Mobile gaming continues to grow, offering all players from all creeds and different walks of life an opportunity to participate in this great hobby we all share. As part of our annual celebration of games, we love to take an opportunity to look at some of the mobile games that have drawn our attention this year. In collaboration with Modojo, we here at Shacknews want to recognize and award one game that we have been spending a whole lot of time playing this year, and it’s one of Nintendo’s sleeper hits: Pikmin Bloom.
Though it was only released back in October, it has immediately captured the hearts and minds of us here at Shacknews. For those getting up to speed, Pikmin Bloom is essentially a gamified step counter set within Nintendo’s Pikmin universe. As players walk around, they’ll discover seedlings, which take a various number of steps to grow. Grow a seedling to maturity and you’ll get a Pikmin. From here, the game loop evolves.
Every Pikmin you pluck can be added to your squad and sent out on expeditions to retrieve other seedlings or fruit. The fruit earns you nectar which you can then feed to the Pikmin to have them grow flowers. As you’re walking around, you can choose to start planting these flowers in a trail behind you, turning the in-game map of your surroundings into a flower-laden field.
There an added layer of depth in the form of levels. Each level requires you to perform two actions to advance, one of which is to acquire a certain number of steps within whatever timeframe you please. The other action might be to grow a new type of seedling, go on certain number of expeditions, or plant flowers. The advantage of levels? Getting to have more Pikmin in your squad, unlocking challenges, and even earning new types of Pikmin. It’s a surprisingly engaging way to encourage users to get out there and go for a walk.
While the game side of Pikmin Bloom is delightfully appealing, what is really special about it is its soul. Pikmin Bloom is naturally an encouraging and positive experience. At the end of each day, Pikmin Bloom will ask you how your day was and provide you with three faces: sad, neutral, or happy. It’s an important inclusion that we believe offers players an opportunity to do something many of us do not take the time to do: reflect upon our day and our feelings. It’s this introspection that will help us grow, much like the Pikmin.
If you want some soft encouragement to be more active, Pikmin Bloom is an excellent choice. Plus, you can send post cards to your friends from locations you’ve visited. It’s just an endearing game that never ridicules you for not walking much, isn’t intrusive, and encourages you – where possible – to get out, see the world, and be healthy both physically and mentally. We’re pleased to give Pikmin Bloom the Modojo @ Shacknews Mobile Game of the Year 2021 award.