Pikmin Bloom: Assisting Me in Achieving My Outdoor Walking Goals Over the Years

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Over the years, I’ve developed a routine to make up for the time spent working indoors on sunny days. After finishing my daily work, I put on my sneakers, open Pikmin Bloom on my phone, and go for a long walk to clear my head and plant virtual flowers with the cute Pikmin characters. Released in 2021 by Niantic and Nintendo, the developers behind Pokémon Go, Pikmin Bloom is an app that encourages users to get outside and connect with nature. I have been playing it regularly and recently realized just how long I have stuck with it when the app announced special events for its 2.5-year anniversary.

Despite its simplicity, Pikmin Bloom has its own unique charm. It is more of a walking buddy than a full-on game, which is part of its appeal. The gameplay revolves around accumulating Pikmin, feeding them nectar to grow flowers on their heads, and then using the petals to “plant flowers” during walks. Unlike Pokémon Go, Pikmin Bloom doesn’t require constant attention while walking, making it ideal for those who prefer to stay aware of their surroundings. I personally enjoy the company of these singing Pikmin characters, who quietly accompany me wherever I go.

Before heading out for a walk, I ensure everything is set up in the app, including having enough petals ready to plant. Once I hit the ‘Start’ button, I mostly leave the app alone until I take a break or finish my walk. Occasionally, I check in to see if there is anything interesting nearby, such as fruit or mushrooms that can be collected by my Pikmin. These activities can be done without actively walking, as they are recorded on a list for later reference. I always look forward to seeing how many flowers I have planted compared to the number of steps I have taken, and assigning different missions for my Pikmin once I return home.

One of the appealing aspects of Pikmin Bloom is the frequent events that motivate players to reach certain step count goals or plant a specific number of flowers. Some of these events encourage community involvement, creating a sense of camaraderie among players. Additionally, the app introduces themed Pikmin that wear special decor outfits. As an avid player, I am particularly excited about the upcoming Cheese Decor Pikmin for next month and will strive to obtain them. It’s worth noting that while the app offers in-app purchases, they are not necessary to fully enjoy the experience. I have managed to progress in the game without spending any money.

Similar to Pokémon Go, Pikmin Bloom incorporates an augmented reality (AR) component that allows users to take photos of their Pikmin in the real world. However, this feature can be glitchy at times. Personally, I find more enjoyment in the postcards that my Pikmin occasionally bring back from their virtual travels. These postcards often include photobombs of famous landmarks, adding a playful and humorous touch. Furthermore, if you have friends who also play Pikmin Bloom, you can send postcards to them, fostering a sense of connection and shared experiences.

Another notable feature of Pikmin Bloom is its built-in lifelog, where users can choose a picture from their walk and jot down any notes or feelings from their day. This feature allows players to capture memorable moments and reflect on their adventures over time. It’s a delightful addition that enhances the overall experience.

Over the years, I have tried numerous apps that gamify physical activity, but I usually lose interest in them quite quickly. However, Pikmin Bloom has managed to hold my attention for an extended period. Its simplicity is the key to its success, as it strikes the perfect balance between providing rewards and maintaining focus on the walking activity itself. The presence of the adorable Pikmin characters adds an undeniable charm to the app, making each walk a delightful and joyful experience.

In conclusion, Pikmin Bloom is a unique app developed by Niantic and Nintendo that encourages users to go outside, connect with nature, and enjoy the simple pleasures of walking. It offers a refreshing break from the usual hustle and bustle of daily life, allowing players to unwind, clear their minds, and interact with the lovable Pikmin characters. With its minimalistic gameplay and the right amount of reward, Pikmin Bloom has managed to captivate my interest for an extended period, making it a standout among other physical activity apps.

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