Hello fellow gamers and welcome to the beginning of the holiday release season. This week Chibi Robo Zip Lash for Nintendo’s 3DS has launched for some platforming fun! Chibi Robo is a franchise from the Game Cube era where originally you used Chibi to fix problems around a house and had to keep his battery charged. This time around you are saving the world from aliens by jumping, swinging, and driving your way through levels.
The Chibi Robo world is under attack by resource and snack stealing aliens and you must stop them with help from your friend, Telly. Chibi Robo’s world is now side scrolling and filled with obstacles and puzzles you have to solve to advance in the game. You will travel through all types of bright and colorful levels and even use some vehicles to save the day. There is of course a boss standing in your way with every set of levels and a lot of collectibles for you to re-play levels trying to find. To give you an extra boost the Amiibo included with the $40 USD version of the game can be tapped to help you turn Chibi Robo ‘super’ for a short amount of time.
Game play in Chibi Robo is pretty simple for the most part as most platformers tend to be. Levels in the game are mostly navigated by Chibi Robo using his cord to grapple, helicopter, and swing through the level and destroy enemies. Chibi Robo of course has a power bar at the top of his screen that is drained as you play and heavily drained if you take damage from enemies or from falling. In the game you can either find a recharge outlet or buy batteries with watts by recycling trash you find. When you start a level your cord is also short but as you progress and collect blue orbs your cord extends to help you reach even bigger heights. There are also vehicles you have to use such as a submarine, jet ski and a bouquet of balloons reminiscent of Balloon Fight that you use to traverse entire dedicated levels.
There are several different collectibles to keep you playing after you finish the game. Costumes are sprinkled around the game to give you some cosmetic easter eggs, such as a cat suit and Mario suit, that you equip to change Chibi Robo’s appearance. There are also snacks that are actually name brand, like Utz, Pez, and Tootsie Rolls, you can collect and give to toys who ask for them. There’s a hide and seek game to play through the levels with the Chibi Bots and some recyclables to pick up and exchange for batteries. There’s a capsule machine you can use to collect figures of the various characters as well.
The Chibi Robo maps are a little different than what platform lovers are accustomed to. The levels on the map are not straight forward but have been made into a circle. There is a wheel you spin called the Destination Wheel that tells you where you’re going next according to the number you land on. The Wheel can have its ups and downs however and sometimes forces you to replay levels more than once. There are ways to skip such as landing on a gold space, or you can just use moolah you earn in-game to pay your way to another spin. After the world is beaten, however, you will be free to choose levels at your leisure.
So who is this game for? This game is for a more casual crowd than most since it’s made to draw in a new crowd using Chibi Robo’s cuddly design. The game play is pretty easy with moderate challenge so it’s adaptable to any skill level and the collectibles give it a lot of replay value like most platformers usually do. It is great for anyone with a 3DS who just needs a game to play in between work breaks or on the go when traveling.