Pikmin may not be as well-known as some of Nintendo’s major franchises, but this quirky little real-time strategy series has still gathered a significant number of fans over the years. Whether you’re revisiting the first two games before jumping into Pikmin 4 or if you’re new to the franchise and want to get familiar with it, Pikmin 1+2 on Nintendo Switch is a good place to start.

While the remastering job on Pikmin 1+2 leaves much to be desired, which is a bit disappointing, the timeless appeal of Pikmin 1+2 hasn’t diminished at all. Playing both of these games remains as addictive as it has always been, and their charm is still intact.

Pikmin 1+2 Details

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Developer(s): Nintendo
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Genre: Action, Adventure, Strategy
Mode(s): Single-player
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)

Captain Olimar has crash landed and needs your help

If you’re new to Pikmin games, the first game’s story follows Captain Olimar, a cute astronaut who crashes on an unfamiliar planet and discovers the Pikmin. These lovable creatures grow underground and, once plucked, become loyal followers, helping their new master by breaking walls or carrying heavy items. Captain Olimar’s only hope of getting home is to use the Pikmin to retrieve parts of his ship, but he must be quick due to limited oxygen.

You have thirty in-game days, each lasting around fifteen real-time minutes, to make it back safely. To make the most of this short time, you’ll need to gather many Pikmin by commanding them to collect colored tokens from stems and take them back to their home, which is a strange UFO known as an onion. The onion then produces seeds that grow into more Pikmin, building up an army that can explore the world in search of ship parts.

Each type of Pikmin have their own unique abilities

You won’t get far using just the starting red Pikmin; you’ll need to find the yellow and blue species to overcome certain obstacles. Each type of Pikmin has its own unique abilities, so having a mix of all three is usually a good strategy. The red Pikmin are tough fighters and are immune to fire, yellow Pikmin can be thrown higher and carry explosive rocks, and blue Pikmin are the only ones that can swim. Some ship parts will be hidden behind rock walls, over streams, and guarded by enemies breathing flames. It’s your job to use the appropriate Pikmin to safely retrieve these electronics.

Combat in Pikmin is quite simple: Captain Olimar throws the Pikmin at enemies until they collapse, and then you carry the defeated enemy back to an Onion. Sometimes aiming the little cursor can be a bit challenging, and you may need to quickly call back your Pikmin to avoid them being eaten by enemies. It’s satisfying to watch a big enemy fall with dozens of Pikmin clinging to it, but there’s always a chance that a few Pikmin might get eaten, and you’ll have to sadly watch their ghostly forms drift away.


Pikmin 2 includes various gameplay improvements and new types of Pikmin

Pikmin 2 continues the series, introducing Captain Olimar’s brother, Louie, and various improvements to the gameplay. This time, instead of being stranded in a dangerous environment, the main challenge is financial. Captain Olimar has accumulated a hefty bill from his intergalactic exploration, so he and Louie embark on a mission to raise money and clear their debts by selling valuable junk on the planet of the Pikmin.

Pikmin 2 offers exciting new features, with Louie being the most important addition. You can switch between Louie and Olimar at any time, making it easier to explore multiple areas efficiently. Additionally, there are two new types of Pikmin, Purple and White Pikmin. The Purple Pikmin are robust and can carry more weight, helping to solve puzzles. The White Pikmin are immune to poison and can harm enemies that consume them. The variety of carrot minions makes the second adventure more captivating, and without the thirty-day oxygen time limit, players feel less pressured.

Both Pikmin games, whether you’re playing the first or second installment, radiate Nintendo’s charm. The colourful visuals and delightful music in Pikmin 1+2 are pure joy. The game’s magic is enhanced by small touches, like the trumpet fanfare that plays when guiding the Pikmin in a specific direction or the cheerful noises they make when thrown through the air.

Pikmin 1+2 are still as fun as they were when they first released

Both Pikmin 1 and 2 have received resolution upgrades, along with some quality-of-life improvements here and there. Both games now display in a widescreen resolution, but that’s pretty much all the changes you’ll notice. If you were expecting something on the same level as the impressive Metroid Prime Remastered, you may be disappointed with Pikmin 1+2.

However, if your main goal is to play these games and enjoy their timeless charm, you won’t be disappointed. Despite being two decades old, Pikmin 1 and 2 are still as fun as they were when they first released. Their timeless game design, easy-to-use controls, unique charm and personality, and addictive gameplay loop come together to create two strangely captivating real-time strategy games. Throughout the gameplay, there won’t be a moment without a huge grin on your face.

+ Both Pikmin games remain as fun as they were when first released
+ Weirdly addictive gameplay
+ Excellent controls

– “Remastering” efforts leave a lot to be desired


Gameplay: 4/5
Graphics: 3.5/5
Sound: 4/5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5

Overall Rating 4/5 (80%)

Pre-order Pikmin 1+2 on Nintendo Switch

Click here to see the full line of video game software available at Bestbuy.ca
Click here to see digital video game downloads offered at BestBuy.ca

Jon Scarr
Jon is the Gaming Editor and is based in Toronto. He is a proud Canadian who has a serious passion for gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry with over 20 years experience. You can often find Jon streaming the latest games on his YouTube channel. Jon loves to talk about gaming and tech, come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Threads @4ScarrsGaming and @4Scarrsgaming on Instagram.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here