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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Fun concept
  • Plenty of ways to expand the gameplay and keep it feeling fresh and new each time
  • Clear instructions and easy to grasp
  • Great for all types of gamers

Might Not Like

  • ‘Spinning to win’ may not be your cup of tea… in which case use a dice!
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Tentacle Town Review

tentacle town

Prepare yourselves for an exciting ‘spin’ on the worker placement genre (yes this game includes a spinning harpoon because, why not?!) You’re striving to become the very first Mayor of the aptly named Tentacle Town; the cutest little piece of beachfront real estate around boasting thriving docks, luscious palm trees and giant man eating sea monsters ready to devour your houses and neighbours without hesitation.

‘You, Me And The Meeples’

One of the first things you will notice during setup is that, in Tentacle Town, all of the workers are communal; no one will be handed a selection of coloured meeples to call their own but will instead have their own collection of houses.

Gameplay is really quite straightforward and that makes turn taking very speedy… always a good thing! On your turn take one of the communal resident meeples and send them to one of Tentacle Towns three districts: The Market, The Foundry or The Docks. Once the new resident arrives they will do one of two things; they will either build one of your unique buildings or compete a task (each player will have 10 buildings available to place around the town to try and gain the most influence in the respective regions). Like all good employers though, you are happy to pay overtime for hard workers so if you have gold to spend why not give that worker an additional task to complete and get extra rewards for your turn?

Busy, Busy, Busy

In Tentacle Town, there is lots to be done aside from building properties for the prospective mayor! Residents can smelt iron, forge harpoons, sell sushi and hunt tentacles (more on that later). But those are just some of your options. There are plenty of additional task cards that can be used to bulk out your choice of occupation. Some of these are nice, giving you extra materials or much needed fame, whilst others are just plain nasty and are used for a more competitive game (these ‘Dirty Deeds’ cards involve piracy, subterfuge and demolition so make sure you play with people who will love you regardless of how you behave!).

A-hunting We Will Go

So far this sounds just like your average worker placement right? Well maybe, but that’s where the familiarities end!

Once a player has placed a meeple and done their assigned task, the waters tremble and give birth to a hideous, grasping tentacle! Each district is surrounded by water and it’s in one of these 3 bodies of waters where you will place the new tentacle; if someone is working in The Docks then that’s where trouble will appear.

Now the tentacle has arrived you will have to roll the dice to see what happens next; maybe the tentacle will destroy a building, kill a resident, spawn more tentacles or scare people off and send them packing to a nearby district. This will really influence gameplay as many of the actions effectiveness depend on how many buildings or residents are in a certain district.

Thankfully, just because a tentacle may be setting it’s sights on your beachside condo all is not lost. Remember that one of the options for your workers is to forge harpoons. These harpoons can be spent defending your buildings from the tentacles so grab that spinner and spin away; there’s a 50/50 chance that your well aimed harpoon will land on target, defeat the tentacle and keep your building in one piece! Disclaimer: for players who hate spinners there is also a dice that can be used in its place!

Whenever a player successfully defends a building from a tentacle or completes a tentacle hunting action then they can remove said tentacle from the board and gain 1 piece of sushi and 1 fame token (fame tokens ultimately being your key to victory).

The pressure really ramps up with the extra tentacles that will inevitably appear. More tentacles mean more dice rolls, so the houses and residents can be under constant attack… smelting iron and forging those harpoons will suddenly feel a lot more important once you get further into the game.

Expansions

What I love about this game is that includes plenty of mini expansion pack extras. These ‘Optional Rules’ cards can be used in any game to add extra features like boats, an extremely unlucky resident named Steve (RIP Steve, you never had a chance!), sunken treasure and cast adrift workers needing a coast guard! There are so many ways to play this game that it feels fresh every single time and each one brings some extra variety.

Components

So now for the obligatory components review… cartoony artwork that lulls you into a sense of “oh it’s a cute game” before suddenly realising that destruction is rising from the murky depths to destroy your homes… and Steve too. The tentacles are nicely sculpted and the board is clear and simple so your worker placement benefits don’t need much explaining to new players.

Final Thoughts

Ok so I have to just make it clear… I absolutely love this game. It is a guaranteed hit comparable to a well aimed harpoon. Quick turns, lots of paths to victory and boatloads of replayability! Will you focus on building and selling or will you fancy yourself as the next harpoon wielding hero of a small community under siege… the choice is up to you!

If you are playing with inexperienced gamers then great; it’s easy to explain and easy to dive into. If you are a more experienced group then ‘Tentacle Town’ is a breath of fresh air and has plenty of depth to scratch a tactical itch and make for a fun competitive evening.

Tentacle Town may not be the best place to emigrate to…. but boy is it a fun sandbox to play in!

That concludes our thoughts on Tentacle Town. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames. To buy Tentacle Town today click here!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Fun concept
  • Plenty of ways to expand the gameplay and keep it feeling fresh and new each time
  • Clear instructions and easy to grasp
  • Great for all types of gamers

Might not like

  • Spinning to win may not be your cup of tea in which case use a dice!

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Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

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