Renowned Japanese electronic artist Toshio Iwai’s beautiful-looking, whimsical music-creation game, Electroplankton, releases for Nintendo DS in the States today. Although wannabe ‘electro-composers’ in the UK are going to have to wait until ‘some unspecified time in Q2 2006’ SPOnG was told today by a Nintendo UK spokeswoman.

Even if, like some at SPOnG, you are arythmical, musically inept and tone deaf, the concept of Nintendo’s innovative Electroplankton – generating music by touching the screen or speaking into the microphone – must surely still appeal. Make Aphex Twin-like electronica classics whilst on the train to work, or, more likely, some quite nice sounding noises whilst you are playing on the toilet (-insert clichéd toilet humour gag here-).

According to today’s press release: “in Electroplankton sounds can be sampled, manipulated, changed and rearranged to help even novices create engrossing beats and harmonies.” SPOnG gave up attempting to make music when failing to pass Grade 2 Cello in our younger teenage salad years. Plus also because the harder boys on the school bus called us bad homophobic names for having a big instrument. So, finally, through the power of Electroplankton there may still be hope for us to creatively express ourselves musically yet.

The press release goes on to tell us that we can compose music ranging from techno beats to ethereal rhythms, wherever inspiration strikes (which actually usually is the toilet). The gameplay in Electroplankton is stunningly simple. Players/users choose one of 10 music-making modes and dive right in. One mode lets users manipulate the leaves of a plant using the touch screen. As colourful plankton launch into the air, they bounce off the leaves in melodic combinations. Another mode acts as a sampler. Users record up to four different sounds with the microphone and then layer them over drum loops to create a personalized beat.

"Electroplankton is a great way to kick off what promises to be an exciting year for Nintendo," says Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's chubby-cheeked executive vice president of sales & marketing. "It's the kind of casual game that will attract a broad audience and help Nintendo DS continue to expand its lead as the most popular new hand-held system."

SPOnG wants to hear your best efforts - send 'em in and we'll run an Electroplankton top ten. Winners get a record contract, or something, with Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh to act as their managers. Or maybe just a pen.