Electroplankton Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 49 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 36 Ratings

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  • 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
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 49
  2. Negative: 4 out of 49
  1. If you have a DS, find a way to procure this game. You will find yourself mesmerized in a way that is profound, delightful and extremely satisfying. [JPN Import]
  2. 85
    Electroplankton is not a game in any sense of the word. It is art, plain and simple.
  3. With a beautifully simple interface and very loveable creatures, Electroplankton won't fail to put a smile on your face - and isn't that what really counts? [GamesMaster]
  4. As much as I love and appreciate all that is unique and wonderful about Electroplankton, there simply isn’t enough lasting appeal provided here in order for me to muster up the must-buy recommendation I really do want to give this title.
  5. 70
    But without the helping hand of the developer to offer some set goal or accomplishment, it ends up a smidge too shallow and empty to really be something as fulfilling as a final Nintendo DS product.
  6. 70
    Unfortunately, unless you're extremely into music making, your fun will run out before too long. The inability to save anything really hurts as well.
  7. 10
    Pretentious bullsh.t. Playing with tiny, microscopic things. Paying $35 for a game that's suckier than the free games that came with your cellphone.

See all 49 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 24
  2. Negative: 6 out of 24
  1. Mar 23, 2011
    There 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
  2. Jun 10, 2014
    Difícil decir si es un videojuego o un programa de música interactiva, pero sin duda una de las genialidades más grandes de la DS. Amable y simpático es una pieza de arte digital que debería exponerse en museos. Expand
  3. Jun 18, 2012
    Sometimes 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.

See all 24 User Reviews