Pikmin Bloom, a new augmented reality app from Nintendo and Pokémon Go creator Niantic, is coming to mobile devices starting Tuesday. The new app will be released in Australia and Singapore first, and will roll out globally over the coming days on Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store, according to a news release. It will be available to download for free.
“For both me and everyone at Niantic, helping this app take shape has been a new experience and lots of fun,” Shigeru Miyamoto said in a new trailer for the game. “My hope is that everyone will be able to create lasting memories together with Pikmin.“
The app uses real-world augmented reality (AR) technology to bring the colorful insect-like mascots called Pikmin to your daily walk. By doing this, it aims to “spice up” banal commutes like going to the park or to the grocery store by allowing you to interact with your Pikmin.
The mainline Pikmin games for consoles are a series of strategy games where you grow and command groups of Pikmin as if they were an army. This app takes a more peaceful approach and doesn’t involve fighting other creatures. In Pikmin Bloom, you plant Pikmin, which grow automatically as you walk, then you pluck them. The more you walk, the more Pikmin friends you can make.
Walking with your Pikmin also leaves a trail of blooming flowers and gives your Pikmin the chance to collect items. There are no new Pikmin in this game, but they will collect outfits that they can wear. As they collect specific items like fruit, you can use it to feed your Pikmin. Feeding them will then cause flowers to bloom on their heads that you can use to plant even more flowers on your walk — allowing you and others to plant virtual gardens all throughout your city.
Even though you can team up with other trainers in Pokémon Go, that app is still a competitive game where you fight to take gyms for your team. Pikmin Blooms won’t have you picking any teams and aims to be more collaborative. Throughout the game, you plant gardens with others and take on challenges with players that will help you win rewards.
Pikmin Bloom is trying to be more about celebrating mundane memories. A key part of the game will be a journal that allows you to reflect on your day. So each day, the app will allow you to count your steps and will generate a journal entry that gives you the option to add photos and create a little entry.