Pikmin Bloom is a spin-off game in the Pikmin series, released in 2021 for iOS and Android. It is an augmented-reality location-based game, co-developed by Niantic and Nintendo, with gameplay mechanics designed to encourage walking.
Pikmin Bloom is a game about walking around the real world. Walking around is how most things in the game are done, such as growing Pikmin and finding fruit. Because of this focus on walking, the game requires the GPS in the mobile phone to be on, and it needs permission to use the phone's inbuilt step counter, either via Apple Health or Google Fit. The game also requires an account to play, and the account can be set up with using either a Nintendo account, a Google account, a Facebook account, or an Apple account (the latter only being available on iOS devices).
One of the main activities is growing Pikmin. All 7 main Pikmin types appear in the game, and are unlocked over time based on the player's level. Pikmin in this game start as seedlings, which the player can then place in a slot in their Planter Pack, and after walking some number of steps (usually 1000), the player can pluck the Pikmin and add it to their collection. Pikmin can be individually named, and are tagged with the location where their seedling was found. Only a certain number of Pikmin can be in the player's squad at a time, with the rest being on standby.
Through walking, growing Pikmin, and doing other tasks, the player can increase in level. Doing this unlocks additional features over time, such as expeditions, Decor Pikmin, and challenges. Badges can also be unlocked by completing certain criteria.
The main screen of the game takes place on a map of the real world centered around the player, who is displayed as a Mii character. This map displays roads and water bodies, and also Big Flowers, flowers planted by other players with the flower planting feature, items obtainable through expeditions, and mushrooms from challenges (if they have been unlocked). As the player walks around, the Mii will move and so will the current squad of Pikmin following the Mii. From this screen, buttons on the right allow access to use a Detector, toggle flower planting mode, view the Planter Pack, and enter a garden screen where the Pikmin squad can be viewed close-up. In this close-up mode, Pikmin will idle around, and can be ordered to stand in a grid by holding a whistle button. The player can feed nectar to Pikmin, which will upgrade their maturity. Giving nectar to a flowered Pikmin will cause its flowers to change to the nectar's type and glow, and by tapping on the glowing flower, the Pikmin will stop glowing and petals will be obtained. This view has a button to enter an augmented reality mode, which will use the device's camera to project the Pikmin onto a surface in the real world, where photographs can be taken of them.
The lifelog feature allows the player to look back on their walks with the app over time, displaying things like each day's step count, the postcards received that day, and the daily lookback feature. The game also contains a shop where items can be bought for in-game coins or real money.
All seven main Pikmin types (Red Pikmin, Yellow Pikmin, Blue Pikmin, Purple Pikmin, White Pikmin, Rock Pikmin and Winged Pikmin) appear in Pikmin Bloom, each one unlocked at different levels. There is also a large collection of Pikmin donning some decoration, named Decor Pikmin.
In Pikmin Bloom, Red Pikmin are the first Pikmin type obtained, as 2 are given to the player during the tutorial. They have no special features, being a standard type that can carry 1 weight unit and takes 1000 steps to grow from a seedling.
In Pikmin Bloom, Yellow Pikmin are the second type obtained, and are unlocked at level 4. They have no special features, being a standard type that can carry 1 weight unit and takes 1000 steps to grow from a seedling.
In Pikmin Bloom, Blue Pikmin are the third type obtained, and are unlocked at level 7. They have no special features, being a standard type that can carry 1 weight unit and takes 1000 steps to grow from a seedling.
In Pikmin Bloom, Purple Pikmin are the fourth type obtained, and are unlocked at level 13. They can carry 5 weight units on expeditions, and since the speed of carrying in this game is based on the strength of the Pikmin carrying it, they are faster at carrying for this reason. Their seedlings take the strength of 3 Pikmin to carry and 3000 steps to grow.
In Pikmin Bloom, White Pikmin are the fifth type obtained, and are unlocked at level 16. They are slightly faster at carrying than other Pikmin types. Their seedlings take the strength of 3 Pikmin to carry and 3000 steps to grow.
In Pikmin Bloom, Rock Pikmin are the seventh and final Pikmin type obtained, and are unlocked at level 23. They can carry 3 weight units on expeditions, and since the speed of carrying in this game is based on the strength of the Pikmin carrying it, they are faster at carrying for this reason. They are also stronger in challenges. Their seedlings take the strength of 5 Pikmin to carry and 5000 steps to grow.
In Pikmin Bloom, Winged Pikmin are the sixth type obtained, and are unlocked at level 19. They are extremely fast at carrying items on expeditions, as long as they are the only type carrying. Their seedlings take the strength of 5 Pikmin to carry and 5000 steps to grow.
The app was announced on March 23rd, 2021, simultaneously by Nintendo and Niantic, on Twitter and their own websites. The initial announcements featured some basic information and a single image. Nintendo confirmed the title would be released in the second half of 2021 in its earnings release for the fiscal year ending March 31st, 2021.
The game had a closed beta period, where people could sign up to receive information about the game and invitations to test the beta. Beta testing began in Singapore on March 30th, 2021 and expanded to Australia on April 19th. The closed beta continued until the app's release.
On October 27th, 2021, the title of the app, Pikmin Bloom, was officially announced, along with a promotional trailer, and the app was released in Australia and Singapore. On October 28th, the app was released in the Americas. On November 1st, the app was released in Japan. On November 2nd, the app was released in most countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania.