Niantic is best known for developing Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game that lets players catch Pokémon in the real world using their mobile phones. Now it seems like Nintendo has entrusted the developer with another one of its properties, as a new Pikmin game is on the way.
As announced by Niantic earlier today, an open test for the Pikmin App has begun in Singapore. Some fans are already getting to try it and have shared their thoughts on Twitter. Players had been asked not to share any images or gameplay footage online, but some fans have predictably shared details from the game's FAQ pages (thanks, Eurogamer), which give us more of an insight as to what we can expect.
Apparently, players will need to walk around when using the Pikmin App to create Step Energy. This energy can be used to grow seedlings into Pikmin, which can then be named and fed nectar that makes them bloom different flowers.
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The more you walk around with your gang of Pikmin, the more chances you'll have of finding fruit, which can then be turned into nectar. Basically, the more you walk, the more your Pikmin will grow, but you can also send them out on expeditions to gather seedlings from places you've previously visited.
There are seven familiar species of Pikmin available to grow: Red, Blue, Yellow, Purple, White, Rock and Winged, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. There will also be "Decor" versions of Pikmin to find that will appear in certain areas.
Not available worldwide, at least for now
As you might have ascertained from the details above, the Pikmin App is being described as a "walking experience" so it doesn't sound like it'll be very complicated to grow and collect your Pikmin.
This test is only available in Singapore for now, but those who are interested in testing the app can pre-register here. The Pikmin App is currently planned for a wider release later in 2021, so hopefully we shouldn't have to wait too long before we get to try it out.
With no sign of Pikmin 4 appearing on Nintendo Switch anytime soon, it's at least encouraging to see that Nintendo hasn't forgotten about the franchise. Pikmin 3 Deluxe also released on Nintendo Switch last year, after first appearing on Wii U, so we're still hopeful a fully-fledged sequel will arrive in the future.