Tentacle Wars HD is a new strategy game for the iPad from FDG Entertainment. They also brought us quality titles like Blueprint 3D and Beyond Ynth. It’s very similar to games like Eufloria HD, or even more to Galcon. It’s a smart, well designed game with simple mechanics allowing deep strategy, and I loved it. The basic graphics and ambient background music give the game an interesting feel, and there’s even some online multiplayer to enjoy!
Like Galcon or Eufloria, this game is like a real time strategy title in which you take over all the circles on the screen. In this case, the circles represent microscopic organisms in an alien creature’s immune system, and it’s your job to ensure that the bad virus forms are totally eradicated. You do this by sending out tentacles to infect them. Each organism has a life-force number, and basically, the one with the bigger number will win in a one on one fight. However, you can also cut tentacles at different points to send all the life force to an enemy, or back to their source. The strategy comes in knowing which organism to infect when, and outmaneuvering your opponent.
The whole game is controlled through simple gestures, and it’s quite easy to learn, but quite difficult to master. Levels are rated out of three stars based on your completion time and the number of moves you make. The one flaw of the game is that there are not very many single player levels at the moment. More will be added in future updates, but unless you’re interested in getting perfect scores on each level, there’s not much single player re-playability at all. There is, however, a surprisingly active multiplayer with matchmaking from Game Center. I went online and was schooled by better players every time, but I still had fun doing it.
I rather liked the aesthetics, despite being kind of drab. Almost everything is in gray-scale except for organisms, but I rather liked the contrast this created and was pleased that it looked so different from other games. Come to think of it, Tentacle Wars HD resembles a creepier version of Osmos. The ambient sci-fi music definitely fits well given the subject matter. Game Center achievements are also supported here. This is a great strategy title with a lot of nuance and depth. Hopefully it can one day be released for iPhone and iPod Touch users as well. Tentacle Wars HD is available for three dollars at the time of this review, and I highly recommend it to strategy fans.
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