Hey! Pikmin

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Hey! Pikmin Game Poster Image
Tricky controls limit classic Pikmin charm.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Features strong themes of teamwork, learning how to observe, planning, and working out creative strategies to overcome obstacles.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Pikmin are eager, enthusiastic to help out while Olimar, his ship seem to care for little creatures. This doesn't stop Olimar from constantly putting cute little critters in danger to further his own goals.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, but can take a while to learn how to aim Pikmin effectively; controls can get uncomfortable after extended periods of play.

Violence

Olimar uses Pikmin as weapons to fend off creatures of a world he's crashed on. Creatures sometimes crush, eat Pikmin, or they die in other ways, such as burning, drowning.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Latest entry in popular Pikmin franchise, also makes use of Nintendo's amiibo figures which, while not required, must be purchased separately to unlock extra bonus features.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hey! Pikmin is an action puzzle game for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is the latest entry in the popular Pikmin franchise and the first to arrive on the handheld system. Players collect and direct a group of small creatures, called Pikmin, who work together to help collect items and bypass obstacles for the player. The game has basic, easy-to-learn controls, though it can be difficult for younger gamers to figure out certain puzzles or to aim accurately. While the violence in the game isn't graphic, players do throw Pikmin to attack enemy creatures, which can sometimes result in Pikmin deaths. Small spirits rise up from defeated Pikmin and enemies to signify their death.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

HEY! PIKMIN is the handheld debut of the popular Pikmin series, finally bringing the treasure hunting adventures of Olimar and his army of eager helpers to the Nintendo 3DS for the first time. Once again, our intrepid Captain Olimar has crash-landed on a mysterious planet with no hope of rescue. Instead, Olimar must search for valuable treasures that can be converted to Sparklium, the fuel for your interstellar travels. Luckily for Olimar, a few familiar friends have also made their home on this planet. Once again, Olimar can count on the support of Pikmin, small plantlike creatures fascinated by shiny objects and always willing to lend a hand. With the help of the Pikmin and their unique skills, you must guide Olimar throughout this new world. Help him to recruit Pikmin, uncover wild new treasures, and refuel his ship so that he can make his escape to return to the home and family he's left behind.

Is it any good?

When taking a franchise in a different direction, the challenge is to add something new to the formula while staying true to the familiar original. Hey! Pikmin takes some of the key features from the previous Pikmin games and tries to condense them into a portable experience with mixed results. You're still seeking out Pikmin and tossing them around as needed to do the grunt work and pick up shiny new treasures, but this time you're doing it as a side-scrolling platformer. The change can be a little jarring for fans of the original, especially when it comes to using the stylus and touchscreen to aim and toss your flowery companions. It's effective, but it definitely takes some getting used to. It doesn't help that playing the game for extended periods of time while holding the console from one side can get uncomfortable. That said, the game still has a lot going for it.

Hey! Pikmin is a Pikmin game through and through, and a great entry point for those new to the series. It doesn't rely on knowledge of past games to take players on a new adventure, yet it still has the same bright, colorful, and cheery personality that fans have come to know and love over the years. It's packed full of charm and humor, hitting all the silly notes of previous games. It's got a fair amount of challenge without ever becoming too difficult. It might not have a lot of replay value, but it manages to keep things interesting enough to play to the end. In the end, Hey! Pikmin feels like a spinoff with just enough to bring new players into the fold and to tide longtime fans over until the inevitable release of a "true" Pikmin sequel.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about strategy and solving puzzles. What are some ways to apply the skills needed to solve game puzzles in the real world? How can games help a person think creatively?

  • Talk about the ways we use animals for help. What are some of the positive uses of animals in service? How do we balance the needs of people against the needs of the animal?

Game details

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