Pikmin Bloom has been helping me meet my outdoor walking goals for years

Over the past few years, I’ve developed a little peaceful routine to fill in the time I spend working inside on sunny days: after I close my laptop for the day, I put on my sneakers, take them off. Pikmin Bloom on my phone and go for a long walk to clear my head and plant virtual flowers.

Pikmin Bloom released by in 2021 for Android and iOS Pokémon Go developer Niantic and Nintendo as another “get out and touch the grass” app, and I’ve been playing it regularly ever since. Only recently, when the program announced some special events for him 2.5 year anniversary, did it occur to me how long I have been with him. There isn’t that much Pikmin Bloom, but that’s part of the charm – it’s more walker-friendly than a full game. You collect Pikmin, feed them nectar so they grow flowers out of their heads, and then they take the petals and use them to “plant flowers” when you go for a walk (don’t think too much about the science of this, it’s Pikmin).

Different Pokémon Go, Pikmin Bloom it doesn’t require a lot of your attention while walking, which really appealed to me as someone who likes to be out and about while walking. That, and the promise that wherever I go, I’ll be accompanied by a bunch of quietly singing Pikmin; I just love those weird little guys.

The author's Mii is depicted in a screenshot from Pikmin Bloom, standing around a group of Pikmin.The author's Mii is depicted in a screenshot from Pikmin Bloom, standing around a group of Pikmin.

I usually get everything ready before I head out and make sure I have plenty of petals ready to plant. Then I hit “Start” and leave the program alone until I take a break or finish wandering, only checking here and there to see if I’ve missed anything of interest. You can send your Pikmin on expeditions to pick up fruit or destroy mushrooms that will appear on your map, but you don’t need to be actively roaming to do this, as they will be listed in a list that you can revisit later. . I love seeing how many flowers I’ve planted and how many steps I’ve taken (I haven’t figured out the ratio yet) after I get home and give my Pikmin different tasks to solve.

There are frequent events, including some with public participation, that serve as motivation to reach certain step count goals or plant a certain number of flowers. And there is the prospect of collecting themed Pikmin wearing special decor clothes. Pikmin Bloom currently teasing some upcoming Cheese Decor Pikmin for next month and I’ll be working hard to get them. While the app has the potential to entice players into in-app purchases, they don’t need any to get the full experience. I made it this far without spending any money.

A news announcement from Pikmin Bloom announcing the arrival of Cheese Decor PikminA news announcement from Pikmin Bloom announcing the arrival of Cheese Decor Pikmin

Pikmin Bloom has a similar AR component Pokémon Go’s, so you can take a picture of your Pikmin in the real world, but this feature can be quite buggy. Better than that, in my opinion, are the postcards your Pikmin will sometimes bring back from their travels – they’ve occasionally photobombed the landmarks in these pictures. If you have friends in the app, you can also send postcards to them. Pikmin Bloom also has a built-in life journal, where you can choose a photo from the walk and record any notes and feelings of the day. It’s a beautiful thing to look back on after so many adventures.

I’ve tried many apps over the years that try to gamify physical activity, but I almost always lose interest in them quickly. Despite all its simplicity, Pikmin Bloom it adds just the right amount of reward to the ride without detracting from the actual activity. Plus, there are Pikmin.

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