A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Play promotes the concept of teamwork, both in how the Pikmin and astronauts work together the solve problems and overcome obstacles, and in how pairs of players can cooperate to accomplish objectives. Light narrative themes include environmentalism, friendship, and determination.
Positive Role Models
The astronauts are heroes to their people. They're a little quirky, but also responsible and tenacious as they go about their work. They show some sympathy as they send Pikmin off to battle, where some inevitably perish, but, troublingly, they don't hesitate to keep using them to accomplish their own objectives.
Ease of Play
Clear, simple instructions are provided within the game. Events take place in real time, which might prove stressful for some kids, but players can jump back to previous days whenever they like, turn on optional hints, and adjust overall difficulty to make things easier if they are having trouble progressing. Playing with a friend can make things easier, too.
Violence & Scariness
The player's plant-like minions -- who are commanded by, but not under the direct control of players -- do battle against large bugs by whacking them with their stalks. Both the bugs and the Pikmin die during the course of these fights, but there's no blood or gore.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
This is the latest chapter in the Pikmin franchise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pikmin 3 Deluxe is an adventure game exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. The game's an enhanced re-release of a game that originally launched for Nintendo Wii U. It focuses on tiny alien astronauts exploring a remote planet for sources of food, and contains a subtle conservation theme as the heroes reflect on their need to voyage off-planet to feed their people. The astronauts also form a bond with plant-like but sentient pikmin creatures who happily do whatever they're told. The concepts of teamwork and cooperation come through as the astronauts and Pikmin (and, in local multiplayer, a second human player) work together to accomplish daunting physical tasks. But despite showing some sympathy for Pikmin that die in combat or drown in pools of water, the astronauts continue to use them, which at times feels a bit troubling. There's no blood or gore. Defeated Pikmin simply vanish, briefly appearing as spirits that float away in the air.
Is It Any Good?
The original Wii U game is an overlooked classic deserving of a chance to find new players on Nintendo's popular hybrid console. Pikmin 3 Deluxe sensibly preserves much of the original experience, including the captivating story of the three main astronauts as they discover not just the Pikmin, but also traces of a lost civilization and notes left lying around by Captain Olimar, protagonist of the first two Pikmin games, who visited the planet before them. The Pikmin are as adorable as ever (you're bound to feel a wave of sadness whenever you see a ghost rise up from one defeated in combat), and the act of commanding them to do your bidding remains as strangely compelling as ever. Once you get into a groove, assigning multiple groups to different tasks to save time and using their unique abilities to solve clever puzzles within the environment, it can be hard to stop playing. Luckily, the game's authentic day/night cycle encourages us to take regular breaks -- even if many players are bound to immediately dive right back in to play the next day.
As good as the original game was, the new content and features improve the overall experience. Simple improvements, such as the ability to toss Pikmin with improved accuracy and alter difficulty (or access hints) when things get a bit tricky, should serve to make the experience accessible to a wider variety of players. Plus, the ability to play the entire campaign with a friend in co-op lets players get stuff done more quickly as well as enjoy the game in the company of others. Other extras -- especially the fun new side-story missions with Olimar -- provide returning players something fresh to enjoy in addition to replaying the original game. Pikmin 3 Deluxe isn't a replacement for a brand new entry in this quirky little series, but it ought to help introduce a new generation of players to Nintendo's cute space-themed fantasy and prepare them for the (hopefully inevitable) arrival of Pikmin 4.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.