Tentacular is silly, sweet, and seriously chaotic
Hey big guy! You know what today is? I’ll give you a hint — I made you your favorite cake! Give up? It’s your 16th birthday! So exciting! Seems like the perfect day to let you know that you’re adopted! What? Don’t look at me like that, you surely must have guessed by now that you were? No? I can’t imagine why not — you’re not even human like the rest of the family, but an enormous tentacled beast towering over everyone else! You haven’t even been inside our home, how did you not… nevermind — happy birthday! Now go get a job!
Such is the premise of Tentacular, a physics-based VR game that’ll have players trying to find where they fit in as a really, really, really big fish in a small pond. Currently in development by Firepunchd Games with publishing being handled by Devolver Digital, Tentacular already has all the makings of a fan favorite title with its silly gameplay, endearing premise, and environments that are just begging to be messed with. Available on Steam and compatible with HTC Vive, Oculus, and Valve Index, a plethora of VR players should be able to get their suckers on Tentacular; the real challenge will be trying to put it down (gently).
As previously mentioned, Tentacular has players taking on the role of a gentle giant cephalopod who has just turned 16. This is a momentous occasion for the colossal kaiju, as they’ve become an official citizen of their quaint little island community of La Kalma. Of course, this also means that they’ll need to seek employment, as per the city’s rules; so, they’ll need to undergo rigorous testing to ascertain exactly which role the giant sea monster should take on. All the while, players will be mulling about what it means to be non-human, adopted, and part of a family. A big day for a big, benevolent beast!
My first impression with the game is massively different than what I had gathered from the trailer; for one, destruction really isn’t the name of the game (although it may happen inadvertently). Instead of causing chaos on purpose, Tentacular asks players to become La Kalma’s resident handyman (tentaclyman?), fulfilling citizens’ requests that they’d otherwise struggle to accomplish due to their small stature. Stacking containers, cleaning up waterlogged debris, and general heavy lifting are all part of the job, and hey — because you’re a newbie, they’ll let the occasional yeet into the sun slide.
Although Tentacular positions players as a gentle giant, the urge to rampage like a child in a toy-filled bathtub is pretty strong. And that’s okay — in fact, there’s a sandbox mode outside of the storyline where that’s positively encouraged. But destroying everything in sight is just as fun as trying to be delicate, whether it be carefully stacking and balancing random junk to lightly patting humans on the head to get them to speak to you. I’m getting delightfully massive Jettomero vibes as I do my best to help humans, even if my assistance isn’t exactly as expected.
Even at this pre-release stage, I don’t have any real complaints for Tentacular. It has creative puzzles, colorful environments, and cute characters that’ll immediately make their home in your heart. But its surprising depth is what’ll make players stick around, its genuinely endearing story about identity-exploring, discovering ones roots, and what it means to be part of a family and community never lost for a moment. I hope you packed some floaties for your inner child, as they’re gonna want to play Tentacular until they prune.
Be sure to check out Tentacular on Steam today!