Codex Gamicus

Electroplankton is a media art "video game" developed by the famous Japanese multimedia artist Toshio Iwai and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS portable gaming system. This unique software allows one to interact with animated "plankton" and create music through one of ten different "plankton themed" interfaces. This title is commonly not regarded as a video game in the fullest sense because there is no objective, timer, or top score. Everything that the game has to offer is available from the beginning. The first-run edition of Electroplankton in Japan came bundled with a set of blue colored ear bud headphones.




There are ten different plankton to chose from, each with different attributes, sounds, and personalities. The Plankton are as follows:

  • Tracy
  • Hanenbow
  • Luminaria
  • Sun-Animalcule
  • Rec-Rec
  • Nanocarp
  • Lumiloop
  • Marine-Snow
  • Beatnes
  • Volvoice

Game Modes[]

The game only offers two game modes -- Performance and Audience. Audience mode simply allows the user to put down the system and enjoy a continuous musical show put on by all of the plankton. The Performance mode is considered to be the beef of Electroplankton, allowing the user to interact with the plankton with the use of the stylus, touchscreen, and microphone.


  • L & R: Change plankton in Audience Mode.
  • X & Y: Zoom In/Out of current action.
  • Start: Pause
  • Select: Different action depending on plankton.
  • A: Different action depending on plankton.
  • B: Return to previous screen.
  • D Pad: Different action depending on plankton.


After long delays, the game was released in November 2005 on Nintendo's website and Nintendo's New York store as a limited release game. By January 2006, the game was officially released to retailers.

In May 2006, Nintendo created the Touch Generation label in North America, denoting games that are for casual game players. Electroplankton became one of the first games re-released under that banner.

See also[]

  • Jam With the Band - A music game developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS.
  • SimTunes - A PC game created by Electroplankton designer Toshio Iwai.

External links[]