Pikmin 4 (2023) – game review

[Pikmin 4] If I had to choose one of the more niche Nintendo games, especially in Poland, I would choose “Pikmin” without hesitation. This charming, but highly underrated series cannot boast such spectacular sales results as its older brothers – “Animal Crossing” or “Donkey Kong.” However, it can boast of being one of the most interesting strategies available for consoles, which evolves with each new installment almost like the title Pikmins. What changes have the developers prepared for us in the latest version dedicated to Nintendo Switch?

The beginning of the game is quite typical for this series – we play the role of Captain Olimar again, an eternal shipwreck on a foreign planet. Just when we seem ready to take control of his destiny, an unexpected twist takes place and… we move on to the first character creator in the series to create our own member of the rescue crew, who will become a silent protagonist. Our mission? Finding Olimar and every possible castaway on this planet. However, as time will turn out, this task is not as simple as it might seem.

In addition to Olimar, the well-known caves from the second part return to the game, which, apart from the standard exploration and fighting monsters, will offer something new. On our way, we will encounter completely new Dandori caves, which will rely on the most optimal use of our moves to gather resources on the board as quickly as possible. However, to make it not too easy, we can throw obstacles at our opponent, steal their supplies, and defeat high-scoring opponents. All this guarantees an extremely dynamic gameplay that does not allow you to look away from what is happening on the screen for a moment. The Dandori challenges are one of the elements that may make us reach for this title again to achieve the best results.

An absolute novelty is the missions played after dusk, during which we will fight with special, glowing Pikmins. After completing the task, they will return to the base with us, at least some of them. These missions are quite simple, as they consist of defending the mounds with the desired substance from incoming waves of enemies. Our luminescent charges not only attack the opponent but can also gather in a “herd” and stun them long enough to defeat even the biggest foes. To my disappointment, these missions do not introduce a smooth transition from day to dusk and night but instead consist of selecting a separate night mission from our base. In my opinion, this is a missed opportunity for one of the greatest evolutions in the series, where our limit has always been the day and night cycle, and unfortunately, in this aspect, “Pikmin 4” does not introduce the revolution I expected.

As for the graphics, it’s obvious from the start screen that this installment was designed with the Switch in mind and is not just a port, as was the case with the third part. All character models and objects are very detailed, levels are vibrant and colorful, and the experience is enhanced by playing on a model with an OLED screen. It’s hard not to fall in love with this game because it attracts not only with its aesthetics but also with well-chosen sound. In typical Nintendo style, they managed to recreate a production that enchants with graphics, despite not being the strongest component of the console.

“Pikmin 4” is not only the best but also the longest installment of the entire series. It took me nearly 30 hours to complete it – for comparison, you are able to finish the first three parts in a similar time, which perfectly illustrates the scale of this production. If you are looking for a game that will make your summer evenings more enjoyable and provide you with a challenge, sensational gameplay, and beautiful graphics, look no further – “Pikmin 4” is one of the best Nintendo games released in recent years.

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