Pikmin 3 is the third entry in Nintendo's Pikmin series and the first original Pikmin title after the two enhanced Wii ports of the two GameCube originals. It was released on July 13 in Japan, July 26 in Europe and August 4, 2013 in North America.
In October 2020, Pikmin 3 Deluxe, a version of the game bundled with all the DLC, a new co-op campaign mode, and a bonus prologue and epilogue featuring Olimar and Louie, developed by Nintendo EPD and Eighting was released on Nintendo Switch.
The gameplay in Pikmin 3 will serve as an evolution of the previous two entries. The game's central premise is identical to previous Pikmin games; moving through environments and using an army of intelligent creatures called Pikmin to carry objects around, defeat enemies, break down walls and perform other tasks. Unlike in previous games the inclusion of three leader characters will mean that for the first time tasks will be able to be divided between three different groups of Pikmin. The new Wii U GamePad will also expand the game's features and will display the map so that players may move around the world more easily, and display the status of the three leaders.
It has so far been revealed that the red, blue, yellow, white and purple Pikmin from previous games will return. There will also be a new species of Pikmin, the rock Pikmin, who can be used to break down objects too hard for other Pikmin to smash through. Some media outlets have also reported sightings of new pink, flying Pikmin.
Pikmin 3 features two main multiplayer modes, one of which can also be played solo. Both modes are local-only and support splitscreen play on the TV. Two-Screen Multiplayer utilizing the GamePad is not supported.
The old challenge mode is called Mission Mode in Pikmin 3 and consists of three game types that can be played solo or cooperatively via splitscreen: Gather the Fruit, Battle Enemies and Defeat Bosses.
In Gather the Fruit, the goal is to take with the Pikmin-types provided and collect as much fruit and enemy bodies within the 7-10 minute time limit as possible. Pikmin can be found on the map either buried in the ground or inside of enemies. Defeating enemies yields extra Pokos, adding to the total score. Upon completing a mission, players are awarded one of four ranks and can then choose to watch a replay of the entire mission to review their strategy.
This mode asks the players to maximize their score by defeating enemies, as the title suggests. The various enemies' spirits are worth varying amounts of points which affects what players might view as the most valuable targets to take out first.
Here, players have to find the most effective and quick way to dispose of the various bosses as the points awarded at the end are based on how much time is left and how many Pikmin survived the encounter. Pikmin will carry over if the player is doing a "boss rush" and on higher difficulty settings and players can set a time limit to increase the challenge.
Pikmin 3 will again feature a competitive splitscreen mode for two players, this time called Bingo Battle. It is possible for both players to choose of they want to control only one or two commanders in this mode. The first pair of characters is Alph and Brittany and the second group consists of Olimar and Louie (in a one-commander match, one players controls Alph and the other controls Olimar).
On the bottom of the screen will be a 4x4 bingo card with random objects. The player who collects all of the objects in a row will win. Every player can now have any Pikmin types, unlike Pikmin 2, since the player-color is now found on the leaves, buds and flowers of the Pikmin. Like in Pikmin 2's Battle Mode, players can make use of various items to hinder the other player via a random roulette selection.
Bingo Battle features 12 stages and the enemies are different each time you play a map.
A variety of control options will be available for players to choose from in Pikmin 3. The game's main control scheme has its root in the Wii-origins of the game. Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk, Wii U GamePad and Wii U Pro Controller will all be supported.
With the Wii Remote Plus & Nunchuk and Wii U GamePad control method, players will use the Wii Remote much like in the New Play Control! versions of Pikmin and Pikmin 2 on Wii. This control scheme allows players to point at the screen and directly issue orders. Additionally, the Wii U GamePad will function as an interactive overview map screen providing instant access to a lot of data for the player.
Since Pikmin 3 also supports Off-TV Play, the Wii Remote Plus control method is also supported in this mode, with the GamePad screen and built-in sensor bar replacing the TV.
Players will also be able to use only the Wii U GamePad to control the game, which will make it play more like the GameCube originals, while retaining the touch screen functionality. The Wii U Pro Controller is also supported.
Almost a year after release, Pikmin 3 was updated to version 2.0.0. in late May 2014 which introduced "Stylus Mode" to the game. This control method overrides the default GamePad controls (which can still be selected via the pause menu). With these controls, players can take advantage of the precision previously only awarded by the Wii Remote + Nunchuk combo by tapping on the touch screen with the stylus or a finger to throw Pikmin. The GamePad screen also features a touch enabled UI with shortcuts to certain functions such as dismissing Pikmin or opening "apps" which brings up the map screen in Off-TV mode. The touch screen is used in a combination with the analog stick to move the character, the ZL and L buttons, and the +Control Pad. However, there is currently no mirrored layout for left-handed players.
During a Nintendo Direct on October 1, 2013, Nintendo announced an update to version 1.2.0 of the game which would enable DLC support and include a free new remix-stage for everyone. At the same time, the Collect Treasure Stage Pack was made available for purchase on the eShop which featured four additional remix stages. Those remix stages use the same map as the existing Collect Treasure stages but they change the fruit, enemy and object placement to offer a fresh challenge. Included in the update was a slight modification to the leaderboards which now allows players to see the best global ranking at any time.
A third entry to the Pikmin series was first hinted at by Shigeru Miyamoto in an interview with IGN in July 2007 where Miyamoto said "I certainly don't think we've seen the last of Pikmin", expressed enthusiasm to continue working with the Pikmin franchise and said that he considered the Nintendo Wii a well-suited platform for the franchise. After an interview with Miyamoto in April 2008 CNET reported that he was looking at a number of projects for the Wii and that he had a desire to continue the Pikmin series.
During Nintendo's developer roundtable at E3 2008 Miyamoto gave official confirmation of a third Pikmin game being in development. In a September 2008 interview with the Latin American version of the Official Nintendo Magazine, Miyamoto confirmed that Pikmin 3 was being developed for the Wii and said that the Wii's controls were working well with the game. After the announcement of the "New Play Control" versions of Pikmin and Pikmin 2, Wii versions of the original game with Wii-based controls, it was feared by some fans that these were in fact the new Wii-based Pikmin project that Miyamoto had been talking about and that there would be no Pikmin 3, however an October 2008 IGN interview with Cammie Dunaway confirmed that this was in fact untrue and Pikmin 3 was a separate project from the "New Play Control" Pikmin games.
At E3 2009 the game was not shown as some had anticipated, but Miyamoto confirmed that it was still in development. At E3 2009 Miyamoto also said to Kotaku that he was sorry the game could not be shown at the exposition but he was working with a small team who were working on a large number of games. In March 2010 the UK division of Official Nintendo Magazine posted on Twitter that Miyamoto had told them the development of Pikmin 3 was "well under way". Pikmin 3 was again a no-show at E3 2010, however Miyamoto confirmed it is still in development.
During a roundtable discussion at E3 2011, Pikmin 3 was confirmed to be in development for the Wii U. At the beginning of the discussion, Miyamoto asked that no questions about Pikmin 3 be asked, that the roundtable was to talk about some of the upcoming titles for the Wii and 3DS. After the question and answer section, Miyamoto thanked those in attendance for not asking about the title, speaking at how the game has been in development for some time. Things changed when he saw the potential for the game with the Wii U and its unique controller, and made the decision to move the project to the new Nintendo console, stating that the wait will not be long for Pikmin 3 to see the light of day.
The game first shown to the public at E3 2012 during Nintendo's press conference on June 5, 2012, where Miyamoto provided a stage demonstration of the game.
While the game was expected to be a launch title for the Wii U, it was delayed to 2013.