I’ll be honest, I’m not the world’s biggest Pikmin fan. Though, Pikmin 4 has managed to pique my interest and even change my perspective on the series. Nintendo has made a series of improvements to the franchise, some significant and some not so significant. In the end, what they did do was make Pikmin 4 more accessible and streamlined. And, these changes could potentially attract new players and even those who weren’t fans of previous Pikmin titles to this latest release.

Sometimes, game developers take feedback from players and critics to heart. And, they work on refining their games to cater to a broader audience. Nintendo’s efforts in creating an accessible and enjoyable Pikmin experience has paid off. Let’s take a look and see how!

Pikmin 4 Details

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
 Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Developing, Eighting
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Genre: Real-time strategy
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone, 10+)

The simple concept of Pikmin

One of the unique and charming aspects of the Pikmin franchise is the diverse range of Pikmin types. Each Pikmin has their own specific abilities and characteristics. This diversity adds an engaging layer of strategy and puzzle-solving to the game, as you must use the right Pikmin type to overcome different obstacles and challenges throughout the adventure.

The red Pikmin are fire resistant, blue Pikmin are good at swimming, and white Pikmin are resistant to poison. These are just a few examples of how these little leafy creatures can be used to solve various tasks and puzzles in the game. This gameplay mechanic provides a rewarding experience as you explore the world, gather resources, and navigate through different environments.

For fans of the series, the diversity of Pikmin and the intricacy of the puzzles you face keep you coming back for more. Making each game in the series a memorable experience. Much of what you might have loved in the first three games is back and it’s more accessible than ever.

Pikmin 4

Tracking down Captain Olimar and the Rescue Corps

Pikmin 4 takes a different approach than previous games in the series when it comes to tracking down Captain Olimar and the Rescue Corps. You now create your own character before you embark on your journey to search for the missing Captain Olimar and the Rescue Corps members.

Pikmin 4’s gradual introduction of gameplay mechanics through various tutorials is very welcomed. You’re not overwhelmed with a whole lot of information all at once. And, it gives you time to learn the mechanics at a nice and steady pace. By going this route, gamers of all ages and abilities can easily learn the mechanics and gameplay of Pikmin 4. In turn, this makes the overall experience more accessible and enjoyable. This change in focus compared to previous Pikmin games provides a fresh and engaging experience for longtime fans, as well as those new to the series.

Balancing the difficulty and accessibility of a game is a crucial aspect of game design, especially when targeting a wide range of players. It’s great to see Nintendo taking into consideration what gamers are looking for, from veteran players who might appreciate a more challenging experience to casual players who benefit from a gentler learning curve. This approach helps foster a sense of achievement and progress as you become more comfortable with the game’s mechanics.

Positive changes to the Pikmin franchise

For many, including myself, the gameplay loop of past Pikmin games was stressful. And at times, just not fun. The time constraints in the original Pikmin and the need for food in Pikmin 3 added elements of stress and frustration, which severely impacted my overall enjoyment of these games. However, Pikmin 4 is a pleasant surprise, with significant improvements and streamlined gameplay. Your furry friend Oatchi is a fantastic addition to the Pikmin 4.

Having a lovable and versatile companion like Oatchi who can help you in various ways, including carrying Pikmin and helping with heavy items, undoubtedly adds a new layer of convenience and enjoyment to the game. And, the ability to ride on Oatchi and move through your surroundings more efficiently is fantastic! It makes the exploration and puzzle-solving aspects feel smoother and less cumbersome compared to previous Pikmin games. It’s great to see how this new mechanic complements the existing Pikmin gameplay while also addressing some of the issues I had with previous games in the series.

Furthermore, the inclusion of upgrades, items, and collections in Pikmin 4 really adds depth and replayability to the game. Having various elements to discover and collect had me exploring every corner of the world, uncovering secrets, and really had me thinking about my strategies, making everything feel more rewarding and engaging.

Pikmin 4

Accessible, yet engaging gameplay

The addition of exploration tunnels and Dandori battles in Pikmin 4 adds more content and opportunities for puzzle-solving. It’s a unique and creative way that expands the gameplay experience of Pikmin 4. And, it adds some challenging and engaging elements to the game. And, the Dandori battles introduce an exciting, strategic and competitive aspect to the game.

These battles really make you think and rethink your strategies by being efficient with your time and Pikmin resources. The Dandori battles can be played by yourself or with another player, both within the main campaign of Pikmin 4 or from the game’s main menu. The inclusion of Glo-Pikmin and tower defense style gameplay during the night provides a refreshing change of pace from the exploration and puzzles encountered in the larger areas. This diversity in gameplay mechanics keeps the game engaging and prevents it from becoming repetitive.

The ability to rewind the game and undo mistakes is a welcomed feature as it alleviates frustration and encourages you to experiment. It really is a game changer, especially in a game where the management of your Pikmin and resources is crucial to success. Being able to rewind allows you to save valuable Pikmin and prevent you from getting stuck or having to restart from a much earlier point.

Pikmin 4 is the most welcoming and accessible game in the series

Pikmin 4 is by far my favourite game in the series. The addition of new gameplay elements, coupled with the removal of the timer mechanic, is a positive step forward for this franchise. By streamlining the gameplay and making it more accessible, Pikmin 4 becomes inviting to a broader audience, and potentially attracts more Nintendo Switch owners to give the franchise a chance.

+ Accessible, yet engaging gameplay
+ Solid graphics and great music
+ Gameplay mechanics unlock at good pace

– Story mode two player is a bit lacklustre


Gameplay: 4.75/5
Graphics: 4.5/5
Sound: 4.5/5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5

Overall Rating 4.6/5 (92%)

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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.