Review – Tentacular

A few months ago, Devolver Digital announced they were going to publish a game for the Oculus Quest 2. I had no freaking idea what to expect from it, but damn if I wasn’t stoked. The craziest publisher in the business releasing a game for the most innovative piece of tech the industry has seen in a while? How couldn’t I be hyped for it? Upon its initial reveal, I still had no clue of what Tentacular was going to be, but it looked weird, wacky, and above all, interesting enough to make me want to tackle it on my Quest.

Tentacular Narrative

Thanks! So, when are you buying me a preowned Honda?

This game puts you in charge of a kraken type creature right around its sixteenth birthday. Upon learning from your (human) brother that you’re adopted (gasp!), you’re told by the government that, as someone old enough to work, you need to find a job in order to become a respectable member of society. They don’t seem to care very much about the fact that you’re a Lovecraftian abomination who could easily level down an entire country in a minute, though. Quite progressive. Kudos to the populace of that town! You then embark in a series of physics-based puzzles, small challenges, and a healthy dosage of wacky humor that result in a neat little game. Not necessarily the most amazing thing ever, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Tentacular‘s gameplay loop is comprised of this succession of increasingly more complex, yet never impossible challenges, always accompanied by some pun, silly gag, or completely nonsensical (and therefore, funny) set piece. Not a single character in this game takes whichever situation they’re put in seriously, which makes Tentacular even funnier, for the little time it lasts for. Its structure doesn’t exactly encourage replayability that much, even though some of its “levels” are silly enough to warrant a few extra attempts for the giggles, but it’s fun (and funny) while it lasts. There is a sandbox mode which receives new elements whenever you complete a level, but blowing stuff up for blowing stuff up’s sake didn’t feel as engrossing as such a premise sounded in my head. This game shines when it gives you objectives and a purpose, and that doesn’t last for long.

Tentacular Villagers

Well, you got me there…

Controlling your tentacles is simple and intuitive. The Quest’s triggers activate your tentacles’ suction cups, allowing you to grab things with relative ease. You can freely move around with the left analog stick, but your playable monster is so freaking enormous that you barely need to walk three feet in front of you before reaching the literal end of the level. I am not a fan of its lack of freeform camera movement, however. Tentacular shares the same issue Unbinary had. Thankfully, you don’t need to move around very often, so this doesn’t become that much of an issue compared to that other game.

Tentacular Puzzles

It’s harder than it looks.

Presentation-wise, Tentacular is adorable, but not exactly breathtaking, even for the Quest’s standards. Everything is presented in a style I can best describe as “slightly better than Katamari“. Characters and assets look cartoony enough, but given the size of your main character, it almost feels like you are playing with a gigantic diorama. Even though the soundtrack isn’t terribly amazing, I actually liked what the game calls its “voice acting”. Sure, it might just be a bunch of gibberish splattered on top of speech bubbles, but I’m a simple guy; I hear any kind of gibberish that remotely reminds me of Banjo-Kazooie, I like it.


I’m not sure if it’s a silly gag or a serious jab at the lack of free will in gaming narratives. We’re looking at the next Bioshock, y’all.

Tentacular is not exactly a groundbreaking achievement in physics-based puzzlers or VR gameplay, but it was still a pretty fun time, all things considered. It’s cute, it controls well, it’s funny when it needs to be, and it features enough comfort settings to please all kinds of VR users. It might have a few annoying issues here and there, namely its camera controls and lack of replayability (outside of its average-at-best sandbox, that is), but I’m beyond pleased with Devolver’s latest foray into VR gaming.


Graphics: 7.0

It’s cute, but not exactly breathtaking. The sheer size of your character makes everything look like a gigantic play mat, or a huge diorama.

Gameplay: 8.0

It’s a physics-based puzzle game. The controls are responsive enough, and the game makes great use of the Quest’s controller’s features and rumble capabilities. I really didn’t like its lack of freeform camera controls, however.

Sound: 7.0

The soundtrack itself isn’t fantastic, but I enjoyed what the game calls its “voice acting”. It’s just mindless gibberish, but it’s too cute to be ignored.

Fun Factor: 7.5

It has a few issues, namely in its short duration, lack of replayability and really annoying camera shortcomings, but it’s a fun diversion with a lot of charm and comfort settings.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Tentacular is available now on PCVR and Oculus Quest 2.

Reviewed on Oculus Quest 2.

A copy of Tentacular was provided by the publisher.