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iPhone  header logo

Electric Tentacle

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Not that kind of tentacle

Product: Electric Tentacle | Developer: unit9 | Publisher: Chillingo | Format: iPhone | Genre: Arcade | Players: 1 | Version: US | App version: 1.1.4
 
Electric Tentacle iPhone, thumbnail 1
Don't you just hate it when you and five of your closest animal friends are shrunk by aliens and forced to escape by means of bolts of lightning?

No? Well, if the experience above isn't something that you can relate to then you might consider playing Electric Tentacle to see just how much fun can be had with a nano-sized panda and a couple of volts of electric mayhem.

Watt's all this then?

Electric Tentacle is an arcade-style game that casts you in the role of a shrunken animal escaping nanobots intent on returning you to captivity.

Unfortunately, your animal self isn't really capable of doing anything other than floating about idly in its shrunken state, and so you must guide it along with an arc of electricity that resembles a tentacle.

The result of this control style is a navigation system that's as unconventional as it is intriguing.

When you press your finger on the screen your character is drawn to the spot that you touch. Release your finger and your character continues in the same general direction at a gradually diminishing speed.

This tap-to-pull means of locomotion takes a bit of getting used to, and the controls are definitely soft with a lot of play - and margin of error - to the process of slowing your character down, but this feels like an intentional choice by the developers to provide a bit of challenge in the game.

Amp it up

Another challenge comes in the form of the level design. The levels themselves scroll by at a fixed and steady speed, and if you venture too far past the boundaries of the screen your character will meet with a painful off-camera death.

This added challenge makes the uneven sufaces at the top and bottom of the screen seem cute at first, but after playing for a bit you realise that the anthropomorphic scenery is actually there to kill you.

If your poor, shrunken animal winds up stuck behind a crag or a rounded hill it will be quickly shunted off the side of the screen and into the waiting maw of a nanobot.

All of this adds up to an enjoyable experience that, while not particularly deep (I didn't even know the animals were supposed to be shrunken), is extremely addictive. The auto-scrolling of each level creates a great pacing mechanic and the randomised levels never cease to provide a challenge.

Resistance is futile

Electric Tentacle is a perfect game to keep loaded on your iPhone while you're on the go. 

The game's novel approach to continues - which you purchase with the stars you gather in each level and not through a separate currency system - encourages you to sink a bit more time into zapping your shrunken electric panda through the levels, but the urge to go just a little bit further every time is all part of the fun.
 
Electric Tentacle
Reviewer photo
Matthew Diener | 2 October 2012
An enjoyable little title perfect for scratching your mobile arcade gaming itch
 
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