E3 06: Chibi Robo: Park Patrol Preshow Hands-On

The helpful little robot has mad amounts of gardening to do on the Nintendo DS. Read our hands-on report of this upbeat game.

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LOS ANGELES--Though the Nintendo Wii will naturally draw the most attention at Nintendo's massive corner of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the company has a substantial lineup of DS titles on display as well. One of them is Chibi Robo, and it follows on the heels of the GameCube game of the same name released some months ago. Nintendo is clearly aiming to deliver some lighthearted, family-friendly fun with this particular game. At least that's what we figured after having to break-dance a flower into bloom.

Chibi Robo, the title character of the game, runs around with a bug plug attached to him. He's got limited energy, but can always run home to jack in and recharge his batteries...literally. The demo we played at a Nintendo pre-E3 event didn't really give much context for Chibi Robo's latest adventure, but instead allowed us to run around and explore a colorful, larger-than-life world, performing various menial tasks. Hey, he's just a pint-sized robot, what do you expect?

The fully 3D visuals closely resemble the GameCube version of Chibi Robo, so it was quite impressive seeing this much detail in the gameworld on Nintendo's portable. The gameplay itself doesn't exactly seem like rocket science. Chibi supposedly needs to recover some missing playground equipment from some nefarious monsters, and he also has to bring some flowers back to life by watering them and then dancing them back to health. Touch-screen controls on the bottom screen enable Chibi to use a squirt bottle and other simple tools. We also found a couple of vehicles to ride around on, including a little car and a bicycle, all to the tune of a suitably upbeat soundtrack.

No release date has been announced for Chibi Robo: Park Patrol, but the game seems to have the look and feel of its predecessor already figured out. Tune into GameSpot for more details as they become available.

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