Although Pikmin are central to the game’s theme, the main aim is to leave a trail of flower petals behind you as you walk, to make the world prettier.
You have a finite amount of petals, which can be topped up by sending Pikmin out to find and bring back fruit. This can then be fed to your Pikmin as nectar, which makes them grow new petals for you to collect.
Players can also take photos on their walk and store them in their Lifelog, which is a diary that stores the number of steps you’ve taken each day.
A beta version of Niantic’s Pikmin game has been tested by invited players in Singapore since March, but today marks its official rollout and its final title, Pikmin Bloom.
An announcement trailer (shown in the embed above) shows the concept behind the game and includes a statement from Shigeru Miyamoto.
“For both me and everyone at Niantic, helping this app take shape has been a new experience and lots of fun,” Miyamoto said, adding: “My hope is that everyone will be able to create lasting memories together with Pikmin.”
Niantic founder and CEO John Hanke also explained the concept behind the game and the studio’s hope that it will provide another reason for players to get some more exercise.
“I’m a huge believer in the power of walking and that’s why at Niantic we want to inspire people to go outside, explore their neighbourhoods and have fun at the same time,” he explained.
“But even though the benefits of walking are clear for physical and mental health, we know it’s not always easy to get up off the couch. We think Pikmin are the perfect creatures to help.”
Pikmin Bloom starts to roll out globally today on the iOS App Store and Google Play, and is currently available in Australia and Singapore. Nintendo of Europe tweeted that it will be “coming soon”.