Reviewed on Game Cube


Reviewed By: John Marchant

Computer Platform: GameCube
Produced by: Nintendo
Price Range: $50
Learning curve time: 30 min.
Age level: All
ESRB Rating: Everyone

Genre: Strategy
Christian Rating: 5 of 5
   (nothing offensive)
Gameplay: 4 of 5
Violence: 5 of 5
Adult Content: 5 of 5

Box art for 'Pikmin'
"Pikmin", released just before Christmas 2001 for the Nintendo GameCube, is an entertaining game for all ages. “Pikmin” is an addicting game that will challenge you, whether you are a child or adult. It takes a common theme and wraps it around a virtual world of great graphics, strategy, and fun. This game is a must have for anyone who loves simplicity combined with a challenge.

The theme of the game is simple and found in many different video games.

A space traveler, named Captain Olimar, has had his ship damaged by a meteor and crash lands on a strange and interesting planet. Unfortunately, his ship (the Dolphin) is badly damaged by reentry and he must repair it if he ever wishes to get home. To make matters worse, he only has 30 days life-support to complete his task. If he were left alone to his task, all might be lost, but enter the tiny helpful creatures called Pikmin (named by Olimar for his favorite food). The Pikmin are incubated in a strange looking ship, which he calls an Onion, and though Olimar starts within only one Pikmin, soon by searching the terrain, many more can be grown by bringing seeds back to the Onion. By harvesting, studying, and properly delegating the Pikmin, Olimar can use their skills (there are three different kinds of Pikmin to assist) to help him find his ship?s parts and fully repair it. Along the way Olimar and his loyal Pikmin face many dangers and challenges, but with a little “sticktoitiveness” the challenges can be met.

Screenshot from 'Pikmin' This game presents excellent graphics. It is absolutely amazing to see a hundred Pikmin running around the screen at your command. The three-dimensional world is fully viewable and has all camera angles available to assist the player. Controlling the main character and the Pikmin is also very “tactile friendly.” Almost all the buttons on the controller are used for something to provide a full range of play. The soundtrack does not change much, but the gameplay and challenges are enough to make this more minimal than distracting. Though, it would have been nice if there could have been a wider variety of background music.

The gameplay sounds are diverse enough not to become too monotonous and differ enough to help the player discern subtleties in the game.

From a Christian perspective I cannot find any fault in this game. It has an accurate ESRB rating of E and can indeed be played by anyone. There is no violence to speak of other than the Pikmin killing big bugs (and vice versa) and carting their bodies off to turn into more Pikmin. I know a five-year-old child that has played the game non-stop since Christmas with his father and neither of them has had any nightmares yet. There are no occult overtones, or bathroom humor. It is an innocent, but challenging game.

If you want a “family game” that anyone in the house can play (and will want to play), then Pikmin is for you. It is challenging enough for players not to feel cheated for having spent fifty dollars, and it is not so challenging that players will feel like they must find every cheat code on the Internet to beat it. If you can get your older child (or adult) past the Veggie Tales look of the characters, then you will have introduced them to a game that will hold their interest and not worry you about its content.

Year of Release—2001

…The only thing I find a little offensive is that when a pikmin dies it goes to a giant flower field but you only here that if you don't skip through the text. Which you'll be wanting to since it's tempting to grab your first pikmin and give that one commands. Personally I found hardly anything offensive about this game. My Ratings: [5/4]
   —Justin, age 13

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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