After more than a year of staying inside and avoiding the outdoors, people have already started resuming their regular habits that involve stepping outside of their houses. If taking regular walks around your neighborhood is one of those habits, you may want a new digital companion to make things more interesting. Niantic and Nintendo have created a new augmented reality app called Pikmin Bloom, which is basically Pokemon Go but without the Pokemons and the battles. It lets you grow creatures and flowers the more you walk and interact with the real world.
Pikmin are tiny, plant-like creatures that start out as seedlings but eventually grow into these things that will follow you around on your walk or your hike. Feeding them will make flowers sprout on top of their head. Niantic says there are different types of Pikmin that you’ll be able to encounter and interact with. The more you walk, the more seedlings and eventual creatures you can grow. You’ll also be able to collect items like clothes they can wear and fruits that they can eat.
You are shown on screen as a Mii avatar and the Pikmin will be walking behind you and making flowers bloom along the path. So digitally at least, you’ll be leaving a colorful trail as you walk. Other players using the app will be able to view the flowers that the Pikmin make. So if you want to, you can create a garden that you can share with your “neighbors”. There will be a monthly Community Day event where you can “play” with other players.
After your walk, you can review how many steps you took so the app can also serve as a step tracker if you still need one. You can also add notes and photos in your lifelog if you want to keep track of the flowers you get or the experiences you had while walking. There may also be postcards of the places that you visited which you can keep or which you can also send to your friends who are using the app.
Pikmin Bloom is now available in Australia and Singapore and is free to download and play from the Google Play Store. There’s no mention yet on when it will be available in other countries.