is nothing to do in Electroplankton exactly so then
why am I playing it so much? by
10, 2006 - It's
difficult to describe Electroplankton and even more
difficult to predict why you would like such a game.
First of all, Electroplankton is not really a game.
There are no objectives, no scoring, no puzzles, no
combat and no ending. It's something that you play
around with - like a virtual musical instrument. It's
all about manipulating and interacting with the onscreen
characters which creates interesting rhythms and musical
patterns for you immediate enjoyment.
interactive characters are 10 different species of
electronic virtual plankton. These virtual creatures
are aquatic in nature and resemble microscopic organisms.
They move about in patterns and waves and produce
different musical tones, lighting effects and colors.
It's kind of like being in the Surreal Sea Monkey
are 10 different segments, each one featuring different
types of plankton with different interactive styles.
When you get bored with one you move on to the other.
You don't have to unlock them as they are all ready
to play with right out of the box. Some will fascinate
you more than others but all of them are basically
novelties. There is no way to capture or record your
creation to play for others. I think this is a serious
oversight on the part of the developers since being
able to play back your artistic interpretation to
other players could turn this into more than just
a curiosity. There could be competitions and even
concerts - and while that's still a possibility it
would all have to be performed live.
tapping, touching and drawing on the screen you manipulate
and interact with the plankton. You can even communicate
with these creatures via sound. You can use the built
in microphone to blow and sing into as well as melodies
clap out rhythms. There is even a sampling segment
which lets you record anything in your environments
and loop it into a repetitive four-beat musical track.
When you put your headphones on you will experience
total escapism. You can play Electroplankton anywhere
and incorporate sounds from your immediate environment
should you choose not to escape but to manipulate.
is one particular segment that utilizes the stylus.
You draw lines that are followed by the six planktons
which emit piano-like arpeggios. The arpeggio changes
with the direction of the drawn lines and the speed
in which you draw them. To have less notes that are
held for a longer duration the stroke should be slow.
Conversely faster notes require a faster, shorter
stroke. The lines don't have to be straight. You can
experiment with different shapes.
Hanebrow you shoot plankton onto a plant and they
play different tones as they bounce off the leaves.
You can adjust the angle of the shooting cannon so
that you can hit different leaves. The tones cascade,
making it sound like a musical Chinese water garden.
If you manage to bounce onto the same leaf twice it
will turn red and give you a different pitch. If all
of the leaves turn red then the plant will flower.
This is the only segment that gives you some direction.
It rewards you for completing a simple objective.
consists of four plankton that follow a course determined
by 36 arrows. The four plankton travel at different
speeds and produce tones as they pass over the arrows.
All of the arrows can be moved to change the directional
paths of the plankton which in turn changes the tone-producing
pattern. You can move the arrows individually or all
at once but they only turn clockwise.
requires that you touch the screen to create plankton
that look like miniature suns. They pulsate to the
beat and emit different tones depending on their placement
on the screen. They continue to grow and after turning
into moons, they turn back into suns and eventually
burst. You have to tap new ones into existence to
keep the music going.
is the sampling segment. Four different colored fish
move across the screen to a four-beat rhythm. It takes
them four beats to get from start to finish. This
makes for easy visualization. Touch one and it will
turn red indicating that it will begin recording on
the next pass. You can record anything from the sounds
of a TV show, to traffic, a machine, a few swear words
and even a fart or a belch. The trick is to record
these sounds so that they gel with the original beat.
has five circular orbs that glow and spin. They give
off different tones and colors when spinned in different
directions. The notes last as long as you spin the
orbs. You can create some nice harmonies and visual
Snow has a group of 35 snowflake-shaped plankton that
correspond to a note on the piano when you touch one
of them. After you touch one it changes place with
another one. Eventually you won't be able to keep
track of where they all went and the resulting cacophony
will sound like a musical battlefield.
features five snake-like plankton that are positioned
vertically. Each plankton is composed of 10 different
parts including the tail, head and the eight links
that comprise the body. The Mario Bros theme begins
playing and you can add sound effects such as coins,
power-ups, mushroom pulling, jumping and spinning
to the song by hitting different parts of each plankton.
It's similar to Rec-Rec but you use prerecorded samples
instead of your own.
of these segments go deeper than I've just explained.
The more you experiment the more you will discover.
The manual gives you some hints and even spoils some
of the surprises by telling you what shapes you can
uncover in some of the segments.
is a very colorful game with a unique graphic concept
that may be simple but like the game itself, is very
original. These stick figured graphics are somewhat
crude but they are perfect for this game. With grinning
faces they are charming and display traits that make
them seem alive and intelligent - especially when
they mouth your words that you record into the mic.
The sounds are excellent although there are some digital
artifacts that are audible at the end of some samples.
is unstructured. It's a freestyle experience that
allows one to unlock his or her creativity without
fear of judgement. It can be totally engrossing and
incredibly relaxing. It can be pretty daunting to
actually try to compose musical ideas. Electroplankton
is basically for serendipity and should not be considered
a musical instrument. It's like a multi-media abstract
canvas that incorporates the majority of the senses,
with the exception of taste and smell.
not for everyone and that's why I suggest you rent
it first. Within a few minutes you'll know if Electoplankton
is right for you or not.