Nintendo hasn’t been shy about bringing many of its most beloved characters and game series to the 3DS, sometimes dramatically rethinking them to fit the limitations of the handheld system. This is the case with Hey! Pikmin, a spin-off of the fan-favorite Pikmin series that takes the army-amassing, tossing, and goodie-collecting real-time strategy gameplay of Pikmin and reworks it into a 2D puzzle platformer. While it does an admirable of transplanting the inherent charm and cuteness into a smaller package, Hey! Pikmin’s lack of challenge and slow pace make it far less memorable than the real-time strategy games that came before.
In Hey! Pikmin, we find the always-adorable and misfortune-prone Captain Olimar once again in a heap of trouble on an unknown planet. His ship has crash-landed, and in order to repair it he’ll need to collect virtual heaps of a MacGuffin substance called “Sparklium.” Compounding that simple and cliched situation is that Olimar is nearly defenseless: all he has is a loud whistle and weak little jetpack that can only be used for a few seconds – he doesn’t even have a weapon. Fortunately for him, this world is teeming with cute and colorful pikmin: helpful little plant-like beings which Olimar can gather, toss, and use for a variety of purposes like attacking enemies, bashing down barriers, protection from pitfalls, and even conducting electricity.