Pikmin cover art.jpg
North American box art
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Shigefumi Hino
Masamichi Abe
Producer(s) Shigeru Miyamoto
Writer(s) Motoi Okamoto
Composer(s) Hajime Wakai
Platform(s) Nintendo GameCube, Wii
Release date(s) Nintendo GameCube
  • JP October 26, 2001
  • NA December 2, 2001
  • PAL June 14, 2002
  • JP December 25, 2008[1]
  • NA March 9, 2009[2]
  • EU February 6, 2009
  • AUS February 26, 2009[3]
Genre(s) Real-time strategy
Mode(s) Single-player

Pikmin (ピクミン Pikumin?) is a strategy video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube video game console in 2001. Pikmin is the first game in the Pikmin series of video games, and the third game for the Gamecube overall. It was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto. Pikmin was released on October 26, 2001 in Japan, December 2, 2001 in North America, and June 14, 2002 in Europe. The sequel, Pikmin 2, was released in 2004. The image song, "Ai No Uta" by Strawberry Flower, appeared in the Japanese commercials for the game, but soon became an unexpected hit song, eventually eclipsing Pikmin's sales. As of March 31, 2002, Pikmin has sold over one million copies.[4]

Pikmin is a 3D, top-down, strategy game, with the player controlling Captain Olimar from a third-person viewpoint. Olimar is followed by the Pikmin, whom he directs.

In 2009, the original Pikmin was re-released for the Wii as part of the New Play Control! series. Pikmin 2 was also re-released for Wii in Japan, Europe, and Australia, but it was never released in North America.



The basis of gameplay in Pikmin is to retrieve ship parts by using the three varieties of Pikmin available in different combinations. Olimar discovers multi-coloured plant-animal hybrids that willingly follow his orders and help him recover ship parts. All three of the Pikmin colors that Captain Olimar discovers must be used in order to overcome various obstacles and complete the game. The Pikmin creatures come in three different varieties - red, yellow, and blue. Red Pikmin are the basic type, though more powerful than the other two varieties and resistant to fire. Yellow Pikmin can be thrown higher than the other two and can carry explosives called "bombs rocks", while blue Pikmin are the only ones that can survive in water. They are utilized in various tasks, including carrying objects and enemies, breaking down walls, and defeating enemies. Objects that can be carried vary between ship parts, enemy corpses, and pellets.

Time in the game is divided into 30 days. With the exception of the first day, which lasts until the player finds the first ship part, all days in the game are about 13 minutes in length. By the end of each day, all Pikmin should be immediately rounded up, work halted, and Olimar must return with the Pikmin to the ship. The reason for this is that many of the creatures which inhabit the Pikmin's planet are nocturnal predators and eat all Pikmin that are left behind on the surface after the sun sets. If Olimar doesn't collect all 25 mandatory ship parts within this 30 day time limit, his ship's life support systems will fail and Olimar will die from oxygen poisoning. If he does find the parts, then he blasts off into space successfully and returns home.

Apart from the main gameplay, Pikmin also contains a Challenge mode that is unlocked once Olimar gets all three types of Pikmin. Each of the five levels in the main game is available for play. The object of Challenge mode is to grow the greatest number of Pikmin in one day as is possible.


In Pikmin, the main character is Captain Olimar, a tiny extraterrestrial from the planet Hocotate. The story starts when Olimar is taking an intergalactic vacation in outer space. However, during his flight, a comet hits his spaceship, the S.S. Dolphin (a reference to the Nintendo GameCube's codename, "Project Dolphin"), which is then pulled into the gravity field of an uncharted planet. Parts of the spaceship fall off as it plummets to the ground and crashes.

When he regains consciousness, Olimar finds out that the planet's atmosphere contains high levels of oxygen- an element deadly to his people- and he can stay on the planet for only 30 days before his life support system stops functioning. Olimar must retrieve many of the spaceship parts so he can rebuild his spaceship and return to Hocotate. Although Olimar initially states in his journal entries that he needs all 30 parts, as the game moves on it is hinted at that some parts might not be actually necessary to lift off, and, indeed, one can win the game without said parts.

To help Olimar are indigenous creatures called Pikmin, which are nearly extinct and unable to survive in the environment without his leadership when he arrives. As this element of symbiosis develops, Olimar discovers parts of his ship and travels across the Pikmin Planet, which is assumed to be Earth, albeit with unknown fauna, although, the game is speculated to be taking place in a post-apocalyptic Earth where humans have died out, due to the unknown species, and debris that which humans would use. The game has three endings depending upon how successful the player is.


Before witnessing multiple Pikmin working together to carry a large creature, director Shigefumi Hino and the other developers were having trouble finding the direction the game would have. However, upon seeing it in action, he states that it helped determine the future of it.[5]

Sequels and re-releases

Pikmin 2 was widely considered an improvement on the original. Pikmin 2 came out in 2004 and features the same basic idea with some new multiplayer modes, three new Pikmin colors (white, purple and Bulbmin), caves, more beasts and Bosses, and an unlimited amount of days allowed in single-player mode.[6] When asked about Pikmin appearing on the Wii at E3 2008, Shigeru Miyamoto simply replied, "We're making Pikmin."[7] There were originally suspicions that he may have been referring to the re-releases of the two games, but it was confirmed in an interview that he was talking about a completely new game.[citation needed] At his developer roundtable at E3 2011, Miyamoto revealed that development for the new Pikmin game was moved over to the newly announced Wii U.[8]

Both Pikmin and Pikmin 2, are part of the New Play Control! series, a selection of Nintendo GameCube video game remakes adding support for features of the Wii. It was released on December 25, 2008 in Japan,[1] February 6, 2009 in Europe and March 9, 2009 in North America (original version only).[9] New Play Control! Pikmin uses the Wii Remote, and requires the player to point and click on the screen to do various tasks instead of manually moving a cursor with a control stick.[10] It was also announced that the game saves day-by-day records of the player's playthrough, allowing the player to restart from any recorded day of his or her choice.[11] In an interview, director Shigefumi Hino stated that besides adding motion controls, they wanted to include the ability to go back to saves they have made in the past, allowing players to replay all 30 days one by one in order to improve.[5]


Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A+
GamePro 4/5
GameSpot 8.9
IGN 9.1

Upon being revealed at E3 2001, Pikmin garnered positive reception. IGN praised it for its uniqueness and its stunning graphics, with only a few negative points such as a poor camera.[12] It was awarded the title of "Best Puzzle/Trivia/Parlor Game" from Game Critics Award, beating out ChuChu Rocket! for the Game Boy Advance. It was also runner-up for "Most Original Game", losing out to Majestic.[13]

Since its release for the Nintendo GameCube, Pikmin has received positive reception. It holds an average score of 89/100 and 86.37% from Metacritic and Game Rankings respectively.[14][15] It was given the award for interactivity from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.[16]

Pikmin has received significant praise for its graphics, in particular the design of the surrounding environment. Gaming Age editor Craig Majaski described Pikmin as both stunning and having a detailed environment.[17]

The Wii re-release of Pikmin was not as well-received as the GameCube version, though it still had mostly positive reception; it holds an average score of 77/100 and 79.73% from Metacritic and Game Rankings respectively.[18][19]


In its first week, Pikmin sold more than 101,000 copies. However, sales fell to only between 10,000 and 15,000 copies in the weeks following. Following the release of "Ai no Uta", a song related to Pikmin, its sales surged to about 22,000 copies in a week. In the weeks of December 24, 2001 and January 6, 2002, Pikmin sold approximately 53,000 copies and 102,000 copies respectively.[20] To date, Pikmin has sold approximately 1.18 million copies worldwide; 680,000 in the United States and 507,011 in Japan.[21][22] By January 3, 2010, the Wii version of Pikmin has sold 169,036 copies in Japan.[23] Since its release, Pikmin has developed a vocal and devoted fanbase.[5]


  1. ^ a b "First Look: Wii de Asobu Pikmin". IGN. 2008-12-10. http://wii.ign.com/articles/915/915529p1.html. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  2. ^ "New Play Control! Pikmin Release Information for Wii". http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/wii/data/954380.html. 
  3. ^ MYER catalogue 17 February - March 9, 2009 page 24
  4. ^ "Nintendo 2002 Annual Report". Nintendo. 2002-06-27. p. 20. http://www.nintendo.com/corp/report/financialstatements_5-30-02.pdf#page=23. Retrieved 2008-05-29. "PIKMIN, which provided a uniquely different game idea, gained popularity. SUPER SMASH BROS. MELEE and LUIGI'S MANSION were extremely popular and provided new gaming elements as well. Each of these titles sold more than one million units." 
  5. ^ a b c http://uk.gamespot.com/wii/strategy/pikmin/news.html?sid=6205425&mode=previews
  6. ^ "GameRankings.com listing of major Reviews". http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/589374.asp. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  7. ^ Gibson, Ellie (July 17, 2008). ""We're making Pikmin" - Miyamoto". Eurogamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/were-making-pikmin-miyamoto. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  8. ^ http://kotaku.com/5809742/pikmin-is-coming-for-the-wii-u
  9. ^ "GameStop.com - Buy Pikmin - Nintendo Wii". http://www.gamestop.com/Catalog/ProductDetails.aspx?product_id=73028#. 
  10. ^ "Presenting the "Play it on Wii Selection"". IGN. 2008-12-10. http://wii.ign.com/articles/915/915548p1.html. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  11. ^ "New Features for Wii Pikmin and Mario Tennis". 2008-12-10. http://wii.ign.com/articles/937/937178p1.html. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  12. ^ http://cube.ign.com/articles/095/095375p1.html
  13. ^ http://cube.ign.com/articles/095/095941p1.html
  14. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/cube/pikmin
  15. ^ http://www.gamerankings.com/gamecube/516498-pikmin/index.html
  16. ^ http://www.gamespot.com/gamecube/strategy/pikmin/news.html?sid=2885427&mode=news
  17. ^ http://www.gaming-age.com/cgi-bin/reviews/review.pl?sys=gamecube
  18. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/wii/newplaycontrolpikmin
  19. ^ http://www.gamerankings.com/wii/954380-new-play-control-pikmin/index.html
  20. ^ http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/newsArt.cfm?artid=6888
  21. ^ Colin Campbell; Joe Keiser (2006-07-29). "The Top 100 games of the 21st century". Next-Gen.biz. p. 1. http://www.next-gen.biz/features/top-100-games-21st-century. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  22. ^ "Nintendo Gamecube Japanese Ranking". Japan Game Charts. 2007-05-06. http://www.japan-gamecharts.com/gc.php. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  23. ^ "GEIMIN.NET/2009年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP1000(メディアクリエイト版)". Geimin. http://geimin.net/da/db/2009_ne_mc/index.php. Retrieved 2010-05-10. 

External links

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