The DS version of Elebits’ title is actually “Elebits: The Adventures of Kai and Zero” which is quite a mouthful — I typically just refer to it as Elebits DS. This comes in handy when I’m telling everyone I know who has a DS about it. The first thing I tell them is that it doesn’t play like the Wii game. Elebits DS is a blend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass adventuring and puzzles with the “Gotta catch’em all” mentality of Pokemon.
Without giving too much of the story away, let’s just say that Kai stumbled upon a dimension-traveling bus — no, not the Magic School Bus, which accidentally warped him to another another world. In order to get back to his own world, Kai must find enough Omega Elebits to power the bus home. Unlike regular Elebits, which can be collected by just tapping them and then tapping on your currently selected Omega Elebit before time runs out, Omega Elebits require exploration and puzzle solving to get to.
Each Omega Elebit has a specific power which helps with map exploration. For example, after getting the fire Elebit, Kai can access previously blocked off areas by burning the vines blocking the way. Using each Elebit wisely is all part of progressing through the game. In the beginning, figuring out what I needed to do was easy, but the game picks up in difficulty after about the third Omega Elebit.
Guilty of judging a book by it’s cover, I was surprised when I found myself enjoying the game so much. I thought it would be geared toward younger children, but the crisp, charming graphics and puzzles kept me entertained for a long time. I especially enjoyed figuring out what the trick to each boss fight was. I thought it would become a chore to shake trees and look under rocks for normal Elebits to charge up my battery so that I could turn on levers and open doors, but it became a fun mini-game to see how big of a combo I can get before time runs out.
The story isn’t anything to write home about, but the game-play and puzzle elements make this Elebits game a welcome addition to my DS library. It might be blasphemy to say so, but I enjoyed it more than Phantom Hourglass. It makes me sad that this game will be overlooked by most gamers because of its kiddie cover or the Elebits name. Hopefully, gamers who look past all that will find an adventure game with pleasant graphics and decent puzzles.
Images courtesy of Konami.