There have been a few Windows Phone 7 exclusives, some good, some not so good. Tentacles is an exciting and highly original game that really gives Windows Phone 7 owners something to lord over their Android and iPhone owning friends.
Essentially a platform game, the title is a pseudo 3D trek around the body of a scientist. You control a back blob that consists of an eyeball, three tentacles and claws. Created by the scientist in an accident, you must journey through the doctors insides, killing and avoiding enemies and traps and generally being a bit evil.
Yes, its nice to play the bad guy once in a while, but what is even nicer is when a brand new control system rears its head that instantly proves itself to not only work, but work brilliantly. The game is comprised of corridors that the beast hangs between on its three long tentacles. Touching a wall makes him shoot a tentacle, attaching to the wall. Touch another wall and the second tentacle attaches, and tapping a third makes the last one grip to the surface, and so the creature moves along.
You can move as quickly as you can press the screen, and the eyeball thing has an elasticity that responds to every movement, making it react as you would expect as it swings through the levels like an horrific one-eyed spider.
It feels great, is instantly intuitive and, even though the concept seems bizarre, you will find yourself guiding the shadowy being through the levels as if there have been games like this around for years. You can kill some enemies by touching them to make a tentacle reach out and grab their eyes out. Not nice, but strangely satisfying.
Along the walls are obstacles such as blades to avoid, and you must learn how to get your centre of gravity in the right place at the right time, particularly when there can be currents pushing you in different directions. Sometimes you will get chased through sections by antiviral streams, where speed is of the essence, by most of the time you will be carefully picking your way though tricky levels.
There are boss battles, and some of them are really inventive and make good use of the unique mechanic of the game. Your progression on each stage is marked out of three stars, for collecting items, speed and the special conditions. These special conditions take place on certain sections, and some of them may be to simply get from A to B as quickly as possible, and some require you to take no damage on difficult areas. These parts of the game are a highlight and will keep you coming back after you have finished the 40 levels on offer.
The graphics are excellent, especially on the main character, who is superbly animated and has a very sinister look and has the feel of a hunter. The levels are suitably icky and gory to look at, but are not as special as the creature. There are some cut scenes sprinkled around to let you know what is going on with the story, but I felt they didn’t really fit in, style wise with the action of the game.
It is a quiet game, but there are some nice music tracks playing as you progress. This is an Xbox Live title, so the required Achievements and online leaderboards are present and correct. The main story will take a couple of hours to go through, and I’m sure that collecting all the stars will keep completionists happily entertained for an extra couple of hours.
I think this app is a no brainer for gamers on Windows Phone 7. It is a little lacking in content and does get a little repetitive as you go forward, but for the great, innovative gameplay and creepy feel, this highly original title is something to be proud of on WP7.