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Soon after the Wii's launch, the main question over its future was whether other developers were going to support it, and how effectively they would be at using the Wii-mote and Nun-chuck. Elebits (Eledees in Europe) was an early sign of a healthy stream of third party games for the Wii.
Puzzle games pose the player a problem to solve, and then provided a limited set of tools with which to solve it. This can be as simple as arranging 2D blocks on top of each other, or as complex as balancing objects in a 3D environment.
The initial interaction is what usually hooks players in for the first few hours, but it is the game's ability to scale both the size and complexity of each puzzle that distinguishes the truly excellent experiences.
Eledees presents the player with a fully furnished room and tasks them with finding the tiny mouse-like Eledees that are hidden within. The Wii-mote is used to point at different objects and maneuver them to reveal the little aliens that can then be collected. As the Eledees are found and absorbed the player can move larger and larger objects.
The tactile interaction of the Wii-mote creates a unique connection between the player and the game as they nudge, toss, throw and turn on the different items in the room to try and find all the aliens. The combination of pointing to lock onto an object then gesturing to move it around is one that works really well. It's an experience that simple wouldn't work on a console without the Wii's controllers, and one that wasn't fully replicated until Boom Blox a good two years later.
As is true with all good puzzle games, after a while you start to forget about the control mechanic. The Wii-mote pointing and gesture interaction creates a real sense of connection between the player and the puzzle space. The best moments in the game come as the player realises they need to catch the Eledees while they sleep for maximum score. Players learn to deftly nudge various objects out the way, audibly holding their breath, so as not to wake the sleeping aliens.
The levels are usually time limited and as such last no longer than ten minutes. You can get through a few in a half hour session, although you may find a little longer is required to progress through later levels. Playing in groups can also extend this time as everyone wants to take their turn, or play co-operatively to achieve higher scores.
Although you can play Eledees sitting down, to get the most out of the controls you really need to be standing. Accordingly you should ensure you have sufficient space to allow for the sweeping movements required to move the objects around. Be mindful of the proximity of the lampshades and other players to ensure neither get clobbered.
The game has a 3+ PEGI ranking with no content descriptors. There is a degree of sci-fi shooting to the game as you use your Ghost Busters like ray gun to collect the Eledees. The back story, told with semi-animated cartoons, features the jealousy of a son over his parents scientific obsession with the Eledees, narrated to dramatic effect. This may potentially unsettle children sensitive to this issue.
Young and novice players may take some time to get used to the Wii's pointing mechanic. Sometimes it seems hard to keep the pointer on the screen never mind a particular object. Children under five will most likely find this too tricky, unless they have exceptional eye hand co-ordination.
With a little practice though older and intermediate players should soon start enjoying the direct control they have. Once mastered the controls become simple and direct - a testament to Konami's early understanding of how best to use the Wii-mote.
Expert players will enjoy repeat playing levels to uncover every secret and collect every Eledee, unlocking additional game modes and extras.
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