Captain Olimar wakes up after crash landing his ship, and realizing that the fuel supply is empty. After wandering about, he comes across some Pikmin hidden around, and eventually some Sparklium seeds, which are what is used as fuel for the ship, and thus, needed for escaping.
In Hey! Pikmin, a spinoff of the Pikmin series, the player controls Captain Olimar, in a 2.5D side-scroller with puzzle elements, instead of the traditional 3D real-time strategy that the series goes by.
Pikmin are found in the wild, and Captain Olimar can call upon them with his whistle, and then issue several different commands, such as throw them onto platforms, so they can remove obstacles and collect items. Olimar is controlled with the D-pad, while Pikmin are controlled with the stylus. As such, the game relies heavily on the touchscreen.
Each Pikmin type has different abilities – for instance, blue Pikmin can swim, red Pikmin are resistant to fire, and yellow Pikmin are resistant to electricity. The player must then utilize different Pikmin to suit different situations.
Captain Olimar has a set of green bars depicting his health, which are depleted by simply bumping into enemies, instead of just by enemy attacks, like in previous games.