Electric Tentacle starts off with a rather sad premise, as you are one of a group of animals who are zapped down to a diminutive size by your enemies. Using your electric powers, you can zap back at the bad guys as you try to save your friends from getting eaten.

The screen begins with an extremely somber piano score that would snugly fit into a heavy drama like Atonement or even a haunting flick like The Others. It's actually a beautiful medley, and seeing your character encased in a holding pad, getting charged up with electricity and surrounded by a sky of deep blue is surprisingly melancholic. As far as openers go, Electric Tentacle blasts off in an entirely unexpected, yet effective manner.

A simple touch on the screen, however, and the sad undertones are washed away as you are immediately chased by hungry, determined monsters. Navigating through the game requires holding a finger on the screen to harness your animal's electric powers as he collects stars, racks up high scores, and hopefully vanquishes his enemies in the process. Killing the nasty critters is not an easy task, as they are only vulnerable when opening their mouth. Your character also travels at a pretty fast pace, and it may take a few stabs to feel comfortable flying around Electric Tentacle's universe. Expect a few early deaths in the beginning, especially when the monsters can hunt you down in a matter of seconds.

Dying in Electric Tentacle is not such a big deal if you're a high score junkie. The more stars you collect, the higher your score, and you can use these points to continue your game whenever you meet your maker. It's pretty much a sensory visual overload with Electric Tentacle, and coupled with the rapid pace of the game, it's really hard not to get caught up in the title's intense environment. Don't let the level of difficulty deter you from playing, as most Chillingo games are worth playing solely for their eye-catching surroundings. If you simply want to stare at the lovely pictures, the game has a save photo feature which will download pictures to your camera roll. I'm currently using one of the game's images as my iPad wallpaper, and it looks absolutely stunning. Another highpoint are the upgrade features. If you want stay with the game, you can change your character into a hippo, monkey, or a tiger. With the purchase of blizzards, you are able to slow down your animal from crashing into the monsters. Another important store purchase are shields, which grants you temporary protection.

The opening moments of Electric Tentacle should immediately draw you in, and if you're completely fine with failing for the first five or ten minutes, it's a game that should keep you satisfied. And trust me, that opening piano score is a keeper.


App Store Link: Electric Tentacle for iPhoneiPad | By Chillingo Ltd | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.14 | 36.7 MB | Rating 4+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating