“So there’s this game where you water flowers and try to make the park really green! But then you have enemies that want to destroy your park!” I described Chibi-Robo: Park Patrol to my coworkers.
Saying that, I realized how crazy it sounded. But essentially it’s the core of the next game that hooked my attention on the Nintendo DS.
Chris and I would say to each other bung!—one of the many cute sound effects of the game.
Reasons why it worked for me:
1. Easy recovery from mistakes.
The game requires only minimal skill. Or at least, it doesn’t punish you for being unskilled. There’s no punishment for lack of skill (besides carpal tunnel).
2. Gives you time to learn
See number one. It doesn’t punish you for being unskilled, but rewards you for being more skillful.
3. NO GAME OVER SCREEN
Just like number one. Ok, so I might lose some happy points, but that’s not a severe punishment like being sent to my last save point.
4. The helpful NPC was only slightly annoying, but added a lot to the game
Unlike Zelda, the helpful NPC wasn’t that annoying. At least it didn’t say “HEY!” everywhere I went.
Where do I want to put my trampoline? Where do I want to place my cannon? Do I want blue, orange, green, or purple flowers? Where do I want to build paths and fountains? Decisions that really don’t affect the final goal of the game added to its character.
6. It made me feel like I was saving the world
In some odd way, I thought I was making the world more greener.
Also, I love hanging out with the Pop Fizz penguins.