Pikmin 1+2 review

by on July 3, 2023
Reviewed On
Release Date

June 21, 2023


With Pikmin 4 just around the corner, it’s an exciting time for fans of Olimar and his friends. The Pikmin series sometimes feels like it gets lost in the Nintendo shuffle, with Mario and Zelda stealing the limelight away from the adventures of the tiny carrot-like creatures. Hopefully Pikmin 4 will change that, especially with Nintendo building the Pikmin hype for newcomers and veterans alike with the surprise release of Pikmin 1+2 on the Switch.

If you haven’t played a Pikmin game before, the story follows Captain Olimar, an adorable astronaut who crash lands on an unknown planet and discovers the Pikmin. These goofy little guys grow underground, and once plucked will follow their new master and perform tasks for them like breaking down walls or carrying heavy items. The only way Olimar can make it home is by using the Pikmin to help recover parts of his ship, and with a limited supply of oxygen time is of the essence.

A screenshot of Pikmin 1+2

You have thirty days to make it home safely, and each of these lasts around fifteen minutes of real time. To make the most of this limited time you’ll need to get yourself a whole load of Pikmin, which involves commanding them to gather coloured tokens that grow on stems and take them back to their home – a weird UFO called an onion. This then poops out some seeds which grow into Pikmin, and before you know it you’ll have an army ready to explore the world for ship parts.

You won’t get far with just the starting red Pikmin though, and will need to find the yellow and blue species if you want to make it past certain obstacles. Each Pikmin type has its own set of skills to take advantage of, so having a selection of all three with you is usually a good idea. The red Pikmin are the toughest fighters and can’t be hurt by fire, yellow Pikmin can be thrown higher and are able to carry little explosive rocks, and blue Pikmin are the only ones that can swim. Some trickier ship parts will be hidden behind rock walls, over streams and with flame breathing enemies guarding them, and it’s your job to use the appropriate Pikmin to bring these electronics home safely.

Combat in Pikmin is pretty straightforward, and mainly involves Olimar rapidly throwing the little fellas at an enemy until it collapses and you can carry it back to an Onion. Sometimes the aiming can be a little tricky with your little cursor, other times you’ll need to quickly call your Pikmin back to avoid them being chomped. There’s not a lot more satisfying than watching a big ole Bulborb with dozens of Pikmin clinging to it collapse, but there’s always a decent chance you’ll end up with a few Pikmin eaten and you’ll have to watch their sad ghosts drift away.

A screenshot of Pikmin 1+2

Pikmin 2 progresses the series perfectly, featuring Olimar’s brother Louie and a whole host of improvements to the formula. No longer stranded in a dangerous environment, this time around our protagonist’s peril is financial. Turns out that being an intergalactic explorer doesn’t come cheap, and Olimar has worked up quite a bill. Realising that there’s plenty of junk that’d sell for a fortune on the planet of the Pikmin, they set off to raise some money and clear their debts.

Pikmin 2 has some new features that spice things up a little, and the most important of these is Louie. At any time you can switch between Louie and Olimar, and because of this it’s easier than ever to efficiently explore multiple areas at once. There are also new types of Pikmin to utilise, Purple and White Pikmin. The purple Pikmin are chonky fellas, who can carry more and use their weight to solve puzzles. White Pikmin are immune to poison, and actually hurt enemies that eat them. The added variety of carrot minions makes the second adventure much more interesting, and there’s less pressure this time around without the thirty day oxygen time limit.

Regardless of which Pikmin game you’re playing, you’ll be hit with an overdose of that Nintendo charm. From the colourful visuals to the delightful music, Pikmin 1+2 just ooze pure joy. There are so many little touches that add to the magic of this series, from the trumpet fanfare that plays when you guide your Pikmin in a certain direction to the little noises they make when thrown through the air. There wasn’t a single moment playing these games where I didn’t have a massive grin on my face.

A screenshot of Pikmin 1+2

The HD upgrade to these games certainly improves the visuals, but don’t expect it to hold up against Pikmin 3 or 4. The colourful cartoony graphics hold up much better than a lot of games from the GameCube era, but there are plenty of muddy textures throughout too. The framerate is also locked at 30fps, which is totally fine for the game in question but some will obviously be disappointed with this. With a price tag of £39.99 for the two games, it’s hard not to be a bit disappointed with the amount of work that’s gone into this collection.

Pikmin 1+2 is a joyous bundle of two fantastic games, but the price tag and lack of technical improvements might put some off. The Nintendo brand of RTS style gameplay still holds up perfectly in 2023 though, and the charm of the games is undeniable. If you need something to keep you busy until Pikmin 4 arrives, then these two updated GameCube games are the perfect cure for Pikmin fever.


Both games are still fantastic
Nintendo charm at its finest
The updated visuals are lovely
A great way to complete your Switch Pikmin collection


The games haven't been hugely updated
Runs at 30fps
A bit on the pricey side

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Pikmin 1+2 are still wonderful games, and although it's a fairly pricey collection having the games on the Switch is lovely.