What do you get if you combine Pokémon Go’s augmented reality (AR) technology and the creativity of Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto?
The answer is Pikmin Bloom, a brand new game from Nintendo and Niantic, the creators of some of the most popular mobile games in the world.
Like Pokémon Go and Harry Potter Wizards Unite, Pikmin Bloom uses AR, a special technology that overlays graphics and virtual characters on the real world via our smart devices, to bring it to life.
Though perhaps less well known than other Nintendo franchises, Pikmin games – in which the player uses real-time strategy tactics to solve puzzles – have existed since 2001 and were created by Shigeru Miyamoto, the man behind Nintendo’s iconic brands like Mario. and The Legend of Zelda.
In Pikmin Bloom, you’ll work with a small alien race, “incubating and growing” with real-life step counting, then working alongside it to plant beautiful virtual blooms in your real-life location.
“The heart of the game, for me, is that on your daily walk, you are actually able to plant flowers as you go,” says John Hanke, head of Niantic, on the BBC podcast, Press X To Continue.
“You are transforming the mundane into a more beautiful world by leaving this trail of flowers behind you.
“This is a shared thing, so as more people play, we think the whole ‘world’ will be filled with flowers.”
Crediting Miyamoto’s creativity, Hanke states that Pikmin was a franchise “open enough” to try something new and “not just try to make another version of an existing Nintendo game.”
Hanke says that AR is a particularly special game genre because it doesn’t require you to sit in front of your PC or console, plus it’s completely uncompetitive.
Like Pokémon Go and other augmented reality games, it’s also a great way to get yourself moving and exercising more.
“There is a lot of research and studies that cite chapters and verses not only on the physiological benefits of walking, but also on the mental health benefits,” says Hanke.
“Everything from mood to your creativity and productivity improves with walking.
“The aim of the game is to entertain you, have fun and make your life a little more magical when you are out and about.
“But if it pushes you to something that will also make you feel better and be a little happier, then that’s great.”
More from Press X to Continue: The BBC Sounds Gaming Podcast:
- Stokes, Broad and Archer: Cricket and Call of Duty
- Video Game Movies: Are They Really That Bad?
- Keanu Reaves: “I’m working on my optimism”
Listen to Newsbeat inhabit 12:45 pm and 5:45 pm on weekdays – or listen again here.
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