Pikmin 3 is an imaginative and odd game that has you playing as different alien explorers who have crashed on a strange planet. The game's main mode (out of three) is Story Mode, where there are a series of tasks to complete, such as finding fellow crew members, gathering fruit for food and unraveling a mystery that develops as the story progresses. You can only work at these tasks during the day because the planet is filled with nocturnal creatures who eat at night so at the end of each day, you have to get back to your ship and launch into orbit.
Here's where the game gets odd, which is also what makes it so much fun. Instead of weapons, you use the planet's non-threatening inhabitants, known as Pikmin, as weapons and tools. The Pikmin are corralled into a squad by your whistle and when you encounter an enemy or obstacle, you literally throw your Pikmin at it and they go to work for you. There are different types of Pikmin and each type has its unique abilities. For example Red Pikmin are good fighters and are fireproof, Yellow Pikmin can conduct electricity and be thrown higher than others and Rock Pikmin can break down solid objects and can't be stomped on by larger creatures. You can assign different Pikmin to different tasks at the same time so figuring out which Pikmin to use for which task is part strategy and part puzzle-solving.
The game is rated E10+ but should be fine for kids as young as 8 to play. There is no offensive language and all of the aliens and creatures, including the nocturnal omnivores, are cute, cartoon-like animations.
At the end of each game day, you have to gather all your Pikmin into a squad so they can safely return to their ship for the night. Any Pikmin not in the squad when the day ends will be seen running up to the departing ships and being eaten by a monster. Although this is shown in a completely "Rated G style", it could be a little upsetting to young kids.
The other two modes are a Mission Mode, where you have a specific goal and limited time to accomplish the goal. The 3rd Mode is Bingo Battle, which is a Pikmin-themed bingo game for 2 players. Pikmin 3 is available exclusively for the Wii U.
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