Though many believed that Nintendo would have a light second half of its year for new releases, the popular video game company still has a few surprises up its sleeve to keep fans entertained through the rest of 2023.
Pikmin 4 is an adventure strategy game and a great entry point for anyone curious about the Pikmin franchise but uncertain where to begin. Though all of the Pikmin games are now available on the Switch (save for Pikmin 4, releasing later this year), those looking for a more relaxing play experience will find it in the franchise's fourth installment.
Ahead of the game's July release, Nintendo invited Distractify to preview the game, showing just a little slice of the upcoming first-party title, and we can guarantee it's one you'll want to keep an eye on. Here are our first impressions.
'Pikmin 4' is the cozy entry point to the 'Pikmin' franchise.
The last time a new Pikmin game was released was in 2013 with Pikmin 3 for the WiiU before it was later ported for the Switch. Though Pikmin 4 is somewhat a continuation of the long-loved Nintendo franchise, it's the perfect entry point for those who have never played a Pikmin game before but want to adventure with the cute critters.
In Pikmin 4, you take on the task of hunting down your missing comrades (Captain Olimar included) with the help of your two-legged friend Oatchi and the various Pikmin you collect along the way. The premise is mostly the same otherwise: collect Pikmin, hunt for treasures, and don't die to the various wildlife roaming the foreign planet. That said, the newest game is much less punishing than its predecessors, offering multiple ways for tender-hearted players to save their little helpers.
In an hour with the game, I got to explore just a little of the early areas of the game, testing out the new Ice Pikmin and seeing just how much Oatchi can do. Having never played a Pikmin game before, it was incredibly easy to pick up, and I found myself cheering on my cohort of flower-headed helpers as they carried a compass and various defeated enemies back to their Onion.
The fear of leaving your Pikmin to certain death is no longer a concern for players; in Pikmin 4, you can rewind time to reattempt combat with new strategies to save as many of your little friends as possible. There are also more places for you to move your spaceship and the Onion closer to you, making it easier to transport your goodies back to the ship.
As you advance further, save more crew members, and gather resources, you'll be able to upgrade Oatchi, giving him shorter cooldown time between sprint attacks, the ability to heal, or just make him stronger. Plus, when you're looking to cover more ground, you can hop on his back and trot around the planet, the Pikmin in your party hanging on to his fur.
Pikmin 4 also features Dandori Battles, letting you go head-to-head in a local co-op battle where you and a friend battle to collect the most treasure. Each piece has a different value, and you can use Sneak Bombs to sabotage your opponent. These are also supposedly featured throughout the main story, so even if you don't have a friend to play with, you'll get to experience the one-on-one competition built into the game.
Pikmin 4 is the perfect title for cozy gamers looking for something that isn't just another farming simulator. It provides a sense of adventure and exploration for those looking for something low-stakes yet simply captivating.
Pikmin 4 will release exclusively for the Nintendo Switch on July 21, and a demo of Pikmin 4 will be available in Nintendo eShop and in the My Nintendo Store on Nintendo.com on June 28