Pikmin Bloom is the newest collaboration between Nintendo and AR developer Niantic, and in the coming days, it will soon be available to download on both iOS and Android.
Like Pokemon Go, Pikmin Bloom combines elements from the beloved Nintendo franchise with embracing the outdoors. Players can grow Pikmin by walking around and getting steps in, but that’s only half the experience.
Once you finish your daily walk and keep growing Pikmin, you’ll soon be able to pluck them and have them gather more materials for you to keep playing. As with Niantic’s other AR games, there is an interactive map based on your real-life location.
As you walk, the flowers will bloom along your path making the actual walking a more important part of Pikmin Bloom. As you take your Pikmin crew on your treks, your map will bloom with the flowers you plant with each step.
In this regard, Pikmin Bloom is almost closer to a fitness tracker than a game and that seems to be the desired goal.
Niantic is planning monthly Community Day events to encourage community walks, but with Pikmin Bloom, the goal isn’t so much collecting as it is getting you out-and-about. You’ll also be able to take pictures with your Pikmin and create a journal of all the places you’ve been.
Pikmin Bloom is the first new game Niantic developed in collaboration with Nintendo. The two companies have announced plans to work together more on Nintendo franchises going forward so expect to see more from the two companies in the future.
Matt T.M. Kim is IGN's News Editor. You can reach him @lawoftd.