It’s a rare thing when a game aimed at 4+ enchants us oldies. But my husband and I are big fans of this little box of technicolour tentacles! In Tentacolor, players are explorers trying to photograph a mysterious creature hiding in the ocean depths! The only clue as to its identity is its amazing and colourful tentacles. The game revolves around drafting cards and matching patterns. If you can create a tentacle that has 5 cards showing one consecutive colour, you win the game!
Set Up And Game Play
The main board comprises the body of the creature divided into four large cards. The 4 sides you use depends on the number of players (indicated by a little fish symbol), and the body will show one incomplete tentacle per player. The 60 small cards are shuffled to form a deck and you take 1 into your starting hand. There are also 4 tentacle end cards that will finish off your tentacle at the end of the game (and be used in the expert variant – see below for more details!).
On your go, you pick up a card, place a card on your tentacle, and then give one of your cards to another player. Each card shows two colours, and the idea is to match one colour on the cards laid before it so that you build up to a collection of 5.
If you lay a card that shows a shark, one opponent of your choice must remove the tile they last laid on their tentacle.
If you lay a card with a school of fish, another player has to discard a card from their hand and draw another from the deck.
If you lay a card with a rare fish, you can immediately place a second card of your choice onto your tentacle.
But, if you break the pattern by laying a card that doesn’t match one of the colours on that which you last placed down, you have to start building up a new set along the tentacular path!
Given the simplicity of Tentacolor, this game is a great choice for little gamers. Aside from the excellent pattern matching mechanism, having to give one of your cards to your opponent is a good exercise in consequence led decision making. You can see what colours they are collecting, and so if the only colours you have in your hand match theirs, you know you’ll be helping them towards victory. But if you have something that doesn’t match that you can hand over, you might just make them start over! Of course you don’t know what is in their hand, or what they might pick up, but trying to block them is sneaky fun!
The addition of sharks, rare species, and schools of fish also introduce a strategic element that will give little (and bigger) gamers pause for thought. For example, laying a shark could disrupt their own pattern, but it would also remove an opponent’s last played card. And that could be very useful indeed! There’s also an expert variant that restricts you to collecting what’s on one of the end tentacle cards which will keep this game challenging. Luck does play a part of course as this is a drafting game. But in a game so light and colourful, the gamble of the draft is all part of the fun.
Like all the LOKI Kids games we have played so far in our house, Tentacolor is one that I really enjoy playing with our son at home and with his board gaming school group. No denying it, the colours are soft and gorgeous. But they also contain specific patterns which makes the game accessible for gamers who do not rely on colour vision to play. This is a high quality, easy to learn, fun to play little game and is a really excellent part of their new small box range!
If you’re looking for a fun, colourful, budget friendly card game for young gamers then I would definitely recommend Tentacolor And if you like this one, Loki Kids have another two new games in their small box range to check out Hāpy Families.and Farm & Furious