Moving houses with Eledees (Wii)

I haven’t written for our blog in a while – because I’m moving house! As I sit here, surrounded by boxes, suitcases, bags and random objects, I feel inspired to write about the ultimate moving-house-wish-fulfillment game (I wish I had a capture gun right now). Eledees, also known as Elebits in the US, was one of the first games to be released on the Wii, but you wouldn’t know it because it’s one of those many underrated Wii gems.

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Finding wonder and joy in the everyday…

I often sit back and consider how the Wii’s family friendly reputation is a disservice to games like Eledees. Other similar titles that come to mind are Little King’s Story and Zack and Wiki; these games can be challenging for even the most seasoned players, and are likely to be near impossible for children, their apparent target audience, despite the cutesy characters and E for Everyone-rated storyline. Eledees will certainly appeal to players under the age of 13, but I think the most enjoyment will come from returning to the game and getting S ranks which requires dexterous adult hands.

The plot is simple. Eledees are cute creatures that are the world’s source of electricity. You play as Kai, the son of researchers who are researching these mysterious creatures. You wake to find yourself alone during a blackout. It seems some kind of thunderstorm has sent the Eledees into hiding, and your parents have, rather irresponsibly, left you with a Capture Gun while they flounce off to investigate (typical academics). You use the gun to restore the electrical power by collecting the Eledees. The goal of the game is to pick up objects using the Wii controls, shake objects, throw them about and generally allow anarchy to reign in order to find and collect the Eledees. I don’t think any other Wii game quite captures the joy of the Wii motion controls as well as Eledees, particularly the sense of freedom of movement. There’s nothing more joyful than going absolutely batshit crazy when you are finally let out of the house and into the neighborhood, chucking cars, lorries, and even buildings, into the air! It definitely redefines the term ‘first person shooter’.

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The Wii can barely cope with the enormity of some actions: the slowing framerate is actually rather charming and makes you feel weirdly powerful #wiimastery

Don’t think that you can just go crazy all the time though: what makes Eledees challenging is that it is fundamentally a puzzle game akin to Portal, although it’s not as puzzley. There are time limits and noise limits, so controlled carnage becomes the byword of the later stages. This can feel restrictive after all that earlier freedom, but add-ons to the gun, such as the vacuum and the noise eliminator, adds variety and depth to the hide-and-seek formula. Although the levels outside were firm favourites – especially the amusement park, which includes a Silent Hill 3 reference that’ll please fans – all the levels offer replay value aplenty. One of the earliest levels on the landing by your bedroom is easy if all you want is a C. If you want the S rank though, it will take a lot of time and effort, as well as an upgraded gun – getting that S rank was HARD. I shook that Wiimote until my wrist gave way trying to find those last few Eledees – it was hopelessly addictive.

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Spot Robbie the Rabbit…he looks a bit less bloody in Eledees, but still creepy.

Do well and you can unlock the mini-game challenges for each level. Seemingly impossible at first, they are little self-contained puzzles, often as short as 10 seconds long. Often the combination of the time limit and the weirdness of the set-up had me scratching my head for days, but these little challenges are immensely satisfying when you eventually beat them. Now back to packing which, might I add is a very sad affair: a house without games is not a home. My games/consoles have been packed away for over a week now and I’m beginning to get very unladylike cravings to rip open the boxes and spend a good few hours ripping open boxes in Eledees. If only packing was as much fun 😦

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5 comments

  1. themancalledscott

    I admit I didn’t fully appreciate Elebits in its day, but I see it staring at me from one of my shelves right now, so it’s probably time for a revisit. I thought the control felt great. Being one of the earlier Wii games, motion controls still seemed so amazing. Something about Elebits reminded me of Ghostbusters (probably all the zapping). As you said, the Wii gets such a bad rep because of all the shovelware (though I don’t understand why it and its successor seem to be the only consoles that are judged by their shovelware instead of their great games). Games like Elebits, Zack & Wiki (a personal Wii favorite) and others gave the console a wonderfully unique identity.

  2. YvoCaro

    I don’t think I ever saw the game here in the Netherlands, but I do remember reading about it years ago and being intrigued by the concept of the game. So, a true gem? Thanks for making me remember!

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