This week sees the release of the first Pikmin game for 3DS, Hey Pikmin. Unlike previous entries in the series, however, Hey Pikmin is not a real-time strategy game but a 2D puzzle-platformer. Players are still challenged with amassing a tiny army of Pikmin and using them to battle towering fauna and collect treasure, but this time they’ll be doing so from a side-scrolling perspective and using the handheld’s touchscreen to throw the plant-like minions.

Despite its radical shift in genres, is Hey Pikmin still a worthy installment in the series? As always, we’ve rounded up a sampling of reviews from various publications, along with their scores, to give you an idea if Hey Pikmin is worth your time. For a broader look at the game’s critical reception, be sure to visit GameSpot’s sister site Metacritic.

  • Game: Hey Pikmin
  • Developer: Arzest
  • Platform: 3DS
  • Release: July 28
  • Price: $40 / £35

GameSpot — 6/10

“Overall, Hey Pikmin retains a lot of what makes this series great. The terrific character and art design, fun flinging action, and lovable Pikmin and wildlife all work well on the small screen. However, anyone expecting the surprisingly unforgiving nature of the main series will be shocked at how simple this is in comparison. That might not be a terrible black mark on Hey Pikmin, but it’s a little disappointing.” — Jason D’Aprile

Polygon — 7/10

“Hey Pikmin did exactly what it needed to do, without extending itself any further. It gave me a series of interesting places, a series of clever puzzles, a series of cute vignettes, and soft storybook scenery. The worst thing to say about Hey Pikmin is, simultaneously, a recommendation–it’s perfectly pleasant, well-rounded, and didn’t leave me dying for more.” — Janine Hawkins

IGN — 6.8/10

“Hey Pikmin has its moments. The stages have some neat but simple puzzles, the visuals and music are solid, the inherent cute charm of Pikmin’s weird alien worlds is on full display, and discovering treasures based on common household items–and seeing Olimar’s confused interpretations of them–is always good for a smile. However, the lax difficulty, slow pace, and repetitive structure drag it down quite a bit. There’s not a lot of meat to Hey Pikmin, which is disappointing when compared to the required skill and replayability of the console Pikmin games. It’s good for a playthrough, but this is a voyage I can’t see myself taking again.” — Heidi Kemps

Game Informer — 6/10

“Pikmin could work in 2D, but Hey Pikmin isn’t the game to make it happen. Nintendo’s low-impact blend of strategy and action flounders between relaxing and boring. I sometimes felt compelled to replay Hey Pikmin’s levels to find the treasures I’d missed the first time around, but I never found what I was hoping to: a richer strategy experience.” — Ben Reeves

US Gamer — 3/5

“But with all that said, I do appreciate that Nintendo is taking the time to mess around a bit with an established franchise, even if the results aren’t necessarily thrilling. There’s a decent foundation here; and if Nintendo should decide to make a sequel, there’s plenty to build from. But as bold experiments go, Hey Pikmin is merely okay. And like the tiny aliens that serve as its namesake, it’s apt to fade into the background.” — Kat Bailey

Destructoid — 7/10

“Hey Pikmin is a little too simplistic for its own good, especially early on, but Arzest does a fantastic job of distilling what makes this series so special into bite-sized chunks. The transition cutscenes that play out like physical comedy shorts and the adorable little noises really sell it.” — Chris Carter