Tentacle Wars – Get Tangled with this Strategy Game
It can be argued that Tentacle Wars is not just a real-time strategy (RTS) game but a puzzle game as well. This fascinating single-player strategy game is actually based on a popular Flash Game with gazillion of fans in which you control antibody cells in an organism and you have to attack the bad cells to save an alien from extinction. This Android game was really challenging, fun and can be compared to another game – Galcon – though Tentacle Wars is by far more appealing both in visuals and audio. Galcon uses an outer space theme focused on players to capture planets while Tentacle Wars utilizes an alien body where you have to fight off bad bacteria for the host to survive.
Good cells are colored green and you are tasked to capture enemy cells. To improve your chances, you have to secure gray neutral cells. Keep an eye on the power of the cell as indicated in its center. This separates Tentacle Wars from other RTS games as you have to use the tentacles to link up and transmit antibodies. If the number is low, the tentacles will be short to reach your targeted cell. The tentacles can extend its reach for as long as you have the power (high number inside). To start launching an attack, you just have to draw a line from your green cell to your preferred target. You can aim for the enemy cells and drain its health, zero in on neutral cells to claim it or direct to your own cells to move energies. Also, each cell has a power limit. It cannot absorb more than its threshold and has limit on the number of connections it can make which causes you to create a strategy on the fly. For me, it is a numbers game. You just have to time perfectly your moves to run over and defeat the bad viruses.
You start off the game with a 5-level tutorial. Your guide is a female voiceover which is surprisingly good. She will introduce you to other-worldly scenery. Her voice is pretty detached and rather cold but she carry necessary info for you to succeed. Moreover, the soundtrack, just like the setting, gives a dark feel which fits appropriately with the game’s theme.
Tentacle Wars has simple game mechanics. Though some of the levels are challenging, you can get a perfect three-star rating at the end of each level if you connect all of your antibodies, use every possible tentacles, claim neutral cells early, try to get the middle cell where most of the action happens and do all of it in no time.
Remember when I told you that this RTS game is also a puzzle game. It shows when the puzzle elements are introduced like having complicated placement of cells. One other thing to look out for is barriers as it blocks your path to an easier connection with various cells spread out in each level. When you find your pathway blocked, just find another route. Some stages can only be overcome if you attack it in a certain way. I found myself playing again some tough levels. Try not to worry when you get stuck. There is a power-up vaccine where you can inject to enemy cells to capture it immediately. You are given 5 vaccines at the beginning. If you used all of the medicines, you can buy via in-app purchase additional 5 vaccines for €1.00. In addition, the jam-packed (80 missions) campaign mode is a branching one which means you can still move on to other levels if you can’t get past one. The replay value of the game is high even if you complete the campaign mode as there’s the optional random level generator and you can also get three stars on each stage, if you haven’t done so in the beginning.
The setting of Tentacle Wars is inside an alien life form which goes to show that inside a Martian body are dark elements. Yes, the color may be dull but there are already cells and other life forms spread out in the background. I would wish that it will feel more organic if the background has a little life into it but, after second thoughts, I thought it might actually disrupt with the enemy colored cells. Likewise, there are a few animations that go behind the scene.
Other gamers may be put off by the frequent pop-up that asks for a review. Additionally, to access the random level generator, you have to write a review as well. Personally, I will mostly likely do a review once I finished the game. I’m quite forgetful as I’ve been on surgery twice where I was injected with anesthesia, so you may remind me if I forgot but only for a few times, please.
Tentacle Wars is covered with dark audio and visuals and may feel unworldly though the simple game mechanics will keep you gripped for quite some time. I would highly recommend this to RTS fans and for those who just want a unique gameplay experience.