Is it a game? Sort of, in the same way a Piano or Guitar is a game. I consider it more of a device for musical exploration. Indeed, some electronic musicians have even found a way to work it into their set mixes.
Electroplankton is a truly unique experience (like many DS games). While its not really a game, I find I have a lot of fun with Hanenbow, Rec-Rec, and Beatnes modes. Hooking the headphone line to a recording device lets you save beats for posterity, or to be mixed with other sounds and beats.
I highly recommend this game, especially for younger gamers who have an interest in music (even older gamers like me, I'm 24, can get something out of it, too.
As everyone has already stated, yes, Electroplankton isn't exactly a game. It is more of a musical experience. Here's my list of points for what's what with this game.
- Uses the touch screen in varying ways, all with very high accuracy. - Music sounds are fairly crisp and clean, sound decent when arranged correctly. - Some of the Plankton have very innovative ways of producing their music, makes you think a bit about how to use them. - Very colorful and vibrant art throughout, though there isn't much in the way of backgrounds, they would end up distracting from the game too much anyway.
- With only 10 types of Plankton, there isn't much room for variety. Game gets repetetive quickly. - For any plankton that record sound, the quality of said sound is quite poor. I suspect this relates to the DS not having enough memory to hold decent sized recordings. - Several Plankton feel too random. You touch them, an they feel like they would produce decent music, if only you could interact with them in a more clean way. Who in the world wants a piano with keys that randomly swap themselves while you play??
Overall, I think Electroplankton is a great timewaster kind of game. Something you could pick up for 5-10 minutes at a time to fiddle with, while waiting for something else to happen. That being said, any -serious- time you have to pass would be better spent with games that have more.. well.. game to them. Again, this manages to serve as a good tech demo, and works for what it was supposed to be.. interactive art. It does not however work as a game. So, I can't really recommend buying. Do try to rent it, tho! You may find you like it anyway, an wanna keep it on a shelf somewhere, to pull down when you feel bored and inspired.
This is not only my first rental, but my first review for Game Fly. Electroplankton is not a game, it's more of fidget toy of sorts. It has he potential to be a great beat maker but is missing some of the essentials to really make it something worth carrying around with your DS and choice few games. A save/record feature would be nice, and it wouldn't hurt if had options for controlling the game. It has several different "plankton" life forms (beat makers) to chose from, all though the last one is more of a voice modifier than a beat maker, its still fun to mess around with. Head phones make this game really come to life, and for added fun while on the run, hook your DS up to your car stereo with an audio tape adapter for tunes on the road. I hooked my DS up to my 5.1 at home and that really made it fun. Overall, I'd say its fun for a day, but the beat maker hidden in the Game Boy Camera (for the OG Green screen GB) is not only stronger in terms of options, it also sported 3 saves, and you could put your face on the D.J. behind the two turn tables and cut up your saved beats!