More info »



Squid Pro Quo

Troubled history

Octopuses (or octopi if you prefer) have often been regarded as monsters of the deep in countless tales, with the cephalopods being given a bad rap by ancient sailor’s stories of their ships being dragged under by the sea creatures. But although certain species can indeed cause some damage to seafarers and beachgoers, they are intelligent creatures that do little harm to humans in their natural environment.

Tentacular has players taking on the role of a friendly giant Octopus - one with two tentacles (so should that be a Duopus?). Gamers control each of the two tentacles with the VR controllers, using them to catch, throw, build and solve all sorts of puzzles to help the citizens of the island of La Kalma. Given that our hero is quite large, the residents of La Kalma give him a job of sorting shipping containers, and it is during one of the early tasks that we come across a damaged spacecraft with a crystal inside that has strange effects on the locals.

Tasks given to our avatar start off basic and allow gamers the opportunity to slowly gain confidence in the use of the two suctioned arms. Although there is no formal tutorial, the first couple of tasks act as one. Players are asked to complete a range of tasks including catching large objects, stacking shipping containers and moving large objects that would be difficult for the tiny (in contrast to our Octopus character) residents of La Kalma. As players move through the levels, the tasks given also come with some simple puzzle solving required as the local Professor needs help to solve the mystery behind the spacecraft and its crystals.

The controls are relatively simple for each task, but the use of both arms is important. Some tasks can be completed with one arm, but tasks such as stacking objects will require both arms and a good sense of balance. Later missions will have our hero building a range of contraptions, based off plans. These will require further balancing techniques, as players will need to hold some items whilst connecting others. Other tasks will require objects to be placed in a specific order, or in a specific location. The puzzle element certainly gives Tentacular an added ingredient from the standard tasks. Luckily, if players get stuck, there is a reset switch on each mission.

Making use of the hardware

The developers at Firepunchd Games have made wonderful use of the VR headset, ensuring that Tentacular offers a full 360-degree gameplay experience. Although most tasks take place within a 180-210 degree field of view, items will often need to be picked up from behind the player to be used within the assignment, whilst the reset switch sits behind the player.

The world of La Kalma has an Animal Crossing vibe albeit in a slightly more pixelated style. The locals are quite cute, whilst our avatar is reminiscent of the antagonist from Day of the Tentacle (albeit, in duplicate). The mountainous island city has a range of inhabitants that you will each have their own particular look and personality, most with a lively outlook on life, despite the issues at hand. The colourful town also contains a range of buildings that have a character of their own, giving the island a bustling ambience.

Tentacular has provided plenty of VR fun within the hands-on preview. The developers have done a great job of incorporating the full 360-degree range of motion that the Oculus allows and have used the controllers in a variety of functions, ensuring the game doesn’t become stale. The puzzle element only adds to the engaging and somewhat cute storyline as we help out the cheerful citizens of La Kalma.

As always, follow us on Instagram for news updates, reviews, competitions and more.