Do the robot…pick up trash.
Great heroes come in small sizes sometimes. Chibi Robo is no stranger to helping folks and assisting with cleaning up the world, one piece of trash at a time. Now starring in a new adventure for the first time on 3DS and a new genre too, does Chibi Robo have what it takes to save the day from the encroaching aliens and make the world a better place?
Platforming with a zip
Chibi Robo is a cute little robot but has always got down to business when it comes to cleaning up the place. Even with the threat of aliens, Chibi still finds time to do a good thing, adding to his already huge charm. While the story in a platforming game isn’t really the focus, Chibi features one that is extremely basic, summed up by Aliens and trash. It’s not important really, and is more of just a back story to give context to the gameplay.
Price I’d Pay: $20.00
How long to beat: Eight hours
This time players control Chibi in a side scrolling platforming flavor. Whereas his other games tended to focus more on puzzle solving and exploration within a completely 3D world, now we have a more classic and retro appealing style. While I like the genre, it didn’t feel as if this was a path that Chibi Robo should go down, but I jumped the gun in my assumptions. Moving within the levels, players will use the power cord on the little guy to attack enemies. Charge up long enough and the robot can bash through certain walls, which lead to progression and also secrets. Aim diagonally and swing from the roofs, helicoptering with his cord (which is exactly what it sounds like), pull Chibi up to platforms, and more.
Chibi Robo has plenty of moves to keep players using their platforming prowess to the max. Taking out enemies and parts of the environment add length to the robot’s attacks and lead to exploring the level, going back to reach things once un-accessible. That length element restarts every level though, so if players need to reach somewhere earlier in the level, expect to backtrack just a tad.
Glitches in the system
Players will take Chibi on a grand adventure over the course of a few worlds and the core element of gameplay is extremely fun and downright addicting at times. Featuring a colorful assortment of levels and a nice soundtrack followed by cutesy sound effects, it’s hard not to smile while playing. Though there is one design decision that just boggles my mind. At the end of the levels, Chibi has to spin a wheel and that dictates what level he goes to next, corresponding to the amount of spots and the number that is picked. This can lead to replaying levels again when the player doesn’t want to. Players can luckily and easily buy board pieces that allow them to completely choose the number they want, guaranteed. It’s just a weird design choice and one that doesn’t sit well with me. Mini games in Chibi also seem to be hit or miss, most particular is the balloon one which can be an exercise in patience and frustration.
I had my doubts about Chibi Robo, and was this close to not even trying it out. The video game player in me gave it a chance though like it tends to do, and I was really surprised. It has issues, but ones that I can easily overlook, not just to throw caution to the wind but because it just didn’t affect my overall thoughts and feelings while playing the game. I was having a good time the majority of the time, and it strikes me as a unique platforming experience at the end of the day. It’s cute, charming, and very Chibi, and that’s just how I like it.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.