Nintendo announced Hey! Pikmin back during one of the Nintendo Directs. The announcement was brief and we didn't get to see much gameplay, but we did know that the game was coming to the Nintendo 3DS in July. Well, now that July has arrived some new gameplay footage has been released, featuring 14 minutes of Hey! Pikmin.
The footage was uploaded over on the IGN YouTube channel, giving gamers a look at the new 2.5D platformer for Nintendo's dedicated handheld system.
The video starts with a short intro cinematic where we find out that Captain Olimar's warp back to Hocotate is disrupted and his ship ends up sustaining damage in an asteroid field where he eventually crashes on a planet filled with Pikmin.
Olimar finds out that the fuel to fly the ship is all gone and that there's the possibility of fixing it by exploring the planet. During this time players are given control of Olimar in Hey! Pikmin, where players learn how to whistle and attract Pikmin, and navigate through the side-scrolling levels.
The beginning parts of the gameplay are mostly tutorial related, and players learn how to direct the Pikmin around as well as receive the main mission of recovering 30,000 Sparklium in order to escape the planet and head back home.
Captain Olimar's computer will find more Sparklium for him, which basically works as the stage designator for players to explore. The first real mission in Hey! Pikmin starts with the Brilliant Garden, where players will have to acquire some Pikmin and then use them to construct things for Olimar or defeat nearby enemies. The Pikmin in the game work almost identical to the eggs in the Yoshi Island games.
The Pikmin can be used to reach places that Olimar can't get to. The way they can be directed around and craft things are almost similar to the old Lemmings games.
And since Olimar can't jump over gaps, it means that players have to rely on the Pikmin to build access ways in order to get to certain areas or defeat larger enemies. Combat consists of rapidly throwing the Pikmin at enemies until their life is completely depleted.
The game is a mix between unit management and 2D target practice. For some puzzles in Hey! Pikmin players will be required to use a certain amount of Pikmin, which means if you don't have enough in order to complete a task, you'll need to find them.
Additionally, accessing the more difficult areas or acquiring certain items outside of your reach is usually handled with the top screen on the Nintendo 3DS (or Nintendo 2DS).
The platforming puzzle elements is definitely a departure from the more real-time strategy elements featured in the older Pikman games on the Gamecube, Wii and Wii U. Hey! Pikmin is due for release on July 28th, 2017 at the end of this month.