We all love Wii; it’s impossible not to. It’s the console that has put simple, stupid fun back on the map. It has given us a much needed rest from endless tales of chunky marines wielding chunkier weapons against alien scum in gloomy, alien locations, and brought back the idea of sitting around the telly playing games that your sister, your dad – heck, your grandma – could enjoy. But much as we love it, we can’t help but feel that a subtle scent of disappointment is beginning to cloud the air.
You see, after all the promise of revolutionary controls and thrilling, physically interactive game experiences, the reality comes down to this: we can basically cram all Wii games released so far into three basic categories. First, we have the genuine disasters; the useless cross-platform ports with Wii controls shoe-horned in and the ropey original concepts made worse by a rotten control scheme. Secondly, we have the novelty efforts. These games make excellent use of the Wii remote (and nunchuck where appropriate) and get the whole household excited for a day or two, but all too soon it becomes apparent that these games simply don’t have any staying power. Once the novelty factor wears off, the game goes back to its box and the Wii goes back on the shelf. Only a few games make the last category – the game that successfully marries the innovations of the Wii platform to a deep or at least hugely addictive game experience. At the moment, you can count these titles on one hand (or if you’re so grumpy that you only count Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, one finger).
This needs to change if the Wii is to go beyond being a short-term success, but at the moment the initial flood of Wii titles has pretty much slowed down to a trickle. This puts Eledees, once known as Elebits, in an interesting position. On first impression, it’s a game that belongs firmly in category two, but give it time and it slowly dawns on you that it’s actually pushing for a place in category three.
Here’s how it works: in the Eledees world, electricity doesn’t work according to our laws of physics, but instead is dictated by the existence of a horde of cute little electrical sprites – the titular Eledees. You’re the child of two scientists who study Eledees for a living. One night there’s a mysterious blackout emergency affecting your small town, and your parents run off to investigate, leaving you alone in a dark house with nothing but your father’s capture gun for company. Keen to get things going again, you go out on the search for the little Eledees. You’ll find them loitering in cupboards, hiding under household objects and generally skittering around on shelves. By pointing the capture gun at small objects and firing, you release an energy stream that can move these objects around. By moving objects around, you uncover Eledees. Shoot them with the capture gun, and it charges up with electrical energy. You can then use this energy to power certain household items, and these release special Eledees that, when you capture them, ‘power-up’ your capture gun so that it can lift heavier items and – hey presto – uncover more Eledees. To make things even trickier, some of these items require a little extra manipulation, like finding bread to put in the toaster or popcorn to put in the microwave, or using the remote as a virtual key to set the clockwork motion of a Cuckoo Clock in action.