Pikmin 3 Deluxe Hands-On – Cute, fruit and such a hoot

Posted on October 9, 2020

Pikmin 3 Deluxe brings small, colourful friends back together for another adventure. Upgrading the original Wii U version from 2013, Nintendo’s real-time strategy game introduces players to a group of tiny and cute creatures as you explore an alien, yet familiar, world.

Building on the series with three new playable characters and a range of Pikmin types, Pikmin 3 was originally a cult success. Releasing on the less popular Wii U in 2013 meant it didn’t receive the attention it probably should have.

With special features like Off-Tv Play, sleek graphics, and the ability to add DLC truly improved upon Pikmin 1 and 2 from nearly a decade before in the early 2000s.  Now, Pikmin 3 comes to the Nintendo Switch with all new additions. Arguably, this may be the perfect space for Pikmin 3 Deluxe and it’s certainly a whimsical adventure for one or two players.

Players control space-explorers Brittany, Alph, or Charlie in an attempt to find an answer on unknown worlds to save their own failing planet. The traditional campaign is now playable in both solo and cooperative modes, getting help from the Pikmin to solve various puzzles and collect as many fruits and discoveries as possible. It’s an interesting take on real-time strategy. Commanding a century of cute Pikmin is still refreshing all these years later and nothing quite matches this gameplay.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe includes more new content to step it up a notch from the Wii U version. An all-new prologue and epilogue bookend the campaign featuring Captain Olimar and Louie, the adamant explorers from the original two Pikmin games. The new edition reintroduces the useful Piklopedia from Pikmin 2 and all the downloadable content from the Wii U game.

With this addition, owners of the older edition of the game have something more to come back and try. If you’re on the fence about picking it up again or trying Pikmin for the first time, Nintendo has put out a demo.

Try the story and mission modes alone or with a friend on the same Nintendo Switch. The even better news is, like the Dragon Quest XI S demo, all progress will be saved and carried over to the full game on release.

Players who beat the surprisingly tricky game on the hardest difficulty will unlock the new Ultra-Spicy mode and an additional five missions from the start. It’s short, it’s sweet, and it’s free. Anyone who hasn’t tried Pikmin or even knows how its unique gameplay works needs to give it a shot.

While Pikmin looks like a casual kids game, it definitely has challenges and quirks. Real-time strategy can be demanding, especially when the lives of the poor colourful allies are on the line. This enhanced version supports both sides of the difficulty spectrum. New lock-on targeting and optional hint guides that direct cosmonauts to a suggested area to focus. Slower-pace time limits are will allow freer playtime, relieving the stress of that sneakingly short day limit.

Beyond that, Pikmin 3 Deluxe may finally get the series the attention it deserves. The S.S. Drake and bubbly crew of captains and Pikmin will be waiting to take off and juice all the fruit they can.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe releases Friday 30 October in Australia and New Zealand on the Nintendo Switch. If you can’t wait until then, our review will be live on Thursday 29 October. See you, space cowboy