That Wii U cycle was weird.
Due to confusion over whether it was actually a console or not and its average reception with people that knew it was a console, it struggled. This meant that a lot of Nintendo gems were trapped on it, but fortunately a lot of people have managed to play these games as they have been enhanced and ported to the Switch. The latest gem to get this treatment is Pikmin 3 Deluxe.
Going into Pikmin 3 Deluxe I had no idea what to expect. I remember reading yonks ago that it was a gem, but with no experience with the series I was excited as hell to go into this one blind. It was well worth it because it’s a weird game.
Basically some astronauts went into space looking for a planet with some resources. Their ship malfunctions and they all crash land in different spots on this strange world. They set out to explore, and each individually stumble across strange creatures called Pikmin. Pikmin are little plant things with a leaf over their head and they respond to the astronaut’s instructions.
The three astronauts find each other and discover they need a particular piece to make their ship fly again, so they set out looking for their captain Olimar as they suspect he has it. This is about the extent of the story, and it’s a cute enough premise for the game, but it’s the gameplay that has you in its grips here.
Pikmin 3 Deluxe is an awesome mix of time management, strategy, and puzzle solving. You quickly discover a selection of Pikmin that all have different abilities. The Pikmin have different abilities and strengths like gray ones being good at breaking stuff, and you need to use this to open up pathways and beat puzzles in the world.
I won’t go too much into this as the discovery is the charm of the game, but it can be stuff like having to get enough grey Pikmin to break something, fighting enemies, or carry objects to make a bridge or clear a path. You basically point the Pikmin to the task and they do all the hard work while the useless astronaut watches and takes the credit.
Each stage eventually gets to a boss battle which is surprisingly entertaining, but the game doesn’t want to make exploration too easy for you. You need to make sure you keep an eye on the time because when the darkness of night descends trouble comes for the Pikmin.
I made that sound more exciting than it is. In reality you need to get your Pikmin to safe zones before night rolls around or they die. This is a good mechanic because you will send Pikmin off in many directions to achieve tasks, and then as you get closer to night it’s super easy to forget about a bunch of Pikmin until it’s too late.
Once you beat the game, the package comes with post game challenges and DLC, so there are heaps to come back to if you get hooked. It is also easy to get hooked. Having to collect your varied Pikmin and put them to tasks or against enemies to exploit weaknesses is super easy to get the hang of, but gets more challenging to execute in the post game content.
Pikmin 3 is another Nintendo gem no longer trapped on the Wii U. It won’t be for everyone but anyone looking for a cute and clever puzzler should check this out on Switch. It’s a perfect game to play that engages your brain enough to be satisfying when you want to chill at home after a long week.
Released: October 2020
Platforms: Nintendo Switch