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With the methods by which the Wiiís controller can be used to create a gameplay experience, itís easy to see that a lot of developers are putting out the feelers right now, experimenting with different ideas as they try to figure out what works for a game on the system.  An example of this would be Konamiís Elebits, which charges players with the task of hunting down tiny, playful beings who are hiding in various environments, and getting them back to work.


elebits-1.jpg (51890 bytes) elebits-2.jpg (44544 bytes) elebits-3.jpg (50520 bytes)


How this will play out is that players are plunked in a level, and there are a number of these little elebits hiding all over the place, having a grand old time.  The thing is, though, that theyíre supposed to be acting as a universal power source for pretty much everything, and not romping about.  So, players must look through every nook and cranny in whatever level they find themselves on, and catch these little guys.


Manipulating the various objects does this.  One can zap many of the things they find strewn about a level, moving them out of the way, and uncovering at least a few elebits.  Sometimes players will find themselves moving things they might 



expect to manipulate in a game like this such as furniture, or books, or utensils, but in other cases the situations can be far more fantastical, as they start lifting houses and cars in their hunt for the illusive elebits.


This is where the fun part comes: catching the critters.  The elebits are color-coded, requiring different


wattage levels depending on what color they are in order to be captured, resulting in some being quick to scoop up, and others needed a fairly rigorous zap before they give up.  Of course, they arenít going to just sit there and let players catch them.  If theyíre found out, theyíll high-tail it out of there, and players will have to chase them, and try and zap the now frantically moving target.  Along the way, players can scoop up helpful power-ups to assist them with this task, such as one that acts as a temporary homing device for your zapper.


elebits-4.jpg (43733 bytes) elebits-5.jpg (48283 bytes) elebits-6.jpg (48981 bytes)


Looking at the visual aesthetics of Elebits, it appears that Konami is going for a more simplistic style with color usage playing a more prominent role in setting the gameís graphical tone than fine detail.  It has a bit of a Katamari Damacy sensibility to its visuals.  Itís charming.


From what Konami has shown thus far of the game, it looks like Elebits is the companyís experiment on how to take some less conventional approaches to the Wii when the console launches later this year.  If done right, it could be a very interesting outing with its niche-like qualities.


Mr. Nash

(August 11, 2006)


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