Reader Review: Art Style Penta Tentacles

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Alastair does, as he grows his tentacles one ring at a time.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Alastair Christie. If you’ve played Art Style Penta Tentacles, or just want to ask Alastair more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Art Style Penta Tentacles (WiiWare)

Penta Tentacles is the latest Art Style title from Skip. In Penta Tentacles, also known as Rotozoa, you are tasked with guiding a ring-bodied organism with different coloured tentacles that must rotate and travel through water absorbing same-coloured plankton to grow its tentacles. (As one does! - Ed.)


Water Physics: I've no idea if they are right, but they feel just right. As a result, you can't easily approach plankton head-on and the tension as your tentacles tantalisingly drift toward wrong coloured plankton, risking severance at point of contact, is high.

Organic: As your tentacles grow, they become far more of a liability than asset. It's a clever way to ramp difficulty up.

Evolution: Endless modes are too often just playing a normal level, but endlessly. Snake mode evolves endless mode by giving you one tentacle, while the other half of the ring can destroy all plankton, good and bad, messing with your angle of approach again.

Bullet Purgatory: At times the relentless attacks, screen-clearing special items and frantic dodging make Penta Tentacles bullet hell. But at other times Penta Tentacles is the antithesis: tranquil mood, no guns, 12 health, health pickups, striking objects to destroy them and a freaking massive craft bigger than most seen in shmups before. Overall it adds a nice twist to the genre.


Depth: The 20 levels are suitably challenging and replayable, as are snake and endless mode. There is enough content for 600 points, yes. However, the online leaderboards, which capture your time for the levels and score and tail length, would add that little bit more if present in all the modes. The ensuing urgency would balance the tranquility of the game nicely. Konami raised the bar by offering leaderboards for the 500 point Tomena Sanner. Nintendo should respond.

A Japanese developed game about tentacles sounds like a taste, PR and classification disaster. However, Skip have crafted another superb showcase of the series' simple controls and challenging gameplay.

Reviewed by: Alastair Christie

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


    Oops I made that incredibly confusing.
    There are no online leaderboards. But there really should be.

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