Who could have imagined that a little alien as tall as three currants would succeed in winning the loyalty of so many fans? Crushed on the planet PNF-404, the friendly Olimar befriends the Pikmins, hybrid creatures that are part of both flora and fauna. Together, they will find the parts of the ship in order to allow the captain to leave the planet. In this real-time management / exploration game, the player uses Pikmins to progress through the different levels. Critters have different abilities depending on their color: blues breathe underwater, yellows are lighter and can therefore be thrown higher, and reds are flame resistant. Powers that will vary over the episodes while other types of Pikmins will integrate the troop (white, purple, rocky, winged, etc.). The goal of the game is to succeed in protecting these little critters from predators, while ensuring the sustainability of the colony by feeding it and letting it evolve. When it was released, we judged that Nintendo’s title delivered “a truly engaging and original experience“, able to “seduce any lover of weird titles”.
Strange, did you say strange? At the end of the 1990s, the idea of making a slightly different management / strategy game turned in Miyamoto’s head. At that time, the famous creator made a demo for the GameCube with “Super mario 128”, Where more than a hundred Mario come to life on the screen. The goal is to show the computing power of the machine to the whole world. In another time, the Japanese thinks about a software where the user would embody a kind of God capable of guiding two protagonists. Code name: Adam and Eve. The principle ? Help Adam and Eve survive, have children, and build community. Mammoths came from time to time to attack the village which had to be protected, a role that the Bullborbs would later take up in Pikmin. But Miyamoto and his team are not convinced of the first prototypes. While the creator spends time in his garden, he sees ants running at his feet: they carry leaves before disappearing into the bushes. It makes “tilt”In his head: why not make a sort of god-like which would take place in a large garden, and which would be able to display dozens of characters on the screen like Super Mario 128 did? The idea for Pikmin just took off.
Following the honorable success of the first Pikmin released on October 26, 2001, Nintendo released a first sequel in 2004 on GameCube. Pikmin 2 brings other playable characters (like Louie) as well as the ability to command two different groups of Pikmin. Caves and new types of Pikmins appear, while a two-player battle mode comes to the party. Pikmin 3 is released in 2013 on WiiU and further refines the concept. Finally, a platform game called Hey! Pikmin is coming to 3DS in 2017. Released on October 30, 2023 on Switch, Pikmin 3 Deluxe features the downloadable content of the original title, as well as a new multiplayer mode, an all-new prologue and a redesigned epilogue. By counting only the episodes released on home consoles and removing the Wii versions of the first two games, Pikmin has exceeded 6 million in sales. Certainly, Nintendo’s not the most successful license, but it holds a special place in the hearts of fans. And Miyamoto knows it. In 2015, he ensures that the development of Pikmin 4 is almost finalized. After a long radio silence, he confirmed in 2017 that the game is still in development. Today, unfortunately, we no longer have any news from this fourth installment. Fans will have to console themselves with the development of a Pikmin game designed for mobile devices. While waiting to know under what conditions we will find the little hybrid creatures, we gather around the cake to wish a happy birthday to Olimar and all his gang. 20 years of Pikmin is worth celebrating.