e3 2015

Chibi-Robo Doesn't Do Much Cleaning In Zip Lash

by Kyle Hilliard on Jun 16, 2015 at 02:45 PM

I'm a fan of the 2006 GameCube game starring the titular Chibi-Robo. I was excited to see a new entry announced recently, but surprised at how different the game appeared to be from its original inspiration. My surprise was confirmed when I got my hands on the game at Nintendo's E3 booth and didn't do any cleaning, scrubbing, or trash disposal.

The game starts with all of the Earth's natural resources disappearing due to an invasion of small aliens. Chibi-Robo watches from a spaceship in the Earth's atmosphere and decides he must take on the alien threat by himself – a far cry from GameCube game which saw Chibi-Robo living in a home and cleaning up after a family suffering interpersonal turmoil.

The opening tutorial level I played saw Chibi-Robo using his outlet plug to break boxes and attach himself to walls to grapple up to high platforms. It immediately reminded me of Yoshi's Island the way you could throw your plug, but I could only choose from two directions. Nintendo says you will collect upgrades as you progress which will allow you to fire off your plug in more directions, and have a longer cable – a promise that was validated when I picked up a cord lengthening power-up right before the end of the tutorial level.

I jumped way ahead to a new level after that where Chibi-Robo attached himself to a jetski barreling through the water. In order to stay afloat I had to collect battery power collectibles to stay alive, and press the jump button at the perfect moment when hitting ramps. Much like past games, Chibi-Robo can run out of battery resulting in restart, but the battery power seemed ample to complete a level without having to rush.

My brief time with Chibi-Robo showed off a perfectly capable and fun Nintendo-style puzzle platformer. The grappling hook and attack uses lent to the power cable were novel and fun to use. The game doesn't seem to be designed around Chibi-Robo's original cleaning mechanics, but I am happy to see the character getting some overdue love with a new 3DS adventure game after 2014's Photo Finder.