Justin Lee On February 11, 2006 at 6:26 pm

Cute name for a game, cute game for the Gamecube:

This week a legion of diminutive Nintendo robots invades Canadian homes. Chibi-Robo, made exclusively for Nintendo GameCube, puts players in control of a 4-inch-tall robot who travels back in time, meets aliens and blasts robotic spiders, all in a day’s work. The cute anime cartoon style of Chibi-Robo belies a bizarre, creative storyline that revolves around little Chibi-Robo, who only wants to bring happiness to his human family.

With the help of his lounge-singer-wannabe sidekick Telly, Chibi meets and communicates with a host of wacky toys that come to life at night. These include a pirate, a mummy, Space Hunter Drake Redcrest (a legendary action hero) and the Free Rangers, a battalion of egg-shaped soldiers. Each character has a distinct personality that shines through as Chibi works to help his family achieve happiness. That’s not always easy to do in a home where the parents are having marital troubles, their daughter thinks she’s a frog and the teddy bear has an unhealthy addiction to honey.

"Chibi-Robo represents a great blending of North American and Japanese pop-culture sensibilities," says Ron Bertram, Nintendo of Canadaâ??s Vice President-General Manager. "Its freewheeling approach lets players progress at their own pace while they explore a huge, adventure-filled world."

Chibi can don a variety of different suits that give him new abilities and help him communicate with other characters in the game. For instance, while wearing his dog outfit he can interpret what the family dog is saying when he barks. Chibi can scare people while wearing his ghost outfit or even turn day into night after putting on his pajamas.

Players can focus solely on their main goals or wander off to do side tasks that help increase the happiness of the household. Whether they fly through the air on their Chibi-Copter or target small obstacles with their Chibi-Blaster, the only restriction they have is a limited power supply. If it runs low, they just plug themselves into the nearest outlet. Chibi-Robo offers the kind of nonlinear approach that Nintendo has pioneered with other games, such as the puppy-training Nintendogs or the music-making Electroplankton. Players can proceed at their own pace and decide how much they want to accomplish at a given time. For more information about the game, visit http://www.chibi-robo.com.

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