Electroplankton DS

User Score
7.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 37 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 37
  2. Negative: 10 out of 37
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  1. Jun 10, 2014
    9
    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.
  2. Jun 18, 2012
    7
    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
    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.
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  3. Mar 23, 2011
    10
    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 thatThere 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
  4. Bud
    Jan 12, 2010
    9
    Awesome and captivating. I don't know who wrote the review from "Stuff", but they're obviously not looking hard enough.
  5. ChrisD
    Sep 22, 2009
    4
    A fun and creative time killer, but not much more. Unfortunately small and limited. I loved it dearly for about a week and never touched it again.
  6. DJT
    Dec 15, 2007
    4
    "Eh"... that's all i can say. It's pretty, it's neat, it's cool... but for maybe 6 minutes. Otherwise, you'll put it away and never touch it again. So you make sounds and neat things happen on the screen with the stylus. Then what? Oh yeah... you'll go back to gamestop and get another game to play.
  7. HarryN.
    Jun 2, 2007
    10
    It's more captivating than anything... draw, fling, spin, shoot, dazzle, yell, clap, sing, and record into the most musical, addicting game ever. More replay value than any Mario, Pokemon, or Mario Party game out there. If you ever thought of joining a band or being a singer, you need this game. It increases your rhythm a tonne and a half, not to mention how appealing the It's more captivating than anything... draw, fling, spin, shoot, dazzle, yell, clap, sing, and record into the most musical, addicting game ever. More replay value than any Mario, Pokemon, or Mario Party game out there. If you ever thought of joining a band or being a singer, you need this game. It increases your rhythm a tonne and a half, not to mention how appealing the ElectroPlankton look for every age and gender. Expand
  8. HoffaH
    Oct 18, 2006
    8
    Very 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.
  9. JohnB.
    Apr 20, 2006
    10
    Electroplankton 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 Electroplankton 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
  10. JMax
    Feb 15, 2006
    10
    Ignore the philistines. This is not a game, and if you approach it that way, you won't like it. In fact, I'd go so far as to say this is the first piece of interactive art ever released on the Nintendo DS. It's art in the same way that John Cage used transistor radios to create music. It could very well end up being a watershed title...it might end up being the first true Ignore the philistines. This is not a game, and if you approach it that way, you won't like it. In fact, I'd go so far as to say this is the first piece of interactive art ever released on the Nintendo DS. It's art in the same way that John Cage used transistor radios to create music. It could very well end up being a watershed title...it might end up being the first true art in an interactive medium. Imagine if an artist like Christo or a composer like Xenakis (if he wasn't dead) was to write a program for a game machine! If it happens, we may look back and see Electroplankton as the first! Buy this now! Expand
  11. monkeymanl
    Jan 25, 2006
    1
    this should be a free program that is installed in the nintendo ds rather than that stupid pictochat. it is small enough to just add as an extra besides the pictocrap. I will give it a 1 for that it has a cool instruction booklet that is way cooler than the actual game itself. too bad it came with a game like electroplankton. the booklet also smells kinda funny. booklet smells like alot this should be a free program that is installed in the nintendo ds rather than that stupid pictochat. it is small enough to just add as an extra besides the pictocrap. I will give it a 1 for that it has a cool instruction booklet that is way cooler than the actual game itself. too bad it came with a game like electroplankton. the booklet also smells kinda funny. booklet smells like alot of fresh inks. i bet if you smell it long enough you will get light headed, and will be the best fun u had all night. i wondered why stores everywhere were not stocking this game, now i know why. Expand
  12. TonyG.
    Jan 25, 2006
    0
    horrible. a waste of money and time. i would rather twiddle my thumbs. who would want to save this lame music anyway?? make a cart program with techno, rock, hip-hop, and instramental beats, and we will have a winner. this electrocrapton is for people who like elevator music as there choice of music. real boring people. or people who are bored with twiddling thier thumbs. if i liked horrible. a waste of money and time. i would rather twiddle my thumbs. who would want to save this lame music anyway?? make a cart program with techno, rock, hip-hop, and instramental beats, and we will have a winner. this electrocrapton is for people who like elevator music as there choice of music. real boring people. or people who are bored with twiddling thier thumbs. if i liked mozart i would get this cart. i still cant belive i worked 2 hours of my hard earned salary to buy this total gimmick. next time Toshio Iwai robbs me, it better be with a gun, and not a piece of crap software. Expand
  13. JeffE.
    Jan 25, 2006
    8
    Great conceptually and visually but the lack of options is a shame. I don't care so much about the absence of saving that everyone seems to be dwelling on because... if you wanted to keep your creation you could just record it and save it that way. Some of the modes are disappointing - like the Beatnes mode for instance where the interface is awesome but the NES background music and Great conceptually and visually but the lack of options is a shame. I don't care so much about the absence of saving that everyone seems to be dwelling on because... if you wanted to keep your creation you could just record it and save it that way. Some of the modes are disappointing - like the Beatnes mode for instance where the interface is awesome but the NES background music and sound effects are obnoxious to try to create something with - they should've had an option to turn the bgmusic off and included more usable sounds for it. It would also be nice to combine the fruits of different modes into one creation... again a possibility for multitrack recording though... All in all a joy to mess around with but just knowing about these audio capabilities would make anyone beg for something more robust. Expand
  14. BlakeT.
    Jan 11, 2006
    5
    OMG! You can't save your creations! Can you believe it! Yes, it is fun to be creative. But, when you shut down, you lose everything! I still can't believe the game won't let you save. What were they thinking?
  15. slybri
    Jan 3, 2006
    2
    Turns the DS into a musical instrument which is no where near as cool as a guitar or as beautiful as a piano. In fact it will make you look like an idiot child in public. Put down the fisher-price toys, learn to play a guitar. It gets you chicks!
  16. RobinH.
    Aug 10, 2005
    10
    This 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!!!
  17. Yo-Yo
    Aug 5, 2005
    10
    This game is an awesome "game", if you could even call it a game. It's one of a kind, and deserves to be recognized.
  18. [Anonymous]
    Aug 1, 2005
    9
    Really good idea, this is even better than my Talkboy. oh and John, you're a freakin idiot because of the simple mistake of thinking this is an FPS. Its a music toy
  19. SteveN.
    Jul 22, 2005
    9
    Amazing, and entertaining. Awesome replay value as it's different every time you play...very fun with a casette tape adaptor and a sterio!. A must have.
  20. JesseF.
    Jul 20, 2005
    10
    I completely disagree. The selection of guns is fantastic.
  21. John
    Jul 11, 2005
    0
    For an FPS, it's not very good. Not a big enough selection of guns. Repetitive enemies.
  22. ChristiM.
    Jul 5, 2005
    9
    An absolute gem of a toy. If this is what Ninty mean by "changing the way we play forever" then I'm all for it. It's innovative, beautiful, and a joy to explore.
  23. TomV.
    Jun 23, 2005
    10
    Refreshing, original and fun ...
  24. BenP.
    Apr 30, 2005
    10
    This kind of thing is what the DS is all about. Quick, addictive, original, and above all fun. Games that bring non-gamers to the goodness of Nintendo.
  25. Jun 10, 2014
    9
    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.

Awards & Rankings

#9 Most Discussed DS Game of 2006
#31 Most Shared DS Game of 2006
Metascore
71

Mixed or average reviews - based on 49 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 49
  2. Negative: 4 out of 49
  1. Electroplankton doesn't provide thrills as much as it stimulates creativity. One major disappointment is that while Electroplankton does promote art, it doesn't allow you to save anything. [JPN Import]
  2. 80
    Toshio Iwai has captured this very special desire, our need to express ourselves... Silky smooth to the touch, Electroplankton tantalizes the senses. [JPN Import]
  3. If you find yourself even slightly interested, do yourself a favor and give Electroplankton a chance. It is not an experience you'll likely ever come across again. [JPN Import]