Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin Review

By , on October 12, 2012

Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin
Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5


  • Unique control scheme that despite its oddity, feel quite organic.
  • Immersive visuals.
  • Original premise.


  • It feels like more could have been done with the concept.


Controlling a mutant inside the body of a mad scientist with a Dolphin head has never been a more enjoyable gaming experience.

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2012 must be the year of the tentacle (which sounds like a great sequel to the famous Lucasarts adventure game). How else can you explain not one but two highly unique, and successful games based about an octopus’ numerous noodly appendages? Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin, made by Microsoft Studios, out of all unlikely developers is a tale of a lab created abomination named Lemmy, who is swallowed by his creator, the mad scientist Dr. Phluff (who has the head of a dolphin), and has to use his cunning, but mostly his tentacles to escape.

Lemmy is controlled by tapping the screen. It's not as simple as that of course. Lemmy has three tentacles for moving, and one for attacking. Upon tapping a surface, a tentacle will jet out and attach itself. Another tap will move the second tentacle, and a final tap the third. Momentum is distributed evenly between the three tentacles, so having two on one surface will sway Lemmy more in that direction. It sounds odd, and while it does take a level or two to get used to, it will then click, and its elegance will be apparent as you dodge and weave through the various tracts of Dr. Phluff's body.

Mastery of movement is paramount if you wish to collect the challenge stars in each level. They appear in the form of a speed or damage challenge, where the goal is either to get through the gauntlet without taking damage, or to speed through as quickly as possible. The star you gain as a reward goes towards the three star total, with the other two being for collecting all the orbs, and for making it to the end without dying. The orbs give you points, but these points are also tied to your health (although a direct attack can kill you without depleting this resource).

The inside of a scientist's body is much more fascinating than disgusting, and that kind of encapsulates the entire visual experience of Tentacles. Each new level brings a new experience, although the gameplay, while slowly increasing in finesse of control and difficulty, doesn't change too much as you play through. It feels like the concept could have been stretched a little more, but as it is with the premise, the unique and tight controls, and plenty of levels to play through, Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin is worth the price of admission, and an easy recommendation.


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