Pikmin Bloom (Mobile)

I like pretty much most every Nintendo franchise, but I’ve never really gotten into Pikmin.  You’d think I would, since it’s a pretty cute and colorful series.  But for whatever reason, I just couldn’t get into them.  And the games in the series I did like, most other Pikmin fans hated.  Like the 3DS Hey! Pikmin game that was more like a 2-D platformer.  I liked that one because it reminded me of Kirby Mass Attack, but most Pikmin fans I’ve heard from hate it.  But now there is another Pikmin game, and no it’s not Pikmin 4.  It’s Pikmin Bloom, a mobile ‘game’ that counts your steps as you walk, and gives you rewards like more Pikmin and other goodies so you can spread Pikmin and flowers around the world!  It’s made by the same folks who did the hit Pokémon GO game, and it shares a lot of similarities to that title.  It’s available on mobile devices but reviewed on iPhone here.

When you start the game, you’ll have to design a Mii character or use the one from your Nintendo account (they have really gotten milage out of those Miis, haven’t they).  Then you’ll get a Pikmin plant creature to walk around with you.  As you walk, you may pass by WiFi spots where you can pick up seedlings and nectar.  You’ll put the seedlings in a backpack where they can grow.  When you have enough steps, they’ll grow into new Pikmin for your army.  All the Pikmin types are here: red, blue, yellow, purple, white, flying, and rock.  Although they don’t really do anything different in this one.  The other thing you’ll get is nectar, which you can feed to your Pikmin by tossing it to them like you how toss a Pokeball in Pokémon GO.  This’ll make flowers grow on the Pikmins’ heads.  Tap on the flowers to collect the petals, which you’ll use later.

You’ll also be able to go on expeditions.  This is when you send a group of Pikmin out to find seedlings and fruit (for nectar) as you walk around the real world.  It’ll take the Pikmin a set amount of time to gather those items and bring them back to you.  There are also mushrooms you can send a group of Pikmin out to attack, and multiple players can do that, so I guess it’s like those Pokémon GO raids.  You’ll get rewards depending on how fast you can complete those missions.  Sometimes when you go on expeditions, the Pikmin will bring back large seedlings.  These will have outfits for that Pikmin to wear.  For instance, I passed by a pharmacy and got a Pikmin wearing a toothpaste hat and holding a toothbrush.  Another time I was at a movie theater and got a Pikmin wearing a popcorn hat and 3-D glasses.  And since I linked Pikmin Bloom with my Nintendo Account, I got a Pikmin wearing a Mario hat!  I wish those kinds of things happened more often in the game, though.

The petals you collect from Pikmins’ heads will be stored in little containers.  When you tap on one, you can use those petals to plant flowers wherever you walk.  You’ll see them on the map, and as long as you are planting flowers, you’ll get a bonus multiplier to help you gather more materials and grow your planted seedlings faster.  You can also have friends, but the only thing you can do is send them postcards that the Pikmin pick up at various places.  You can also view what badges you’ve earned by doing certain things, where you’ve walked on the map, and what level you are at.  You can gain levels by doing certain things.  I’ve gotten to a pretty high level because I work retail and am on my feet all day walking around, so it was pretty easy to do for me.  But it started to slow down a lot around level 30 or so.  One nice thing about the game is that you don’t always have to have it on and drain the batteries on your phone, since it just reads the step counter from your own phone.

And that’s pretty much Pikmin Bloom.  I did have a few problems with it, though.  They don’t do a very good job of explaining what everything does in the game.  For instance, one time I saw a giant flower on the map, but I had no idea what it did and only saw it once.  I also didn’t like that they asked for permission to use photos from your library.  I didn’t let the game do that, but I have no idea why they would need photos from your phone.  It’s also really hard to earn coins in the game naturally.  After playing a few months and walked a LOT, I only earned about 60 coins, and most of the stuff in the shop sells for hundreds, if not thousands of coins.  Of course, they want you to spend your real money to buy more coins, which is how I guess they’re hoping to make money off the game.  But I can’t imagine this game being anywhere near as popular as Pokémon GO.  In fact, I’d be surprised if it’s still on the market in another year.  But the game is free-to-play and it did entertain me for a couple of months.  So if you like to walk around and want a fun little activity to track your steps with, Pikmin Bloom will do the job.

Kid Factor:

Nothing violent or objectionable here.  Reading skill is a must and parental supervision is highly recommended for the in-game purchases.

3 Responses to “Pikmin Bloom (Mobile)”

  1. Sounds like one of those 3DS games they used to have that worked with streetpass. I just downloaded it to my phone but how is it on Xbox? I can’t carry my console around with me. Haha.

  2. Oh, nevermind about the Xbox. I just misread the header to this article.

  3. Here I am again 7 months later finally playing Pikmin Bloom. The photos are used for the daily notes you can save. It’ll show you the photos you too that day and let you choose one to use as the image on the timeline.

    I imagine I will be done with it too in a few months. I also get a lot of steps from work, but I’m trying to find the times I actually walk steadily to plant the flowers. I think the large flowers in the world bloom when you plant a certain amount of flowers near them. They give you some resources, but I’m not sure what yet.

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