Elebits Review

"Just what the heck is an Elebit," I asked myself after I was given the assignment of reviewing the game. Was it a small, electrical elephant or was it some sort of a snack to eat? Turns out that it’s none of the above; Elebits are small, friendly electrical creatures that were made by a gigantic lightning storm long ago. The little animals produce electricity, and low and behold, humans had found a new source of power. But something went horribly wrong on one dark and stormy night–the Elebits were frightened and they all began hiding. A young boy named Kai decided that he’d attempt to recapture these little creatures and save the world with the use of his dad’s Capture Gun–what else? If this storyline sounds cute, that’s because it is. But will the cute quotient be enough to make this an entertaining game?

Elebits uses both controllers of the Wii. The nunchuk is used for moving through areas of the game, while the Wiimote serves as the aiming and action device. An in-game tutorial serves as a good starting point for getting familiar with how the game plays and how the controls function.

Think of the game as a mix of hide-and-seek, with a twist of demolition thrown in for good measure. Your assignment is to go through a house to recover Elebits. Since a big storm has caused anything using electricity to stop working, the Elebits that you capture can be used to re-energize things throughout the house. Each little creature has a certain amount of wattage inside its body, and the start of each chapter has a certain power goal you must meet; the more Elebits you capture, the more wattage you’ll accumulate. While this doesn’t sound too difficult to accomplish, missions have time limits and you’ll have to really hustle to get the required number of watts to complete each level.

Some Elebits that you capture will have more value–as far as watts are concerned–while others can help you to level up your Capture gun. This device is used for sucking up the organisms via a capture beam, which is also used to move and levitate objects. As the power of your beam increases, the number of items that you can lift and move will increase. The demolition aspect of the game kicks in when you start to clear things off of bookcases, drawers, tables and other furniture in the house. You’ll be able to literally ransack rooms in search of hiding Elebits. Sometimes, the little buggers will be sound asleep on the floor, making themselves easy pickings for you.

While playing, electrical devices will be available for operation once you have collected the sufficient amount of wattage. For instance, if you accumulate 300 watts, a portable TV or floor lamp may become operable. Once you turn the devices on, a small cache of Elebits are released and these, in turn, will make your gun better and add to your overall wattage total.

As I went from room to room in search of my elusive electrical prey, it was a funny sight to see a group of Elebits scurry whenever I found them–it was sort of like turning on the lights and seeing cockroaches run for cover. They could be found hiding in computers, under chairs, behind closet doors, inside dresser drawers, and even in the toilet. Overturning everything in each room was a strategy that proved useful, albeit a rather messy one.

Whenever a stage is cleared successfully, you’ll sometimes be given the option of playing the level again to obtain a higher score or for editing purposes. Elebits allows you to modify and create new game rooms to share with your friends, or to play for your own pleasure. The editing tools are quite effective, allowing you to easily construct your very own Elebits levels.

Elebits becomes more interesting (and some would say, more frustrating) as the difficulty increases with each level. As stated before, the premise of the title is simple, and this also proves to be the game’s major shortcoming. While the initial experience of using the Wiimote and nunchuk are fun, the actual gameplay starts to become somewhat boring and repetitive. The gimmicks in the game, such as the power-up features, puzzles, and fast pace certainly help–but the game essentially remains on this level, with little more to offer, except the added restriction of not breaking anything during your frantic search for Elebits.

The graphics, animation, and artwork of Elebits are all done very nicely and prove to be one of the strong suits of the game. Kids especially will like the idea of being able to go through the house, overturning everything in sight without getting in trouble with their parents. The little Elebits are as cute as can be, and come in about 20 different varieties, each possessing their own special ability and personality.

The music of Elebits is upbeat, and you can choose from a selection of tracks to suit your mood. Sound effects are good and match the game events well, with the addition of the always-present squealing and squeaking of the little electrical minions.

The gameplay is solid, but lacks real innovation in level design. The game format is repetitive and doesn’t really get off the ground, even though the idea for the title is an excellent one. Elebits is an interesting mix of good graphics, fast-paced action, and cute creatures. But in the long run, the gameplay gets old fairly quickly, and gamers who are looking for a novel experience with the Wii may want to check this title out as a rental at first. Elebits is a decent game that will find its major share of interest with younger kids, or those who like games based on hide-and-seek. The game is definitely cute, but it needs more than that to really rise above the other available titles for the Wii.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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