Platform: Nintendo DS
Nintendo is on a mission to bring video games to the masses with their DS system, and with Elektroplankton comes their most original title in years. Created by multimedia artist Toshio Iwai, Elektroplankton isn’t so much a “game” as it is a piece of interactive art, and is only available through the online store at nintendo.com, and at select retailers. Using the touch screen and stylus, the player manipulates beautifully rendered abstract plankton-like characters in order to create a wide variety of sounds, through ten different play modes.
They range from simple bell-like tones to synthesized strings, to full-on voice samples coming from the DS’s built-in mic combined with a variety of beats. There is even a mode for manipulating classic NES sounds to a set rhythm for the old-school gamers out there. Now, if you are an avid gamer, this title is probably not for you, as it has no set goals, no score to keep, and ultimately very little to actually define it as a video game. The lack of a save feature for your creations is also a major bummer for the more musically inclined, though it is possible to run audio output from the DS to a computer or tape player to record live. Still, this is a title that begs to be seen and played, if for nothing else than to show what is possible in the video game medium.