Pikmin is one of my favorite games. Don't be fooled by its childish appearance; Pikmin is terrifying. Beneath the cute, natury veneer is a frank portrayal of the "survival of the fittest" aspect of nature.
The game begins when Captain Olimar crashes his spaceship on an unknown planet. With his ship missing many of its most vital parts, and his space suit only able to continue life support for 30 days, Olimar faces bleak chances of survival. Then he happens upon Pikmin.
Pikmin are tiny creatures on the very brink of extinction, beaten into evolutionary submission by the efficient and cruel predators of the planet. They fall in line with Captain Olimar, and the two set out to desperately struggle for life in this hostile environment; Olimar by fixing his ship, and the Pikmin by using his leadership to defeat predators.
Pikmin is interesting because every enemy in the game is larger and more formidable than you by volumes.
|The world of Pikmin is full of predators, like this Burrowing Snagret.|
Because of the nature and size of the enemies, it is impossible to defeat them with Captain Olimar alone, or with just a few Pikmin. The game is all about strength in numbers and teamwork.
This also means that even in the most expertly handled battles, many Pikmin die. They valiantly sacrifice themselves for the good of the group, an ultimate expression of loyalty and duty.
A large part of the game is carrying food, in the form of plants or corpses of defeated foes, back to the Pikmins' home. It is then turned into seeds, from which new Pikmin can be plucked. This is how lost Pikmin can be replaced, and your strength and numbers grow. In this way, your predators become your prey.
Ultimately, Pikmin boils down to teamwork and leadership. The Pikmin live or die based on your decisions, and without each other both Olimar and the Pikmin would be helpless. Working together, you can accomplish tasks that would be impossible for an individual.