Another fine detail of the game is that players will encounter four types of nectar that produce four different petals — white, yellow, red and blue. When players activate petals, they give seedlings a growth boost and the flowers show up on the path that a player walks. Players should be aware that activating petals could reveal a walking routine or maybe even a home, but it’s a way to create more of a social aspect to the title.
Unlike other Niantic games, “Pikmin Bloom” doesn’t have a strong social element. Players can see traces of other people playing the game by the flowers strewn along the map. Interestingly enough, I could see where players cut through the BART parking lot to reach the subway station. It’s a detail that makes players feel less alone. Another social aspect is the Challenges, in which players can team up and send their Pikmin to tear apart a mushroom. At the moment, this part of the game feels underused but it could act something akin to raids in “Pokemon Go.” The whole process is casual though, as players send out Pikmin and nearby players can join them whenever they can.
Playing “Pikmin Bloom,” I found there are few competitive elements. I’m not out there to grow a rare Pikmin nor is there any PvP elements. The game is focused on the player and the world. As they level up, they unlock new kinds of Pikmin, and at the end of each day, there’s a fun summary showing where players walked accompanied by any photos that they snapped.
The only issue holding “Pikmin Bloom” back is it’s not the most intuitive game. It will take players a few hours to figure out how to navigate the different menus and find out the options for Expeditions or even sending gifts to friends.
Nevertheless, that shouldn’t distract from the best part of “Pikmin Bloom,” and that’s the fact that the game doesn’t get in the way of “Pokemon Go.” In fact, it’s a great counterpart to Niantic’s flagship game. It treads along the same gameplay mechanics but explores it through the lens of low-key exercise. At best, it’s a game that encourages more walking and more exploration, which helps “Pokemon Go” players in hatching eggs and uncovering new Pokemon.
It’s the right game for players who want a more casual experience that can fit in their lives, or one in which they want other games to breathe.
Platform:iOS and Android
Rating: 9+ on iOS, Everyone on Android[object Object]