Nintendo Switch Review: Pikmin 4

Is this the Pik of the litter?

Chart a mysterious planet with curious plantlike Pikmin that come in different types in Pikmin 4 – like the brand-new Ice Pikmin! The capable canine, Oatchi, will also help to overcome big challenges.

I’ve played Pikmin since the original and always been a fan. I recently reviewed the HD remasters of Pikmin 1 and 2 which allowed me to travel back to the beginning before heading forward to the newest entry, Pikmin 4. If you’ve played a game in the past, then you’ll know what to expect, but they have definitely exceeded themselves with this one. It feels like the culmination of the entire series has been heading to this point, it really is that special.

The game allows you to create your own character in search of Captain Olimar who has once again, crashed his ship. The rescue corps sent to search for him also crashed, which leaves you to save them all alongside new character Oatchi which you can ride across water, jump over small ledges and even carry Pikmin as well as items and has a dash ability which is essential for some fights.

Ice Pikmin are introduced which can essentially freeze bodies of water, allowing safe travel for you and your Pikmin. There are also unique Pikmin that you can use during night missions, something the series has never allowed you to do before as the creatures have always been too aggressive to take on after the sun goes down. These are well designed, but incredibly stressful from start to finish. Still fun at the same time though…

The objective of the game is to gather items to convert into energy for your ship. These can vary from typical junk and rubbish to items from Nintendo history like the Game Boy Advance SP. You also find other crew members and even others who you can rescue.

The game locations are nice and varied from garden types like we are used to, but also new ones like someone’s living room. For those on the fence, there’s a free demo to try which allows you to move your save data over to the main game if you buy it and the demo is a good length, giving you plenty of time with it so you can decide if you want to pull the trigger and hit buy.

The visuals are the strongest in the series to date. Oatchi is just adorable and the locations are vibrant and highly detailed. I was amazed that the Switch can pull this off without any drop in quality, it’s quite remarkable for a 6-year-old system. The music is typical of the series, understated but charming and relaxing unless it’s a boss fight…then the tempo goes up a notch for a stressful battle. I didn’t notice any bugs and the framerate was consistent throughout.

The Verdict

Pikmin 4 is without a doubt, the best in the series. It takes what has worked in the past games, improved on them and added even more to make it a must-have title for the Switch. Try the demo if you aren’t sure about it, but personally I think this is superb from start to finish.

Score: 9.0