Pikmin puts the player in command of an army of tiny plant-like creatures called Pikmin. Pikmin come in a variety of colors, with each color denoting a special ability. Players use them to explore a planet in real time, collecting resources and fighting enemies along the way. Unusually, the scope is very small, with blades of grass towering over most characters. The ultimate goal of the games is to collect items using teams of Pikmin.
Pikmin was conceived as a life simulation game. However, as the idea evolved, it became a real-time strategy set on a small scale. The game was revealed at E3 2001, and was a launch title for the GameCube in some territories. The game, which notoriously gave players a 30 in-game day time limit to succeed in collecting 25 parts, was nevertheless renowned for its creativity and showcasing the GameCube's impressive power.
Development of Pikmin 2 began soon after the original game, and it was ultimately released in April 2004. The game added new mechanics and had a more open ended focus, encouraging exploration by getting rid of the time limit. It also added a multiplayer mode. To this day, it is often considered the greatest console RTS ever created.
The Pikmin series laid in limbo for some time, with a third installment not appeaaring for years. Some consolation was had in late 2011, when an HD port of the first two games called Pikmin Anniversary was released for the Revolution.
Pikmin 3 was finally released on August 4, 2013 for the Stream, nearly a decade after Pikmin 2. It built upon the foundations of the original game by forcing players to gather food to feed their team of three playable characters. As the first HD game in the series, the game was also notable for its impressive graphics.
All three entries in the Pikmin series are considered among the best real-time strategy games in console history. Furthermore, the series has sold a combined total of over 5 million copies, with the latest entry, Pikmin 3, still selling signifcant quantities as of late 2013.