Games are principally designed to be addictive, often retaining your attention for a longer duration of time. The Tentacle Wars proves to be a part of the tradition, reminding us of the earliest games found on mobile phones with simple characters reminiscent of a biology text page.
My biology lessons are far from perfect. But when I got a first glimpse of the Tentacle Wars edition released by FDG Entertainment, I had a nostalgic feel reminiscent of the lessons I missed out when we were asked to draw out a number of amoeba and paramecium diagrams without understanding where they would be applied. But, in this particular case, I well understood the purposes of the game looking at the variety of wavy forms set in the backdrop with two or more entities floating on it.
First of all, it is as simple as it gets and entices first time players and regulars alike! The game is divided into 40 single-player levels which show a gradual increase in the difficulty level and are easy to progress. Every player can enjoy the various permutations in each level by understanding the basic concept of the organisms which resemble a microorganism. A real-time strategy game, it involves the existence of two kinds of organisms represented by two different colors (red and green), pretty much like the invading cells and defending cells of a body. Both the entities reflect the same properties attacking each other with the ‘tentacle’.
The energy level of each cell is affected by the extension of the tentacle. And just like Darwin’s law, the stronger cells annihilate the weaker cells. On linking the tentacles with other cells, one can convert the weaker cells into their own fold. The various levels of the game display more than a single set of cells with the players getting an option to create an army of their own to take down the invading cells. With each passing level, the situations are modified with neutral cells which need to be possessed or the presence of obstructions or barriers separating the cells, demanding an alternative strategy. In between you can even encounter more foreign elements (in gray) which counter both the cells for gaining foothold. The cells recharge with each passing moment so it finally becomes a matter of good timing that you progress from one level to another. The cells also drift slowly away from each other with passing time in case you fail to respond in time.
Well, the simple design and the various energy loops which one can experiment with make the game an interesting addition to your iPhone. It is a matter of numbers through which one can gain victory and the game does not rest on predictability as players can easily come back from a losing situation as well with some strategic moves. The most important thing is to use their tentacles wisely and generate more embryos for achieving a win.
The latest multiplayer mode in the game adds variety to the affair with new strategies and modifications implemented by the players themselves. One can customize their own colors in the multiplayer mode and link with any of their online friends irrelevant of their location. The multiplayer for now offers only a limited setting but hopefully one could see more maps with an upgrade. It does offer more unpredictability than the single player mode but does add the ‘insult’ factor if you lose to your own buddy. Well, you can always play till you recover your strategies and achieve the positive result!
Well, after the good lesson in biology, I do distinguish my green from the red and try to approach each of the levels with a new eye. Although, sometimes disappointment sets in when you see some of the soldier cells getting dissipated within moments of an attack. But one has to live through that to fight another ‘way’! If you are all for biological warfare and that too at the micro level, then this would be an interesting addition to your iPad or iPhone proving to be a good buy at $0.99.