This week's Critical Reception looks at Skip Ltd.-developed/Nintendo-published Chibi-Robo
for the Nintendo GameCube. Chibi-Robo
is a non-linear platformer which places you in the role of a miniscule robot charged with "spreading happiness" within the household under his care - a task he accomplishes by picking up trash, scrubbing the floor, smoothing over family drama, and other everyday tasks.
With an average score of 76%
from game review tabulation website GameTab.com, the game met with mixed responses from reviewers.
Scoring the game with a mere 60% rating equivalent, Yahoo! Games' Justin Leeper had this to say
could have been a fun little game. Instead, the developers chose to hold you back from immersing yourself in the experience by limiting the time you can be in one area ... The best that can be said is Chibi-Robo
may satisfy patient children."
GameSpot's Greg Mueller offered similar sentiments
towards the time limits, saying that "the frequent interruption sets a tedious and repetitive pace that drags down the entire game." But he enjoyed the game more, giving it a 71% equivalent, and explaining that "...despite the monotonous and occasionally tiresome gameplay, the great cast of characters and offbeat sense of humor manage to make Chibi-Robo
a compelling and ultimately enjoyable experience."
It is 1UP's James Mielke that gives Chibi-Robo
perhaps its most positive reaction, on the way to scoring it a 80% equivalent. "When so many of today's cookie-cutter, bandwagon-esque titles are barely discernible from each other, it takes ingenuity and invention to stand out. Chibi-Robo
has both. While macho gamers might steer clear of Chibi Robo
's simple premise, connoisseurs who value the finer things will want to check it out. A surprising combination of both weirdness and wonder."
With mixed reviews and a kid-friendly premise that faces competition from the recently released Dora the Explorer
and Curious George
games, prospects for Chibi-Robo
are unclear. But perhaps its unconventional setup and characters will charm a willing audience yet.