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Electroplankton (Post-E3 2005)

Developer: Indies Zero | Publisher: Nintendo
Players: 1 Player Game | Genre: Music

Release Date: 01/09/06

What's going in the waters over in Japan--we're not sure, but we suspect it's several of the titular little critters themselves. Such is the way these amoeba-like Electroplankton that infect your brain. Each created with just a simple level of polygon counts, but full of character and life. The eponymous little monsters seem to have always been living in your DS--it's just that they're only awakened by the purchase of the game cart.

Electroplankton isn't a game, though. Nor is it some pointless 'Experience'. It offers 10 different ways to make sounds, but goes far beyond the common conception of a plaything, or a minigame. In fact, it's darn near impossible to describe what it is without spoiling the whole fun of finding out for yourself. Once you've worked out every facet of Electroplankton and learn how to cre-ate some wonderful sounds--you may still be at a loss for what this title actu-ally does.

Broken down to it's bare minimum (although this is something of an injustice) Electroplankton presents 10 distinct 'areas' of play. Each is given a name. Sometimes the name is the Electroplankton itself--other times the name refers to the style of the subgame involved. Once you've selected a particular sec-tion, the game instantly gives you a blank canvas, albeit one filled with any-thing from one to several dozen little 'planktons.

From there, it's all touch screen (with B to get back to the main menu)--and then the fun begins. Touch an area on the screen, drag an Electroplankton, talk to your DS, rotate a leaf, etc. Everything you do affects something on screen, and thus the sounds made by the talking, leaping, swimming micro-organisms become musical, entrancing and hypnotic. It's no surprise that the game comes bundled with headphones, as immersing yourself sonically is all part of the plan. No other game before has fused graphics, gameplay, and sound so coherently.

I really can't say much more without spoiling the whole point of the game. Other previews might go into detail about each of the modes, but I don't see the point. There's no need to read or speak Japanese--and there's absolutely no reason why this shouldn't be part of every DS owner's collection. Electro-plankton is innovative, fun, and shows real determination from Nintendo to prove exactly what makes the DS stand out from any othe handheld ever made. For that reason alone you should show your support. Could this be the DS game of the year? No doubt. Electroplankton is going to be an essential ti-tle in your gaming library.

By Dominick Fleres - 05/25/05

Screenshots for Electroplankton (Post-E3 2005)

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