Hey! Pikmin (sometimes stylized as Hey! PIKMIN) is a spin-off game in the Pikmin series, released in 2017 for the Nintendo 3DS. The game takes place sometime after the events of Pikmin 3, and sees Captain Olimar crash-landing on an unfamiliar planet and collecting treasure to gather enough Sparklium to fuel his ship back into working condition. The game plays very differently to the main games in the series, as it is a 2.5D puzzle platformer. The focus of the game is not on organizing the Pikmin, multi-tasking, and strategy, but is instead on reflexes, accurate aiming, and maneuverability.
The prologue starts with Captain Olimar flying on the S.S. Dolphin II until he comes across a shower of asteroids. He tries to dodge them, but ends up getting hit, and the ship plummets into an alien planet, landing near a group of terrified Pikmin.
After this, Captain Olimar wakes up from the crash landing as the ship's pod assesses his and the ship's situation. After doing so, it concludes that the ship's fuel – the Sparklium supply – is completely empty. The pod picks up Sparklium signals and sends the captain onward, where the two stumble upon a wild Red Pikmin. After it being scared off, and the two continue going forward, Captain Olimar uses his whistle to bring out the Pikmin hiding in the weeds, only to realize there are actually four of them hiding, not just one. Moving forward a bit, the group discovers some Sparklium Seeds. It is at this point that the pod confirms that each seed contains one Sparklium, but Olimar needs 30 thousand to be able to escape. After the ship reassures the demoralized captain, everyone moves further onward, find some more seeds, and the tutorial level is completed.
Throughout the rest of the adventure, Olimar explores different areas, one at a time, gathering Sparklium Seeds and treasures along the way. There are two primary goals: the first is obtaining × 30,000 Sparklium in order to fully power the ship again. The second is searching for a missing key component of the S.S. Dolphin II, the Sparklium Converter, which is needed in order to return home. This final piece can be obtained from the final sector, The Final Stretch.
In order to get home, Captain Olimar needs to find × 30,000 and the Sparklium Converter. The ship does not know where the Sparklium Converter is, so the player needs to play through all eight main sectors, gathering Sparklium along the way. Once all eight sectors are finished and the Sparklium count reaches 30,000, the ship detects the Sparklium Converter in a new sector, The Final Stretch. Here, he battles against the fearsome Berserk Leech Hydroe, and after winning the fight, it is revealed that the Leech Hydroe that had taken control of the monster is holding the Sparklium Converter. After its defeat, the creature drops the ship part and then scurries away. The captain recovers the ship part, and prepares to go home.
As the ship is setting everything up for the ride, Olimar goes outside to meet the Pikmin for one final time, as him and a group of different Pikmin are frolicking around. Eventually, the ship's pod calls him over, and he sorrowfully walks away from the Pikmin. At first, they follow him, but after they realize what is happening, they stop, and stare at Olimar as he is getting beamed up into the ship's pod. As the ship takes off, the Pikmin all get inside the nearby Onion. The two blast off into space, but the Onion can only follow the ship up so far, until it stays behind. The ship keeps going, eventually activates the warp, and disappears.
After this, the credits roll. In the cutscene after the credits, a scene similar to the intro plays out, except instead of Olimar coming face to face with asteroids, he sees Hocotate in the distance. The ending finishes with the S.S. Dolphin II flying towards Olimar's home planet.
Gameplay happens mainly on the bottom screen, although both screens show the action. The player controls Olimar left or right on the ground and also vertically when climbing a vine, underwater, or when being held afloat by Winged Pikmin. Small ledges can be climbed up by simply walking in their direction. Captain Olimar can also deploy his jetpack, which allows the player to control him in midair left or right for a short time.
Pikmin cannot be grown in this game, but rather, they're found in the wild by Olimar, either behind foliage or obtained in short cutscenes. Because of this, enemies do not drop corpses (although they still release souls), and just fade away shortly after being taken down. Pikmin hiding behind something will occasionally pop in and out of their hiding spot.
The player can whistle Pikmin from anywhere on the screen, which makes them run to Olimar's side, although carrier Pikmin will continue carrying. This is also the only way to add wild Pikmin to the party. Once in Olimar's group, they can be thrown by him in the direction the player taps. Unlike the main Pikmin games, the Pikmin cannot be told to idle as normal – throwing a Pikmin away to an enemy or no task in particular will just make the Pikmin walk back to Olimar. This casual walk can be ordered into a run by simply whistling. Using the jetpack will however dismiss non-Winged Pikmin on the spot, until they are called back. Entering a doorway while some Pikmin are busy carrying or fighting will also leave them idling, although they can still hold on to whatever item they are holding if the player didn't wander too far.
Pikmin that are thrown at branches from below go up through them and land on top of them. Pikmin that land close to a task like a pile of bridge fragments will automatically walk towards it and begin working on it. Enemy health is represented with a horizontal bar, unlike the pie chart of previous games. Blue Pikmin thrown while underwater are tossed in a straight line instead of an arc, and swim back to Olimar right away. This is true even if they hit an enemy, and is also the case for thrown Winged Pikmin. Other Pikmin, when thrown at enemies, will either bounce off the enemy or, if possible, latch on to it and attack repeatedly. Unlike the previous games, that show a fraction to represent how many Pikmin are needed to pick something up, some bubbles appear on top of the object, matching the number of Pikmin necessary. As Pikmin are added, the bubbles become filled one by one.
Captain Olimar lands on the stage after being beamed down by the S.S. Dolphin II's ship pod. Treasure and objects are collected by having Olimar himself touch them. Treasures involve a small cutscene that shows Olimar summoning a portal of sorts to beam up the object; after the cutscene, there's a small pause showing the treasure's name and value. After collecting a treasure, it is replaced by rainbow Sparklium Seeds if the player replays the level. The value of a new treasure isn't added to the total of Sparklium yet, but collecting the rainbow Sparklium Seed equivalent to that treasure adds the value of × 50 right away. There are two, three, or four treasures per stage, and collecting one adds its icon to the set of bubbles on the top screen's HUD.
There are more elements on the top screen's HUD. At the top-left is an icon for Olimar and some green bars, that represent his current health. This also temporarily appears next to Olimar himself every time he gets hurt, which can happen by simply touching enemies, as opposed to the main games, where leaders can only get hurt by enemy attacks. At the middle is a counter of Pikmin. This indicates the number of Pikmin alive that belong to Olimar's arsenal. If the number is white, that means all Pikmin are currently following the captain, but if the number is gray, that means some Pikmin are working or otherwise not following Olimar. If the number is flashing red, that means some Pikmin that used to belong to Olimar's group are out of reach, possibly because they got dismissed by the jetpack function. These Pikmin will die soon if the player does not get to them in time. Right next to the Pikmin counter is the local Sparklium counter, indicating how many points of Sparklium have been collected in the level. Finally, as mentioned before, the top-right has icons for the treasures in the level.
The icon on the bottom-left corner of the screen indicates the current type of Pikmin, or a red cross if there are no Pikmin ready to be thrown. It can be noted that Pikmin are never on Olimar's group with mixed maturities, as all Pikmin in the current group will mature into the bud stage when 8 Pikmin or above are collected, the Pikmin will then mature again into the flower stage upon collecting 16. If the player loses Pikmin, the maturities get updated accordingly. If all Pikmin are gone, the pod tells Olimar to whistle around parts of the stage that might contain Pikmin. Sure enough, if the player goes back to a section of the area that had hiding Pikmin, some more Pikmin will be there, and can be whistled to add to the group. This can be done any number of times. If Olimar loses all of his health or gets crushed by a rock, a cutscene showing the ship taking the unconscious captain away will be shown.
Due to the game's side-scrolling perspective, there may be paths hidden behind walls. At times, the ship's pod will interrupt gameplay to alert Captain Olimar of something, like when Pikmin are being left behind. The pod awaits for Captain Olimar at the end of the stage, who, after a triumphant pose, gets beamed up inside the pod. The Pikmin with Olimar also get beamed up, except in the tutorial stage, where they stay behind. Pikmin that get rescued at the end of the stage in this fashion will be added to the Pikmin Park. If all treasures in the stage are collected, the results screen at the end will say "Treasures Found!", but if not, it'll say "Area Explored!"
Carriable objects no longer have extra carrying slots. Once the minimum Pikmin strength is met, the object begins moving, and no more Pikmin can be added. Pikmin will carry objects down ledges, but if the fall is too great, they might refuse. If they have nowhere to go, they simply shuffle back and forth, like in the main games. Pikmin that are carrying cannot be whistled, even if they are stuck, but Pikmin that are holding on to an object without taking it anywhere can be whistled. If Pikmin are carrying something, whether they can move it or not, but Olimar walks away from them, they will eventually drop the object and start running after the captain. Carrier Pikmin trying to take an item to Olimar may turn back if they bump against a ledge down or a bridge, even if built.
Long drops down will cause the captain to start teetering at the edge if the player pushes against the edge. Letting go off that direction and pressing again will bypass this teetering and force Captain Olimar to fall down. This can be used to fall into the pit.
In the overworld, the player can enter any area they have unlocked. Areas are unlocked by completing the one that came before. Some secret areas require the player to find secret exits before they become unlocked.
In any area, there are 20 Pikmin to find, although some new ones will be born from previous spawn locations (rocks, piles of leafs, etc.) if some of the player's Pikmin die, so that the player doesn't get stuck without Pikmin. Although the limit is 20 Pikmin, with specific circumstances, the player can have up to 24; see the amiibo compatibility section for more details. If the player finds all of the Pikmin in the area and doesn't let a single one die, they will be awarded with a golden Pikmin badge on top of the area's icon on the area selection menu. Getting all badges in a sector will make a badge appear on the sector's button in the sector selection menu, and getting a badge in all areas of the game will make one appear in the saved game selection menu's button. These rewards are purely cosmetic.
If Captain Olimar is killed too many times in a row when exploring a new area, or if the player has been on it for 30 minutes, the game gives the player the opportunity to skip the area and try the next one instead. Boss battle areas cannot be skipped.
When Captain Olimar is killed, the S.S. Dolphin II's pod beams him up, and the game asks the player if they want to try the area again. By dying five times in the same area in a row, and picking the retry option each time, when the area finishes loading for the sixth try, the pod will interrupt and inform Olimar that it found a new area for them to explore. If the player ever wishes to skip the current area and try the next one, the pause menu will replace the usual "Return to Area Select" option with a pink "Go to the next area" button. This button triggers the area results menu, and acts as if the player reached the standard end of the area, with nothing collected and no Pikmin gathered.
Interestingly, skipping First Expedition will give the player the jetpack anyway. The game keeps track of the number of deaths in a row the player has suffered, but if the player returns to the area selection screen, the counter is reset. The tutorial gameplay section that takes place after the introduction cutscene cannot be skipped, as it is not a normal area, and has no way for Olimar to die. Areas that have already been explored (whether they were skipped or not) cannot be skipped.
This game introduces no new Pikmin types, instead using the same types as Pikmin 3.
Purple Pikmin and White Pikmin are not present in Hey! Pikmin, but oddly enough, the Onion has some purple and white liquid inside it (along with red, yellow, blue, gray, and pink), indicating that it has Purple and White Pikmin inside.
Areas in this game are organized into groups called "sectors". When an area is entered, the ship's pod drops Captain Olimar at the starting point, and then picks him up again on the other end of the area. Some areas have a secondary exit, and taking this one will instead lead to an extra area, as opposed to the next standard area in the sector.
Treasures are the main collectible in Hey! Pikmin. They provide a lot of Sparklium, much more than Sparklium Seeds, and as such, are vital to Olimar's mission. Treasures are collected by having Olimar touch them. Since he can't always go up to the treasure directly, he'll sometimes need the Pikmin to bring it to him.
The enemies in Hey! Pikmin are the natural wildlife in the planet. Most of them want to eat the Pikmin, and others just want to kill them, but a handful of them are harmless. Almost all enemies in this game can kill Pikmin or damage Olimar simply by touching them. Larger enemies, referred to as bosses, appear on the final area of each sector.
The game also includes a variety of more minor obstacles that are exclusive to their areas, and mostly act as the "gimmick" of that area.
When the player finishes an area with Pikmin behind them, those Pikmin get beamed into the Ship's Pod as well, and are then placed at the Pikmin Park. Once there, they can be assigned to work on tasks to clean up the park. In doing so, they may uncover some extra treasures or stashes of Sparklium Seeds. Some types of clutter can only be cleared out by specific Pikmin types. The Pikmin Park can also be used to evolve the Pikmin amiibo.
Some amiibo are usable with Hey! Pikmin.
Area selection screen
Scanning a compatible amiibo while on the area selection screen will make the amiibo itself appear in the game on one of the world map's Secret Spots. That Secret Spot can then be entered, and the amiibo can be recovered and collected. These give the player Sparklium and can be viewed in the amiibo Log, like a normal treasure.
41 amiibo are compatible with this feature:
Scanning any other amiibo on the area selection screen will just give the player some Sparklium. This can only be done once per day. Unlike other games with amiibo functionality, different amiibo of the same character will not behave the same way. For example, the Smash series Mario amiibo will not create the Colossus in Suspenders treasure.
In-game, if the player pauses and uses the amiibo option, they can scan the Pikmin amiibo or the Olimar amiibo to summon a number of Pikmin directly to Olimar's side. In the case of Olimar's amiibo, only four appear, but for the Pikmin amiibo, the number of Pikmin summoned is related to the amiibo's level, which can be increased in the Pikmin Park. The following table details how many Pikmin the player needs at the Pikmin Park to reach what amiibo level, and how many Pikmin will be granted during gameplay.
If the feature is used underwater, only Blue Pikmin will appear, and trying to use it while airborne will not work. Pressing the button in the pause menu while the player already has 20 Pikmin will show a message saying it is impossible to summon. Summoning Pikmin with the amiibo will make it impossible to get the golden Pikmin badge for that area, forcing the player to try again and completing it normally without the amiibo if they want the badge. Though the player can summon Pikmin, and then quit the area via the pause menu to add those Pikmin to the Pikmin Park.
When used, the game will always give out as many Pikmin as its level allows, giving the player 20 Pikmin if it is at max level. If there are some Pikmin from the area nearby, the number given will decrease to compensate, so the player needs to collect those too to get the desired number. Once the player has 20 Pikmin, no further ones will appear in the area, as to not go over the 20 Pikmin limit (although there are exceptions, explained in the next paragraph). To accommodate for the player being able to reach the Pikmin limit early on, most areas will change something up to allow the area to be completable without requiring the Pikmin that failed to appear. For example, the first bridge in First Expedition will already start off complete, since the player has no Pikmin in the top levels to whistle into the bridge fragments nearby, and cannot throw any of their Pikmin at the higher levels. Any cutscenes that involve new Pikmin will also not play.
Interestingly, if the area has Pikmin that mandatorily must appear in order to avoid having the player get stuck or unable to recover a treasure, the game will not account for these when spawning the 20 amiibo Pikmin, and will let the player add these extra ones to the total too, allowing the player to have more than 20 Pikmin with them. The game acts like normal in this case, and will add the extra Pikmin to the Pikmin Park. The following areas allow this to happen:
The logs are a mode where it's possible to see collected treasures and encountered enemies, similar to the Treasure Hoard and Piklopedia. The bottom screen shows the model of the object in question, which can be rotated by the player, and the top screen shows a description of the item. The bottom screen also has a silhouette of a Pikmin, used to compare the treasure's size to a standard Pikmin.
Sparklium Springs are special areas that can only be played once per day, but have Sparklium stones fall from the sky in bizarre patterns. Olimar can touch these or throw Pikmin at them to collect them, and when the challenge is over, the number of rocks collected is tallied, and some Sparklium is added to the total count.
The player can have more than one saved game, and the game is saved automatically every time an area is finished. There are some form of upgrades available throughout the game, like a jetpack that lasts longer, or some more health for Captain Olimar.
The game can periodically send gameplay analytic data to Nintendo via SpotPass. This can be disabled in the options menu. It also supports Nintendo Network.
Captain Olimar can be moved about using , , or ///. Unlike most games where an analog stick controls the character, holding the stick farther away or closer to the center will not make Olimar move faster or slower. Pikmin are thrown by tapping at the bottom screen – the Pikmin is thrown in the direction of the tap, and the farther the tap is from Olimar, the farther the Pikmin is thrown. When the stylus is on the screen, the Pikmin is held, and a crosshair appears under the stylus that can be dragged around, so it's the release that effectively throws the Pikmin, much like the "throw" button in the main games. The whistle and the jetpack are activated by tapping on-screen buttons present on the bottom of the touch screen. To go inside a doorway, the player must place Olimar in front of it and input "up" on one of the movement buttons or sticks.
or can be used to toggle the radar, which is not available from the start of the game. The game reminds the player of this on the top screen if Olimar stands still for a few seconds. Dialog is advanced by tapping on the screen, but tapping the screen while the text is being written out will cause it to write out all at once.
It is still possible to grab Pikmin that Olimar should not be able to reach, as long as they are considered in the group. This can be seen by letting the Pikmin fall to a lower level right at the start of 3-A, but keeping Olimar on an upper level. A held Pikmin can be released if the player drags the stylus to one of the buttons on the bottom. This will activate the button, but since the button that represents the standby Pikmin's type does not do anything, moving the stylus there makes it possible to release the Pikmin without doing anything else.
References to other series
The Japanese version of the game is only available in Japanese, while the American version is available in English, American Spanish, and Canadian French, and the European version of the game is available in English, European French, German, Italian, and European Spanish. The game was also later released in Korea, fully translated into Korean.
The game was first revealed in a Nintendo Direct on September 1st, 2016, where it was given the working name Pikmin for Nintendo 3DS. The video showed some gameplay footage and information.
More information about the game was shown on the April 12th, 2017 Nintendo Direct, where its name was confirmed to be Hey! Pikmin, and where it was given its July 28th, 2017 release date.
On May 5th, 2017, a few different gaming news representatives managed to play Hey! Pikmin in a hands-on event. This version of the game features 3 areas: a basic one focusing on the Red Pikmin, a cave area focusing on the Yellow Pikmin and their throw height, and a mostly underwater area focusing on the Blue Pikmin and multidirectional movement.
On June 7th, 2017, a Japanese trailer was released, explaining a bit of the game's plot, and showcasing new enemies, treasures, and other content.
The game's official website, http://heypikmin.nintendo.com, was launched on June 29th, 2017.
Nintendo Summer of Play
During the 2017 Nintendo Summer of Play event, Hey! Pikmin was one of the games available to try out. Players could get their hands on a Nintendo 3DS with the game's demo and play it. This demo is slightly different from the eShop demo – which was released some days after – in that it has different introduction text, no limit on the number of times it can be opened, and no button to open the full game's eShop page.
The game released in Japan on July 13th, 2017.
A demo of the game was launched before the game's release, on the European eShop, on June 22nd, 2017, on the Australian eShop on July 5th, 2017, and on the US eShop on July 13th, 2017. From the saved game selection menu, players can choose which "file" they want to play: "(A) Intro & Tutorial", "(B) 1-A: First Expedition", and "(C) 3-A: Crystal Tunnels". Players can only open it 30 times, but completing a stage allows the player to return to the title screen without using up one usage. Pressing or during gameplay has no effect.
Like in the final game, the Sparklium counter on the HUD caps at 999 per area, which can be seen by constantly defeating the Mockiwi that come out of the hole in First Expedition. This makes it impossible to reach the 30,000 Sparklium goal in the demo.
Connections to other games
Hey! Pikmin is a fairly isolated game, in that it barely connects to the other games in the series. Olimar's first encounter with the Pikmin from Pikmin is mentioned, but not much else. However, Olimar still breifly mentions characters in the other games in various logs, such as his wife and The President. Chronologically, the game must take place some time after Pikmin 3, as the Pikmin types first discovered in that game are immediately recognized by the S.S. Dolphin II.
Names in other languages