Chibi Robo: Photo Finder will Toy with You
Chibi-Robo: Photo Finder

Chibi-Robo: Photo Finder has gotten to me, and I'm here to warn you, because I don't want him to get to you too.

I suppose that's a bit much to throw at you right away. A better explanation is in order.

There's a new Chibi-Robo game in the wild, but it isn't like the games we know and love, like Chibi-Robo and Chibi-Robo: Park Patrol. No, Chibi-Robo: Photo Finder is yet another attempt to make people believe in the power of 3DS augmented reality games by attaching one of Nintendo's cutest mascots to it. It's a diabolical, exploitative plot.

See, Chibi-Robo has a new job. He's helping The Curator open a NostalJunk museum by time-traveling into the past and bringing various knicknacks into the future. Coincidentally, most of said odds and ends are items that also currently exist in the Chibi-Robo: Photo Finder future. It's a complete and utter waste of time-travel, but what can you expect from people who force a tiny robot into taking care of homes and parks for them?


The gathering of exhibits is where the AR comes into play. Players need to earn Happy Points to buy Silhouette Film, which will have the outline of an object on it. They then must take a photo of an item in the real world that is at east a 60% match of the Silhouette Film outline to send Chibi into the past to retrieve it.

Sound easy? It isn't. The accumulation of exhibits and Happy Points is a complete and utter pain.

First is the process of getting enough Happy Points for the Silhouette Film. Chibi-Robo has to take on jobs from other familiar characters in the series. Some are relatively easy, like a task where he must shoot down balloons. Others, like where he must find the correct ingredients for breakfast dishes without knowing what the chefs want, are harder. In almost every case it's difficult to earn the 40 or more Happy Points needed to get one piece of film, since a single job might only offer 20 Happy Points. Chibi can return to unlocked locations to clean for extra points, but even then only a handful are doled out.

Not that it matters, because it can take a substantial amount of time to get the right shots for the Silhouette Film Chibi-Robo already has. It's pretty easy to tell what each shape is supposed to be, but that isn't the problem. The trouble is getting an accurate shot. It suffers from the same problem as another AR-heavy 3DS game, Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir. Allow me to recount two disheartening experiences.

Chibi-Robo: Photo Finder

The first trouble came when I was sending Chibi-Robo to acquire his second piece of Nostaljunk. It was a standard outlet. I had to go to three different rooms to get one with enough light. The living room, with white paint and three sources of light, didn't take. My guess is, it didn't offer enough contrast. The kitchen, with brown tile, only had two sources of light in the outlet's vicinity, whcih apparently wasn't enough. Oddly enough, it was the basement bathroom, with only one light, that met Chibi-Robo: Photo Finder's criteria. It even yielded a 100% accurate piece of Nostaljunk. Quite a surprise since the other two didn't even get past 60%.

However, my greatest trial was in attempting to photograph a roll of toilet paper. Again, I had to take the toilet paper to three different rooms to make it work. I tried photographing it outside on cement (It wasn't bright enough.) On the grey kitchen tile (Nope nope nope.) This time, Chibi-Robo: Photo Finder was clearly toying with me, as it only acquiesed and accepted a photo, at about 70%, when I took a picture of the roll on brown carpeting in a dimly lit hallway. Well played, video game foe.

I guess what I'm saying is, save yourselves. Save your $10. Save your patience and piece of mind. Save your appreciation and respect for Chibi-Robo and don't play Chibi-Robo: Photo Finder. You don't need this in your life. A game like this is just going to lure you in with its cuteness, make you want to love it, then absolutely ruin your day. Hold on to your money and hope we'll go back to ordinary household chores with Chibi-Robo sometime soon.

Jenni Lada
Jenni Lada

Site Editor
Date: 01/20/2014

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