System: Nintendo DS
Release date: 2006
Shortly after Electroplankton arrived on my doorstep a few weeks ago, an astute Twitter friend of mine suggested I "approach it as a musical playground. Don't look for faults, just have fun experimenting." That seems to be advice everyone should follow after booting up this Toshio Iwai-designed title. Another worthy piece of advice for Electroplankton newbies: Skip the rather yawn-inducing "audience" mode and go straight for the "performance" mode, where you're able to interact--using the DS' microphone and/or touchscreen--with any of the game's 10 music-making plankton. My favorite is Rec-Rec, by the way, since it allows you to create, using the DS' microphone, simple--four-track, four-second--songs. Beatnes, which lets you embellish--by tapping on the diamond-shaped heads, spines and tails of some particularly peculiar-looking plankton--a quartet of well-known Famicom/NES tunes, is a close second. Sadly, you can't use more than one type of plankton at a time, nor can you save any of your creations. Don't let that keep you from giving Electroplankton a try, though; this digital instrument is well worth the price of admission if you're a music junkie--or even if you just like DS releases that utilize the dual-screened system and its distinctive features in enjoyably unique ways.
See also: Previous 'Great Gaymathon' posts