Missing in action for much of the Wii U’s beautiful strategy game Pikmin 3, Captain Olimar is returning to the series in an all-new adventure. But you’ll have to change your perspective of the Pikmin series slightly, as Olimar’s latest journey is coming exclusively to the 3DS, with some major gameplay changes.
Pikmin for Nintendo 3DS was the final game shown off at Thursday’s 3DS-focused Nintendo Direct event, and will transition the series from its 3D strategy and exploration gameplay to a more action-oriented 2D sidescroller. It still features the series’ classic puzzle-solving and combat, but it will make you “think fast” to suit the strengths of handheld gaming.
Olimar still has access to a variety of Pikmin — the red are resistant to fire, the yellow are resistant to electricity and can be thrown farther, and the blue work better in water — and using them is easier than ever. Simply tapping the 3DS’ touchscreen lets you send them anywhere at will, and a virtual key button located at the bottom of the screen allows you to quickly call them all back. The top screen appears to be relegated to your HUD, providing extra room for you to throw your colorful allies.
This is the first time we’ve seen Pikmin for Nintendo 3DS, but the game was already teased quite a long time ago. In 2015, legendary designer Shigeru Miyamoto said that a fourth game was already nearing completion, and though it’s still possible that a full-fledged sequel will hit the Wii U or the NX, it seems likely now that the 3DS installment is what he was referring to.
Pikmin hits the Nintendo 3DS next year. If you’ve already gotten your fill of Pikmin 3, be sure to try out the Pikmin minigame in the Wii U’s NintendoLand.