Walking with Pikmin Bloom
Posted on November 13, 2023 by Aywren
I was first introduced to the Pikmin Bloom app in October, thanks to friends on Mastodon, and have been playing it for a day over a month now. I was hesitant to get into the app at first because of my time with Pokemon GO.
Troubles with Pokemon GO
I really enjoyed GO, but once I started working from home and there was no need to drive past Pokestops all the time. This meant I couldn’t get the pokeballs needed to play the game in even the most basic way. The nearest Pokestop to my house was visible, but to get close enough to it to interact with it, I’d still have to drive about 8 mins to get there – and I’m not using time or gas to do that for a mobile app.
So due to that fact alone, I sadly gave up Pokemon GO. Thankfully, Pikmin Bloom is nothing like that.
Even though Pokestops do equate to Pikmin mushroom battles, as long as you can see the battle on the map, you can tap at it from a distance and still interact with it. This means the Pokestop that I could see but not interact with is perfectly fine for me in Pikmin.
What is Pikmin Bloom?
Pikmin Bloom is completely focused on helping to gamify walking. In the month that I’ve played it, I have certainly made an effort to habitually walk on weekdays in ways I haven’t for years.
You obtain Pikmin and nectar to feed and befriend them just by doing what you’d normally do to progress through levels – walking, planting virtual flowers, and mushroom battles. You can befriend other players to take on challenges together, help each other in mushroom battles, and basically encourage each other’s progress overall.
For the collectors, there’s all sorts of Pikmin types to find. I got some special Pikmin from Halloween that were quite cute, and currently, the Anniversary event is rewarding some Pikmin from the previous year that appear to be quite strong compared to the rest of my squad. I’m looking forward to holiday Pikmin, if those exist!
You can connect your Pikmin Bloom app to your Nintendo account if you have one, which imports your personal Mii. You don’t have to do this, but I find it nice!
And now… how much does this all cost? The app is free, of course, and there’s tons of optional cosmetics in the game you can purchase with coins. While you can collect coins from planting flowers, for someone like me, it would take forever to earn enough coins in game to buy anything. Folks who walk a lot more than I do might find this easier.
During the Halloween event, there were free cosmetics you could earn through the challenges, and some that you could buy in the store. I felt that was a decent balance.
If you’re a diligent walker, I don’t see the need to spend money in the shop on very much. Upgrades to storage for petals and nectar are the things that will eventually get me, I feel. But those are permanent, and only $1.99 each. So, if I spring for it, that’s not too costly for something useful. I don’t mind supporting an app that encourages my well-being and improved health in the long run.
There are tickets in the shop that allow you to repeat things, like challenges, but I can’t see myself needing those. I’m not hardcore enough!
Sharing Pikmin with Friends
As I noted, I discovered this app completely through friends on Mastodon who were sharing their codes and encouraging others to try it. I then shared it with Syn, who usually doesn’t get into apps like this, but has completely adopted it, and even told me how grateful she is for the encouragement the app gives her to get out and walk more.
In turn, we’ve connected with other folks in our FFXIV free company, introducing them, and growing the friend group ever more. If you’d like to join in, just let me know in the comments below! I can drop you an invite code you can use to get started and earn a few helpful rewards.
Or, if you’d like to friend me, here’s my code.
Just know that I’m still working on building up my squad and learning the game. At current level 16, I’m not as strong as some of the folks I’ve seen at mush battles (thank you for calling on me despite that). A month in, I’m still walking, still having fun!