We don’t often praise Microsoft here at Cult of Mac, but with this game they’ve got almost everything right. It’s a cool action-adventure romp with great visuals and a sense of humor. The only thing that leaves me boggling is the ridiculous name: “Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin.” I beg your pardon?
You play the part of a microscopic artificial lifeform (“Lemmy”) created in a petri dish by mad scientist Dr Phluff. I’d probably go mad too, if I had the head of a dolphin, but there you go. Anyway, by means of a laboratory accident best left to the games introductory animated sequence, you end up inside Phluff’s gut. And that’s where the fun starts.
Lemmy’s tentacles are very good at stretching out impossibly far, so you can reach out and pull yourself through Phluff’s blood vessels and various other bodily cavities. One tentacle is different from the others: it ends with a pair of pincers, which you must use to chomp passing floating eyeball things. Why floating eyeballs? I have no idea. Must be something to do with being half-man, half-dolphin.
Silliness and the name aside, Tentacles is actually quite fun to play. It’s aimed at children (not very young ones) but can be a fun distraction for players of all ages. The pace gets very fast, requiring some furious screen-tapping to escape the various hazards. It’s mostly about the speed, though. Accuracy doesn’t matter so much. Some of the levels can feel a bit repetitive, but I suspect the younger you are, the less that matters.
The simplicity of the controls, added to the brief nature of most of the levels, makes it a good pick-up-and-play-anywhere kind of game. It looks good and it sounds great – the sound effects are particularly effective, such as the “crrrrunch” sound you hear when you eat one of the eyeballs. Yummy.
All in all, Tentacles has made a successful transition from Windows to iOS, and is excellent value for money at just one dollar. It’s Universal, too, and I’d say the game works much better on iPad – you get to enjoy the squidgey, gooey Phluff interiors in much better detail. The only downside is for iPhone 5 owners, who will be disappointed to see that the game’s not optimised for that device yet. It’s medium-sized for a game, requiring about 180MB of storage space on your device.
I don’t get to write the words “Microsoft did a good job here,” very often, so I’ll write them again just to make sure: Microsoft did a good job here. Despite the name (what were they thinking?), Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin is cheap, fun entertainment.
Source: iOS App Store.