Nintendo’s Kensuke Tanabe has admitted his fear that Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash may be the “last chance” for the minuscule robot to strike success.
The four-inch tall hero first appeared in GameCube’s Chibi-Robo!, returning in Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS outings Chibi-Robo! Park Patrol and Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder. But the courageous robot is still yet to strike sales success.
“To be honest, this might be the last chance for us. I’ve continually thought about ways to build this into a mainstream success,” Tanabe explained to The Verge.
That exploration resulted in Zip Lash becoming a side-scrolling adventure, in which Chibi-Robo deploys his plug as a grappling hook to navigate increasingly tricky environments.
He continued, “We’ve challenged ourselves in assorted ways along those lines, but I can’t say that we’ve found the answer yet. The first thing we decided upon was that we’d make an action game that took advantage of his plug and cord. We then placed the core of the gameplay on using it like a grappling hook, throwing it into a faraway edge and using that to traverse gaps and so on. As we kept thinking about ideas, we naturally settled on the 2D side-scrolling format.
“Instead of trying to come up with a character we thought would be a commercial success, it was more like we first had the Chibi-Robo character, and then we thought about what kind of game we could make that’d portray this character in as attractive a way as possible. It’s kind of fun along those lines, like taking an artist I’ve found and trying to mould him into a famous creator. That, of course, also creates its own unique challenges.”
Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash releases exclusively for Nintendo 3DS in North America on October 9th, and in Europe on November 6th.