Niantic and Nintendo have announced the global rollout of Pikmin Bloom, their second augmented reality (AR) mobile game collaboration after the hugely popular Pokémon Go, for iOS and Android.
Pikmin Bloom is described by Niantic as “a smartphone app designed to bring a little joy to your everyday journeys on foot”. Like Pokémon Go before it, the game overlays your walks with a fantastical world laid out like your own, but filled with cute creatures.
This time, however, you won’t be battling said creatures. Rather, you’ll be growing and picking them out of the ground (rather like hatching an egg in Pokémon Go), at which point they’ll follow you en masse and cause flowers to bloom along your route.
This will contribute to a ‘shared garden’ in your neighbourhood, to which all local Pikmin Bloom players can contribute. In a nod to the original console games, you can send your Pikmin out on expeditions to pick up the fruit and seedlings you passed on your route, and to deal with bothersome mushrooms.
At the end of the day, the game will present you with a journal of your travels, to which you can add your own photos.
Pikmin is one of Nintendo’s smallest albeit most beloved properties. Its three mainline games to date involve the growing and marshalling of tiny plant-like soldiers. Pikmin 3 Deluxe was released on Switch last year, while Pikmin 4 is deep into production on Nintendo’s hybrid handheld.
Pikmin Bloom is rolling out on both the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store for Android across the world over the coming days. It’s free to download.