Pikmin 2

Mass strategy game sequel release for Nintendo GameCube has puzzle-solving action options in a world of plant-like creatures

Pikmin 2The Pikmin series, developed by Nintendo, has garnered significant success since its inception in 2001 for the Nintendo GameCube. Designed by legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, the same mind behind iconic franchises like Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda, Pikmin brought a unique blend of real-time strategy and puzzle-solving elements to the gaming landscape. Players control a tiny space explorer who must work with native plant-like creatures called Pikmin to navigate through various environments, solve puzzles, and combat foes. The series has received critical acclaim for its charming graphics, intricate level design, and innovative gameplay mechanics, which involve commanding armies of Pikmin to complete tasks collaboratively. With multiple sequels and spin-offs, including releases on the Wii, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch, the Pikmin franchise has solidified its status as a beloved part of Nintendo's game library.

The Pikmin look a little like garden plants, but a single whistle mobilizes a multitude of Pikmin to gather treasure and solve puzzles.

The only place these tiny, hard-working creatures can be found is in Pikmin 2, a unique video game made only for Nintendo GameCube that launches this week. In this mass-strategy sequel, Captain Olimar and his assistant, Louie, must find valuable objects to save their company. They enlist hordes of Pikmin to help.

"With a new character to control and new kinds of Pikmin, players will experience twice the action in this one-of-a-kind adventure," says George Harrison of Nintendo. "The inclusion of brand-name products, a first for Nintendo, means players will find unique value in the familiar items they uncover through the game."

Pikmin 2 improves on the original in every way. Players can switch control between Olimar and Louie to expand the action and find new ways to solve puzzles. They also will encounter two new types of powerful Pikmin.

Unlike the first version, the game has no time limits, so players can fully explore the world of the Pikmin at their own pace. Time even stops when players enter the new cave environments, but the underground areas offer their own tactical challenges: Players can't grow new Pikmin there, so they must marshal their forces strategically. Pikmin 2 has a new split-screen mode that lets two players compete to see which of the Pikmin armies has the most skillful commander.

Best known for video game characters like Mario and Donkey Kong, Nintendo game developer Shigeru Miyamoto created the engrossing world of the Pikmin. The first edition won the award for Innovation in Console Gaming. Pikmin 2 sells for $49.99.