Last week, Nintendo and Niantic announced their partnership to work on a new augmented reality game based on the Pikmin franchise. It looks like some Android users in Singapore now have early access to the game via the Google Play store, according to a Twitter post from Niantic earlier today.
Based on last week’s announcement, we know that the game will involve activities that encourage walking. The beta playtesters were able to shed some light on a few of the in-game mechanics. The title, currently known simply as Pikmin App, allows players to grow Seedlings by walking around and generating Step Energy. The Pikmin species include the following colors:
- Red Pikmin
- Blue Pikmin
- Yellow Pikmin
- White Pikmin
- Purple Pikmin
- Winged Pikmin
- Rock Pikmin
As players walk around in the real world, they can discover more Seedlings. Existing Pikmin can grab Fruit, which turns into Nectar and causes Pikmin to bloom Flower Petals in four colors: Yellow, Red, Blue, or White. Petals are useful in Flower Planting mode, which spawns flower trails as you walk and makes Seedlings easier to find and grow more quickly.
Expedition mode is also available in the early access, allowing plays to send their Pikmin on journeys to find items independently. Expedition rewards include Postcards containing snapshots of the Pikmin during their trip.
Pikmin App also tracks your daily steps in a place called the Lifelog. It also includes places you’ve visited, and where you’ve planted flowers. Reaching certain walking distance milestones unlocks bonus minigames for free rewards.
According to the source, there are no microtransactions at this time. However, we’re likely to see some in the future if it’s a free-to-play game. At this time, it appears the early access is exclusive to Singapore residents on Android.
The new Pikmin App is set to launch sometime at the end of 2021.