, Yellow Pikmin are resistant to electricity, and Blue Pikmin can swim. There was no way in the demo to plant further Pikmin, so you have to survive with what you find in the level. The puzzles were also simple, especially since your focus is singular and clear.

There was just a complete lack of complexity in the levels I played for the Hey! Pikmin demo. I don't have a sense of any of the game's deeper aspects. Given that, I'm hesitant to give any sort of verdict on Hey! Pikmin. As it stands from my demo, it's light, easy fare. A side-scroller with cute presentation for the younger crowd. I'm hoping there's a bit more Pikmin strategy in there or some more complex exploration going on.

Hey! Pikmin is developed by Arzest and is coming to 3DS on July 28, 2017.

There's still more impressions from the New Nintendo 2DS XL event!

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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