With Nintendo’s rich history of innovation in blending video games with real-world experiences, it’s no surprise that they continue to amaze players. The latest delightful surprise from Nintendo is Pikmin Finder, a mobile browser game that utilizes augmented reality (AR) technology developed by Niantic subsidiary 8th Wall.
Pikmin Finder was released just in time for Nintendo Live 2023, an event held in Seattle. While the game is available to everyone, it’s the perfect time to give it a try while waiting in line at the event. Unlike Niantic’s Pikmin Bloom and Pokémon Go, Pikmin Finder focuses more on AR gameplay rather than geolocation. As long as players can rotate their phones, they can enjoy the game in one spot.
The objective of Pikmin Finder is to locate Pikmin sprouts buried in the ground and pluck them by swiping a finger. By doing so, players can establish a platoon of Pikmin and send them on a treasure hunt. There are 20 different types of treasures to collect throughout the game.
In true Pikmin fashion, the treasures in the game have unique and descriptive names. For example, a simple tennis ball is renamed the Sphere of Fuzzy Feelings, and a pocket watch is upgraded to the grand-sounding Temporal Mechanism. Even the Nintendo Switch gets a nod, with Pikmin having the opportunity to discover a Telekinesis Detector or Joy-Con.
The game doesn’t stop at modern consoles either. Pikmin may even stumble upon a Game Boy Advance SP, originally released in 2003. In the world of Pikmin, this handheld device is known as the Stone of Advancement, but the iconic GBA logo remains visible.
Pikmin Finder serves as a promotional tactic for the recently released Pikmin 4 on the Switch. By releasing a simple game that players can enjoy while waiting in line, Nintendo has once again showcased their unique and effective marketing strategies. The treasures found in Pikmin Finder, such as the Dimension Converter (or 3D glasses), directly tie into the world of Pikmin 4. Furthermore, the game’s accessibility, as it can be played in-browser without the need for any downloads, ensures that many Nintendo enthusiasts waiting in queues will become avid Pikmin fans as a result.
Niantic has been recognized as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2023.