After teasing the release of a new augmented-reality mobile title featuring the Pikmin, Niantic is now running a public test for the app in Singapore. So we’re finally able to see what the new game from the creators of Pokémon GO will look like in action, albeit in a very early form. Thanks to some players leaking the first details of the app, it appears we’re going to be getting something that’s a lot closer to a fitness app than to Niantic’s monster-catching game.
The app is called “Pikmin App (Early Access)” and can be found on the Google Play Store for those in the region. According to Singaporean players who have tried the game, there’s less actively seeking out critters than there is in Pokémon GO. If anything, it’s more of a pedometer, as walking around generates Step Energy, which you can use to help sprout Pikmin.
As you’re walking around, your Pikmin can find fruit, which you can feed to them in the form of nectar, getting them to sprout flowers. If your Pikmin sprout flowers, they can leave them in a trail behind you, and you can also choose to display the routes you’ve walked before with the flower trails. If this is all sounding like a very cutesy, Nintendo-branded fitness app — well, it’s too soon to say if that’s what we’ll be getting when the app is finally released, but that’s the way the wind is blowing.
This more passive kind of gameplay makes sense when you consider Niantic is apparently working on its own version of Google Glass. CEO John Hanke teased an image of the glasses on Twitter. Accumulating Step Energy, or whatever it’s called in the final release, sounds much more in keeping with a device like AR glasses than it does an ostensibly game-like phone app.