Pikmin 3 Deluxe – Review
Follow Genre: RTS, Puzzle
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Switch
Tested On: Switch

Pikmin 3 Deluxe – Review

Site Score
Good: Good graphics, entertaining gameplay
Bad: Pretty direct port
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Overtime, Nintendo has accrued some of the most iconic videogame franchises, with Pikmin being one of them. While more niche than the Mario and Zelda series, Pikmin still has a great following of players enamored with its cutesy style and simple RTS gameplay. Originally released for the Wii U, the third main entry in the series has finally come to the Switch.


In the year 20XX the planet Koppai’s population has overgrown its food supply, leaving it on the brink of ruin. In order to avoid catastrophe, the Koppaites decide to start probing nearby planets for resources, only to find the lonely planet PNF-404 to be their last hope.

Tasked with exploring their new discovery, the spaceship S.S. Drake and its intrepid crew are sent on their way to PNF-404. But as luck would have it, things couldn’t be so simple; upon breaching the planet’s atmosphere the ship starts to malfunction, ejecting the crew and crash-landing.

During the first bit of the game, players control the ships’ captain, Charlie, but soon enough move onto Alph, the engineer. Set on finding the ship, Alph starts exploring the planet, where he encounters the Pikmin, who will help him along the way.


Pikmin 3 Deluxe’s graphics are amazingly done with great amounts of detail. There is also a huge amount of enemy variation, including plenty of different creatures to find around the world. The same applies to the bosses, each being completely unique from each other and, in most cases, from any other enemy.  Besides this, all collectibles and fruits are highly detailed, with the second looking like the real deal up close.


Sound and music are somewhat of a low point for the game, although that isn’t to say they are bad. In comparison with everything else the game has to offer, neither the soundtrack nor the SFX particularly stand out, even though the quality is there. There is also a smidge of voice acting through a narrator for the opening cutscene and the gibberish sounds employed during character dialogues.


Pikmin 3 Deluxe’s gameplay could be best described as Puzzle RTS, where players command one of the crew members of the S.S. Drake and a horde of Pikmin. The main focus of the game is to progress the story while managing the available amount of food left for the crew. To do so, players must explore different areas and track signals, finding fruit to process into juice along the way.

On each map different obstacles will be encountered, which can then be dealt with by strategically using the Pikmin in the horde. These are divided into different types, each with their own particular abilities, all easily distinguishable through their colors: red, yellow, blue, rocky and winged. Red, yellow and blue can each resist fire, electricity and water respectively, allowing them to solve puzzles in environments containing those hazards but otherwise being similar. On the other hand, winged and rocky are more specific, the first being able to fly over hazards and pull items from the ground and the latter dealing more damage as well as being able to break glass. While Pikmin can die to hazards or enemies, obtaining more of them is simple enough, with “pellets” or dead enemies serving as fuel to produce more of them. Even if it may require some planning, there is never a shortage of the little creatures.

In order to manage the horde, players have a few abilities, such as tossing and herding its members. Tossing Pikmin can be used to move them across hazards, over cliffs and traded with other crew members, while herding them back does exactly that, grouping the horde. Besides this, players can also make their Pikmin charge at an objective, prompting them all to grab or attack it. Later into the game, a dodge mechanic is also unlocked, allowing both the crew and Pikmin to roll and evade attacks.

While the core gameplay remains quite easy and includes only a few mechanics, the size of the maps combined with the sheer amount of creatures that can be managed ups the challenge. Players can split their team into up to three parts, by sending out the other crew members of the ship along with a smaller horde. Each of these groups must draw from the maximum of 100 Pikmin allowed on the field at once, requiring players to carefully decide the purpose of each team, otherwise risking having to backtrack and lose daylight.

All of the different maps are played throughout the daytime, with sundown being the time limit for each level. Once this limit is reached, any Pikmin left on the field will die, eaten by predators. Combined with the other time limit, this time in the shape of the food left for the crew, players must manage their time properly, otherwise risking the loss of Pikmin and a possibly fruitless day (pun not intended). That said, the food limit never becomes much of a risk, with plenty available to find just by exploring the areas. Once the player has built a backlog of juice, they can relax if they so choose to and explore around more calmly.

On top of the 8 to 10 hours the main game has to offer, there are also alternative modes that can be played. These include, but are not limited to, side stories featuring characters outside the main crew and a local co-op for up to two players. There are also several difficulty options, although the standard hard mode isn’t excessively challenging. All these things, combined with the possibility of obtaining all fruits and 100%ing the game, can double the game’s playtime.


Pikmin 3 Deluxe is a high-quality game, as expected from a Nintendo first-party title, with beautiful graphics, a good soundtrack and fun gameplay. While the core loop can become a bit repetitive after a while, the story not being particularly deep or able to carry it, it still remains a polished and entertaining experience through and through. That said, besides some refurbishing and touch-ups, there isn’t much change from the Wi iU version, making it a quite direct port.

Personal Opinion

“Pikmin 3 Deluxe is a pretty good game with which I quickly turned my brain off. The sheer size of the maps will often lead to a lot of time spent roaming back and forth, as well as tasking the little critters with carrying items back to the spaceship. There is not much challenge to speak of, seeing as I was managing to keep a stacked backlog of juice without going out of my way to find fruit. The “puzzles” themselves are not difficult either, with most just being a matter of having a particular amount of a certain Pikmin type. Even the bosses seemed rather easy, with a pair of them lacking any will to directly attack me. While, as I said, Pikmin 3 is a good game with a lot of production quality, it is not something I would easily pick up to challenge myself.”

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Pikmin 3 Deluxe - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

No longer writing for the site, pursuing other things.


  1. 3rd-strike.com | Tinykin – Review
    September 20, 2022, 00:01

    […] up: it’s going to be impossible to talk about Tinykin and not mention the Pikmin series, as it’s clear from the get-go that developer Splashteam took heavy inspiration from those […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?
  2. 3rd-strike.com | Pikmin 4 – Review
    August 9, 2023, 02:57

    […] difficult to fathom that a decade has passed since Pikmin 3 debuted on the ill-fated Wii U. The Pikmin games may not have enjoyed the same massive success as […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.