9. Pikmin Series - ...They’re ALSO Too Cute To Die!
The Pikmin series began with the GameCube-exclusive original in 2001. It’s another example of Nintendo’s uncanny ability to take a familiar genre and put a brightly-colored, family-friendly-fun-focused spin on it (see also: Splatoon).
In this case, the Pikmin titles are RTS games that revolve around leading the titular plant-like creatures to achieve your objective. Different species have different abilities (Blue Pikmin can travel freely through water, for instance), and the trick is in building your army and keeping it varied so you reach certain areas, defeat particular foes and collect the items you need to progress (in the original, these were spaceship parts so that Captain Olimar could leave the Pikmins' planet after crash-landing there).
It’s a whimsical, creative and enjoyable experience, and you’re sure to be captivated by the charm of these little creatures. Sadly, you can’t get too attached to them. They’re ultimately expendable resources as in many other RTS titles. Enemies will gleefully eat them as they screech. They’ll be set on fire. They’ll struggle and drown if they fall in water. They’ll become living electricity conductors. There’s even a heartbreaking little scene at the end of an in-game day that shows any Pikmin that haven’t been brought back to safety being eaten.
It’s oddly graphic, in its way, and rather grim.