Nintendo has announced a new Pikmin mobile game from the developers of Pokémon Go.
Created by Niantic, the Nintendo game will make use of similar AR features to bring the adorable, brightly-coloured Pikmin critters into the real world.
Slated to launch later this year, the fun app will “include gameplay activities to encourage walking and make walking more delightful,” in much the same way that the Pokémon Go craze sent people doing laps of their neighbourhood outdoors in the hope of hatching a Ponyta from a 5km egg.
“Niantic’s AR technology has made it possible for us to experience the world as if Pikmin are secretly living all around us,” Nintendo director Shigeru Miyamoto said in a statement.
“Based on the theme of making walking fun, our mission is to provide people a new experience that’s different from traditional games. We hope that the Pikmin and this app will become a partner in your life.”
Tatsuo Nomura, head of Niantic Tokyo Studio, tweeted his excitement. “It’s going to be an app that makes walking more fun with Pikmin. It’s going to be very different from Pokémon GO,” he said.
Niantic developed Pokémon Go back in 2016, but this new Pikmin game marks the start of a new partnership between them and Nintendo and the first game from their new Tokyo Studio.
Pokémon Go was a phenomenon when it launched (and is still going strong), proving the possibilities of AR technology.
Since then, Niantic released a similar game set in the Harry Potter universe, Wizards Unite, but it failed to gain the same traction.
Pikmin will follow other Nintendo franchises like Mario Kart, Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing to receive a mobile game release.
The series began back on the GameCube as a launch title in 2001. Creator Miyamoto was inspired by his own back garden, with the game featuring tiny coloured plant creatures in an overgrown world. As spaceman Captain Olimar, players must manage the Pikmin to solve puzzles and explore an alien planet.
The game has been followed by two sequels, most recently Pikmin 3 that was re-released on the Switch after launching on the WiiU. Fans of the series have been clamouring for news on Pikmin 4, which is being developed but yet to be officially revealed.