Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin, a visually rich and surreal experience that is complimented with a fittingly creepy music score, is the type of game Tim Burton (when he made great films), would love. Starting off with a beautifully rendered animation sequence, the storyline centers on a parasite named Lemmy who accidentally ends up in a mad scientist's body. Can you survive in his body or will you end up a floating particle to eventually be flushed away? Originally made for the Windows phone, the game can now be enjoyed by iPhone and iPad users. If the game's opening moments don't grab you, hang on to your seat, as life inside a dolphin dude's body just gets weirder.

The object of the game is to survive in Dr. Phluff's body, and armed with four tentacles to move, navigating your way, at first, is not too difficult. Within seconds you will be met with floating eyeballs that you can reach out to kill and eat to increase your score. Racking up a high score is important, as these points serve as your health meter during the game. Whether it's his spleen or colon, every inch of the scientist's body is a danger zone for Lemmy, and be prepared to be squished or torn apart if you don't move your tentacles in a timely fashion.

While the eyeballs are easy enough in the opening level, the difficulty meter dramatically rises throughout the game. Although it may be a breeze to walk from tentacle to tentacle with a simple finger tap on the screen, try navigating Lemmy during a time trial or over a row of teeth. At times certain tentacles wouldn't react to my taps, which led to either my death or a failed time trial challenge. If I wasn't playing in such a breathtaking world, my patience might have worn thin with the control issues.

Credit should also go to the game's hypnotic and diverse music. Although the title screen features a haunting track that would be perfect to play during Halloween to scare the kids, the actual score for the game varies with each challenge and provides compelling enough ambient sounds to keep things interesting. If you want to invite a guest over for dinner, put the game on pause and just let the mood music play. I've heard worse sounds come out of hipper-than-thou restaurants in L.A., so just based on the music component, Tentacles: Enter The Dolphin is a worthy download.

With all the arresting images and first rate wall of sound created in Tentacles: Enter The Dolphin, I truly wanted to love the actual gameplay. It's simply too easy to die in the game, especially if your tentacles aren't in synchronicity with your finger tapping. Since it succeeds on so many other levels, I'm willing to overlook a few of its flaws, even if those crazy, eyeball eating tentacles are the death of me.

 

App Store Link: Tentacles: Enter The Dolphin for iPhoneiPad | By Microsoft Corporation | Price: Free | Version: 1.0 | 183 MB | Rating 4+
7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating