Pikmin 4 Review – An Exceptional Video Game Experience for All Ages and the Entire Family

Since the original Pikmin took the gaming world by surprise on the GameCube, this quirky puzzle-strategy series has held a special place in my heart. However, when I got my hands on Pikmin 4, my heart swelled with excitement. Although the early hours seemed a bit slow, it was akin to peeling back the layers of an onion – in the best way possible – revealing deeper and more captivating gameplay as I progressed. The game evolved into the best version of the core idea, surpassing my expectations.

Pikmin 4
(Image Credit: Google)

Admittedly, not all aspects were as challenging as I hoped, but Pikmin 4 compensated with an abundance of enemy types, nearly four times the hidden treasures to discover (which I’ve always loved gathering in past games), and a fantastic musical score that enriched the experience. The improved graphics added to the game’s appeal, creating an even more immersive world.

However, what truly set Pikmin 4 apart was its next-level post-game content. It kept me engrossed and unwilling to put the game down until I completed everything it had to offer. All in all, Pikmin 4 truly reignited my love for the series, and it now holds an even more special place in my heart.

Pikmin 4: An Enchanting Adventure with Customizable Characters

Pikmin 4 welcomes players with an exciting new feature: the ability to customize their character’s hair, body type, and suit color. While not as elaborate as some other character creators, it adds a nice touch, as the chosen colors extend to the player’s ship and the entire space crew.

However, the game’s true allure lies in its breathtaking worlds. Continuing the series’ tradition, players explore an Earth-like planet as an ant-sized alien. The treasures they collect are delightfully named after their appearances, turning Space Spinners into fidget spinners and the Stone of Advancement into a Game Boy Advance SP.

Pikmin 4
(Image Credit: Google)

With all the previous Pikmin games available on the Switch, the progress of the series becomes evident. Though not as mainstream as Nintendo’s flagship franchises, Pikmin enjoys a dedicated fanbase, some of whom even rent ad space on billboards in Times Square to promote it.

The environments in Pikmin 4 are vibrant and distinct, from lively gardens teeming with larger-than-life insects and towering flowers to sandy beaches that reveal new paths and enemies when the tide recedes. Exploring a house with multiple sets of stairs requires clever thinking to create ramps for the tiny followers to recover hidden treasures.

The essence of Pikmin lies in collecting and commanding a variety of adorable and obedient plant creatures while avoiding their untimely demise. It’s not a full-fledged real-time strategy game like StarCraft, lacking base-building and the fear of enemy armies attacking back. Nonetheless, the gameplay is filled with action and strategy as players manage swarms of multicolored minions, tasking them with digging tunnels, carrying treasures, and engaging in combat.

For newcomers, Pikmin can initially appear overwhelming, with nine types of Pikmin to master, multiple objectives to juggle, and resource management to learn. However, Pikmin 4 thoughtfully introduces new elements at a gradual pace, preventing players from feeling too swamped with options too quickly. The game provides ample tutorials and explanations for a gentle learning curve, catering to players of all experience levels – even seasoned veterans may find themselves occasionally skimming through familiar information.

Pikmin 4: A Relaxing Rescue Mission with Handy Rewind Feature

One of the most striking differences between Pikmin 4 and its predecessors is the absence of any time limit or supply restrictions. Unlike the original game’s race against the clock or the supply management challenges of Pikmin 3, Pikmin 4 adopts a more casual approach to the rescue mission. This decision proves to be a boon for newcomers, alleviating the pressure of making mistakes and facing consequences throughout the playthrough. As a player, I appreciated this change as it allowed me to tackle objectives in any order and satisfy my desire for 100% completion on each stage. It’s reminiscent of how Dead Rising 4 did away with its time limit, recognizing that games often serve as an escape from the stress of real-life deadlines.

Pikmin 4
(Image Credit: Google)

Though there is no time pressure, inevitable mistakes may occur during gameplay. Misjudging an enemy attack range or accidentally tossing Pikmin off the map while trying to handle a piece of treasure can lead to setbacks. However, Pikmin 4 introduces a lifesaving feature: until you finish the current day, you can choose to rewind and replay parts of a level to enhance your efficiency. This convenient rewind mechanic acts like a quick checkpoint save, allowing players to correct errors and improve their strategies on the fly. As someone with a perfectionist streak, I found myself frequently utilizing this system to maximize efficiency and preserve my valuable purple and white Pikmin, which are scarce early on. By doing so, I avoided the need to spend precious time replenishing Pikmin the following day.

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Incorporating this rewind feature enhances the overall enjoyment of Pikmin 4, creating a more forgiving and relaxed gameplay experience without compromising on the fun and challenges the series is known for.

Oatchi: A Loyal Companion in Pikmin 4

In Pikmin 4, the convenient rewind feature offers players immense relief, stretching right up to the end of their expedition. Longtime Pikmin players understand the stress that comes with the 10-second warning signaling the end of the day while still having numerous Pikmin scattered across multiple tasks. However, Pikmin 4 addresses this by displaying the number of Pikmin at risk of being left behind if the day concludes, giving players the option to rewind time to a checkpoint and try again. This thoughtful addition saves significant time and spares players from replaying entire levels due to a simple misstep.

Pikmin 4
(Image Credit: Google)

Amid the multitude of things to manage in Pikmin 4, a delightful new companion named Oatchi makes his appearance. This two-legged, lil’ pup becomes an invaluable ally throughout the journey. Not only can Oatchi carry you and your entire Pikmin army across obstacles like water, but he can also sniff out hidden items and even grant you the ability to jump, opening up new shortcuts and opportunities to reach previously inaccessible items. His upgradable abilities provide ample incentive to seek out lost crew members, as finding them rewards you with ability points to enhance Oatchi’s capabilities. Upgrades, such as improving his ability to carry heavy objects and boosting his digging speed, feel impactful and add depth to the gameplay.

However, some of Oatchi’s skills may become obsolete as the game progresses. For instance, once players unlock the ability to summon Pikmin with the press of a button, Oatchi’s role in fetching them loses significance. Despite this, his presence remains cherished, offering essential support and becoming an inseparable part of the enthralling Pikmin 4 experience.

Oatchi’s Mighty Charge: A Game-Changing Combat Strategy

Among Oatchi’s array of abilities in Pikmin 4, his charge attack stands out as a favorite, capturing my heart with its sheer effectiveness. As I increased its levels, Oatchi’s charge attack not only stunned enemies for longer durations but also unleashed my entire horde of Pikmin to dispatch foes swiftly. This tactic proved to be a game-changer in combat, allowing me to take down most enemies in a single move, granted I had enough or the right types of Pikmin accompanying me.

(Video Credit: Nintendo of America)

Pikmin 4’s combat is a delicate balancing act, as it features a diverse roster of 110 unique enemies, including new elemental variants of familiar creatures like Bulborbs and Dweevils. This variety necessitates adjusting the composition of your Pikmin army to counter each foe strategically. For example, battling a Fiery Bulblax with anything other than red Pikmin resulted in them igniting and meeting a fiery end, while the elusive Horned Cannon Beetle concealed its weak point on its backside, requiring me to launch larger Purple, Ice, or Rock Pikmin into its blowhole above its head.

Embracing the Oatchi strategy early on proved invaluable, allowing me to spend less time replacing lost Pikmin after combat and more time focused on collecting the 239 treasures scattered across the six locations and 22 cave sub-levels I explored. Fully leveling Oatchi’s Rush ability became immensely satisfying, as charging through a line of enemies and witnessing their defeated souls ascend into the sky never lost its thrill.

Pikmin 4’s dynamic combat system, coupled with the versatility of Oatchi’s charge attack, made every battle an exhilarating experience. As I honed my skills and adapted to the various enemy types, the joy of conquering challenges and securing victories alongside my loyal Pikmin crew only deepened throughout this enthralling adventure.

Diverse Sub-levels and Thrilling Boss Battles in Pikmin 4

Exploring the fascinating cave sub-levels in Pikmin 4 brought a constant smile to my face, as they presented unique challenges like traversing machine structures with conveyor belts, navigating a kid’s room adorned with wooden block structures, and braving a freezer filled with cold-emitting dry ice that froze most Pikmin in their tracks. The hazards and surprises throughout these sub-levels added a delightful dimension to the gameplay. However, the game also evoked a different emotion when hearing the cries of my loyal Pikmin, whom I occasionally sacrificed to reach my objectives, a necessary sacrifice for progress.

Venturing through Pikmin 4’s rich world reveals a plethora of Easter eggs, particularly musical items that hold intriguing secrets waiting to be uncovered, adding a touch of excitement to the exploration.

Pikmin 4
(Image Credit: Google)

Boss battles in the lower floors of the cave sub-levels provide thrilling encounters, featuring familiar faces from previous games alongside exciting new adversaries like the Sovereign Bulblax and the cleverly evolved Foolix, a playful twist on the Goolix from the original Pikmin. The variety of enemies, some with elemental properties, coupled with the three-Pikmin limit, pushed me to strategically plan my approach each day. Rock Pikmin became a staple, dealing hefty damage to bosses while also being impervious to being crushed by larger foes like the Yellow Wollywog. For countering airborne threats like the Lesser Spotted Jellyfloat or toxic-based Moldy Slooch, I frequently switched between ice, winged, and white Pikmin. Oatchi’s versatile skills further tipped the scales in my favor, making each battle a thrilling and rewarding experience.

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While I had the option to control Oatchi directly, I found his true value lay in dividing my party to tackle multiple objectives simultaneously. With commands issued from the map screen, Oatchi diligently searched for treasures, lost team members, and specific Pikmin types while I focused on tasks elsewhere. This strategic multitasking opened up a world of possibilities, allowing me to send Oatchi and Blue Pikmin to inaccessible locations in the Serene Shores level while leading an army of Yellow and Red Pikmin across the beach to defeat enemies and unearth buried treasures. Mastering this coordination proved essential to unlocking the best rewards in some of the more challenging missions later on.

The blend of diverse sub-levels, thrilling boss battles, and the ingenious use of Oatchi’s abilities enhanced the overall gameplay of Pikmin 4, creating an immersive and captivating adventure from start to finish.

Co-op and New Pikmin Types in Pikmin 4: A Mixed Experience

While Pikmin 4 offers an enjoyable co-op mode, it departs from the traditional style seen in Pikmin 2 and 3. Instead of allowing a second player to control another character and split up to speed up exploration, the co-op partner assumes the role of a reticle floating on the screen, assisting the main player by throwing pebbles to interact with objects and enemies. Though helpful as an assist mode, this approach may disappoint players seeking a more interactive co-op experience. However, it can be ideal for younger players assisting a parent or older sibling during the adventure.

Pikmin 4
(Image Credit: Google)

The introduction of two new Pikmin types adds exciting dynamics to the gameplay. Ice Pikmin, with their freezing abilities, quickly became one of my favorites. The combination of their freezing effect with Oatchi’s stun allows for chaining status effects on enemies, offering efficient ways to handle foes. Additionally, ice Pikmin are crucial for destroying ice barriers and navigating freezing cave temperatures that hinder other Pikmin, making them a versatile option in various situations.

Glow Pikmin, on the other hand, are primarily available during night missions, which shift the gameplay to a tower defense format. These missions challenge players to protect anthill-like structures from hordes of enemies until morning or until all enemies are defeated, using only Glow Pikmin. Initially basic and short, the night missions gradually become more complex and thrilling as new creatures and multiple defense points are introduced, satisfying the desire for challenge and variety.

However, the addition of overpowered single-use items was a point of contention for me as a player who seeks out challenges. Items like Lightning Shock, which paralyzes all enemies on the screen with electricity, and homing or proximity bombs, remove the tension from battles that would otherwise require strategic thinking and quick decision-making. While these items can be useful for younger players or those new to Pikmin, they can feel like an easy solution, detracting from the need for strategic gameplay. Unfortunately, Pikmin 4 lacks difficulty settings to cater to different player preferences, making it challenging to tailor the experience for seasoned players looking for a more challenging playthrough.

Pikmin 4’s Resource Management and Post-Game Delights

The use of raw materials in Pikmin 4 adds an interesting layer to gameplay, where players must carefully balance spending on special items and investing in upgrades for themselves and Oatchi. Building bridges to create shortcuts and acquiring permanent upgrades further enhance the gaming experience. Upgrades, ranging from movement-boosting boots to elemental immunities and armor, significantly impact gameplay, making obstacles less challenging and keeping players eager for the next upgrade opportunity.

(Image Credit: Google)

Completing the story took me approximately 20 hours, but in true Pikmin fashion, that’s only the beginning. The post-credits content in Pikmin 4 exceeds expectations and might be the best the series has ever delivered. It introduces creative locations, unique inhabitants, and a tribute to previous Pikmin games, making it a rewarding addition for players to explore after the main campaign.

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Beyond the main story, Pikmin 4 features two modes centered around the concept of Dandori, which refers to strategically organizing tasks and executing plans effectively. In the Dandori Challenges, players must gather all treasures in a specific location with a limited number of Pikmin, and the final courses present a considerable challenge even to seasoned Pikmin players, making achieving the coveted Platinum medal a worthy endeavor. The Dandori Battle mode combines combat and gathering, providing an engaging way to test multitasking skills against AI or friends in local multiplayer. However, it’s regrettable that the game lacks online multiplayer capability.


Pikmin 4 continues the tradition of capturing players’ hearts with its endearing creatures and their unwavering loyalty to commands, even at the risk of their own well-being. Although the difficulty level tilts towards the easier side, the game introduces exciting new elements, such as ability upgrades, two new Pikmin types, and the faithful companion Oatchi, which add variety to the classic Pikmin gameplay formula of grab-and-throw. These innovative features expand the horizons of the series, offering fresh options for players to explore.

The inclusion of ability upgrades and the introduction of ice and glow Pikmin enrich the gameplay, providing new strategic possibilities and fostering a sense of progression. Furthermore, Oatchi’s invaluable support and unique abilities breathe life into the adventure, making it a delightful experience to explore the game world together.

Pikmin 4 boasts the largest assortment of enemies to battle, treasures to collect, and captivating post-game content that pays homage to earlier games in the series. The creative callbacks and references to previous installments add an extra layer of enjoyment for long-time fans, tying the experience together with a sense of nostalgia and appreciation for the series’ legacy.

While the game’s ease might be a minor drawback for some players seeking a more challenging experience, Pikmin 4’s overall charm, innovative additions, and compelling post-game content contribute to a positive outlook on the game and the exciting direction in which the Pikmin series is headed. It’s a journey worth embarking upon for both newcomers and seasoned Pikmin enthusiasts alike.


What is the Main Difference in Character Customization in Pikmin 4 Compared to Previous Games?

Pikmin 4 introduces character customization, allowing players to customize their character’s hair, body type, and suit color.

What Are Some of the Unique Treasures You Can Collect in Pikmin 4?

The treasures in Pikmin 4 are named after their appearance, such as Space Spinners (fidget spinners) and the Stone of Advancement (Game Boy Advance SP).

How Many Hours is Pikmin 4?

In Pikmin 4, players who focus solely on the main mission can expect a playtime of around 14 hours. However, for those who choose to engage in side quests alongside the main storyline, the gameplay length will extend to approximately 22 hours. And if you’re a completionist aiming to uncover every secret and achieve 100% completion, you’ll likely invest over 32 hours in this adventure.

How Does the Game’s World Design and Graphics Compare to Previous Pikmin Games?

Pikmin 4 features vibrant and beautiful worlds, with distinct locations, detailed foliage, and larger-than-life insects and flowers. The game’s graphics have improved significantly compared to its predecessors.

Is Pikmin 4 a Real-time Strategy Game Like Starcraft?

Pikmin 4 features real-time strategy elements, where players command different types of Pikmin to collect treasures and navigate obstacles. However, it is not a full-on real-time strategy game with base-building and enemy armies attacking.

Is Pikmin 4 Suitable for Newcomers to the Series?

Yes, Pikmin 4 does a good job of introducing new Pikmin types, items, and abilities gradually, making it accessible to newcomers. The game provides tutorials and explanations to help players learn the mechanics.

Is There a Time Limit to Finish the Story in Pikmin 4?

No, unlike the original Pikmin and Pikmin 3, Pikmin 4 doesn’t have a time limit to finish the story. This allows players to complete objectives in any order and reduces pressure for newcomers.

Is Pikmin 4 Too Easy?

The introduction of new mechanics in Pikmin 4 not only adds depth to the gameplay but also aids in managing optimization. These additions strike a balance, making the game more approachable without sacrificing its challenge or becoming overly simplistic. Players can now enjoy a smoother and more engaging experience while still being tested in their strategic skills.

Can Players Rewind and Replay Parts of a Level in Pikmin 4?

Yes, Pikmin 4 introduces a feature that allows players to rewind and replay parts of a level until the end of their expedition. This helps improve efficiency and minimizes the need to replace lost Pikmin.

What is the Role of Oatchi in Pikmin 4?

Oatchi is a two-legged lil’ pup companion that helps players in various ways. He can carry the player and their Pikmin, sniff out hidden items, and grant jumping abilities. Oatchi’s abilities can be upgraded by finding lost crew members on the planet.

Are there new Pikmin types in Pikmin 4?

Yes, Pikmin 4 introduces new Pikmin types, such as ice Pikmin and Glow Pikmin. Ice Pikmin can freeze enemies and bodies of water, while Glow Pikmin are used in night missions for tower defense-style gameplay.

Are There Any Multiplayer Modes in Pikmin 4?

Yes, Pikmin 4 offers a Dandori Battle mode, which is a mix of combat and gathering in a multiplayer setting. However, the game only supports local multiplayer, and there is no online capability for multiplayer modes.

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