8 Wild Games You Should Play

8 Wild Games You Should Play

Play it on: Switch
Current goal: Unearth more strange alien treasures

Early on, Pikmin 4 articulates a concept that’s central to its gameplay. As a supporting character tells your adorable little spaceperson, “Dandori is the art of organizing your tasks strategically and working with maximum efficiency to execute your plans quickly.” When I first read this and understood that Dandori is, in a way, what Pikmin is all about, I fleetingly thought, “Well, I’m fucked.”

See, if there’s one thing I struggle with, it’s organizing my tasks strategically and working with maximum efficiency to execute my plans quickly. This may be why, although I’ve occasionally enjoyed and frequently admired real-time strategy games, I’ve never really felt myself “click” with one. I’ve watched in awe as other players efficiently execute their plans, feeling like their brains must have a function mine fundamentally lacks, as, at best, I can try to fumble my way to victory in organizational fits and starts.

So far, however, I’m enjoying Pikmin 4, even if it is, in its own distinct way, a real-time strategy game itself. It helps that, like many Nintendo games, it has started off quite easy, giving me plenty of time to come to grips with its various mechanics and core strategies. Mostly, though, it’s the wonderfully charming visuals and the great sense of discovery that are winning me over. Even though the game clearly takes place here on Earth, it views our planet from a perspective and at a scale that few games do, and as I find the “treasures” scattered about its levels, I’m always eager to find out how the shipwrecked aliens who make up my crew interpret the items they find, which are, to them, artifacts of an alien civilization.

So far they’ve declared a skateboard a “personal injury plank” and named a macaroon the S.S. Chocolate. How could I possibly stop until I’ve discovered all of this strange planet’s mysteries? — Carolyn Petit

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