- Summary: Electroplankton is a "touchable media art" game that presents the player with "soothing music" and graphics on the DS's two screens. The game features 10 "digital planktons" that respond to players when they touch the screen or use the microphone. Planktons react by making gestures and sounds of their own. The game takes further advantage of the DS's microphone by recording and playing back sounds and voices as tunes.… Expand
RobinH.Aug 10, 2005This title makes people smile - even when they aren't playing it. Beautiful tones, great visuals - cute and simple but deep in places and ways you wouldn't expect! Share it with friends, bring it to the dentist's office - you are bound to make friends. I keep thinking I'll tire of it, but there's always some new soundscape to explore. A must for DS owners!!!… Expand
JohnB.Apr 20, 2006Electroplankton shouldn't be approached as a game... I'll give a few thoughts/justifications here as to why there is no save feature and why the game does indeed have replay value. Electroplankton provides a rewarding musical experience by enabling easy access to creating relatively complex music, structured and unstructured, depending on which plankton you use. Even those who have no musical inclinations can feel the reward of this game, and it is truly great that the sensation of creating melody can be provided so easily for such people who are willing to appreciate it through something like Electroplankton. There is no save feature in this game, and there is a point to that. The game is really only meant for creative stimulation... It forces you not to linger on existing ideas, making every Electroplankton unique. For those really, really concerned with saving, there are two ways to do it. One, plug your DS into your computer via the headphone jack... This can be done using a cheap male/male wire, and recording can be done through a simple mic recorder built-in to the computer, or it can be done on complex recording software. The other alternative is some of the game's built-in features. For example, when 'A' is pressed in the Hanenbrow setting (adjustable leaves on plants in the water that plankton bounce on to make different notes), markers appear on the screen indicating the exact location, in degrees, of the leaves. Also, with Luminaria (the plankton that follow arrows with changeable direction), you can simply write down the arrow positions, and when you come back to the game, just recreate the previous situation, though it can take a little time. Even though I only play this game now for about fifteen to twenty minutes at a time, I'll sometimes become completely mesmerized for upwards of one or two hours. Playing with the various plankton is almost like listening to an album... Each plankton being a track. Sometimes, you only want to hear the hits, or your favorite at the time, but sometimes, you will want to get the experience of the entire album. While I may not always play Electrolpankton for a long time, I can honestly say that I play it more regularly than any of my other DS games, and overall I have probably played it most of all as a result of that. Electroplankton is not a game to get psyched up to play. You may get bored a little quickly if you have ADHD or just drank eight Red Bulls and popped a few Viagra... In other words, the best time to play would be in some down-time. Play before bed, or when getting up in the morning. When used at the appropriate time, the game can be mesmerizing and relaxing, and will generally just put you in a great state of mind. I recommend this game to anyone with an open mind... Even if it isn't opened very wide.… Expand
Mar 23, 2011There are far too few positive examples of games that are art. This is one of them. As it is, its a difficult to find and somewhat expensive game, but now that the individual plankton games are for sale on the DSi, people shouldn't miss them! The game is a simple music maker, thats it, but the way it does so is so inviting and creative you'll love it. Also, its design makes it so that you'll never have the same experience twice, always discovering something new and original about each time you play each game. My advice: plug in your head phones and take your time. Totally worth it.… Expand
HoffaHOct 18, 2006Very cool concept. It's not really a game, but a chill interactive experience. At first I thought I would get bored, but once I got started I didn't want to stop. Basically, you compose music in a semi-intentional and semi-accidental fashion. I got REALLY into it. Very relaxing yet somehow engaging. Beautiful art. Play with a good set of headphones for the best experience.… Expand
Jun 18, 2012Sometimes a random noise machine, sometimes a true composition tool, Electroplankton is an always-amusing music toy.
The Good: Unique, intuitive "levels".
The Bad: Not a proper "game" if you're expecting that; no save/export feature.
The definition of "videogame" has been changing a lot over the years in order to accommodate new forms of interaction. But even if that's the case it's still hard to file Electroplankton under that category due to a lack of some key (for most gamers) attributes as "challenge" or proper "goals" within its design.
With that out of the way--I mean, exchanging "videogame" for "virtual toy" in its label--it becomes easier to enjoy (and recommend in my case) Electroplankton to anyone curious about being creative with music.
Designed by the Japanese multimedia artist Toshio Iwai Electroplankton is a collection of ten sound editing/generating/mixing "levels" available in two modes: "Audience" (for just watching some previously recorded stuff) and "Performance" (where you interact with the levels' elements to generate music). Obviously the most interesting mode is "Performance", and here the diversity in how one can toy with sounds may be a lasting joy in itself--even if just for the sake of curiosity. Aside that the weird and intriguing presentation adds another personality touch that's much more than a superficial coat of paint--in fact it's an integral part of the game's design and it delights the player just as much as the sound does.
Some of the modes are just playgrounds for blips and clicks that allow you to create a little funny mess, like "Hanenbow" (where you throw tadpoles at some inclinable leaves as they resound) or "Sun-Animalcule" (drop little "sun-seeds" that grow in size and intensity--visually and musically--until they disappear).
But for those wanting to dig deeper there are a few levels that can be taken more seriously as composition tools since their elements are more "controllable". Take "Rec-Rec", a four-track recorder ("recorder" here means a fish that eats the sound you yell at it) that takes advantage of the DS built-in mic with a nice amount of base beat options and adjustable speed as an example; or "Luminaria", where four light beings (each moving in a different speed but still evenly related regarding tempo) run in a labyrinth of movable arrows ("arrows" going for "notes").
Anyway there is a downside that affects everyone. Be the player a casual user or a music aficionado he/she will eventually face the disappointment of not being able to record their work. At times one can bring some neat stuff up and just have to throw it all away due to the lack of such a clearly desirable feature. Of course, implementing that would demand a huge amount of memory to make it work and all, but the way it is it's just plain frustrating.
In the end Electroplankton has the potential to amuse/entertain any "gamer" (or non-gamer for that matter) slightly interested in music--pretty much anyone, actually--if they can overcome the "videogame" expectation and "play" with it in every sense of the word.… Expand
JohnJul 11, 2005For an FPS, it's not very good. Not a big enough selection of guns. Repetitive enemies.