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Tentacle Bento

January 20, 2013

tentaclebento1I’m not gonna blame anyone who doesn’t care much for this game’s theme. It’s about tentacle monsters and the naughty stuff they do. If that makes you say “Yeah, no, and fuck you for trying,” that’s cool.

If the whole tentacle thing doesn’t really bother you, or if you don’t mind being bothered, let’s talk about this thing.

First off, I gotta talk about the game’s packaging. From a gamer perspective, it’s pretty shitty. It’s a flimsy cardboard box. The cards don’t easily fit back into the cheap insert, so they’re gonna be flopping around in the box and might get bent up with time and handling. If I were just some board/card game dude, I’d feel ripped off if I bought this game sight unseen and got such a crappy box.

tentaclebento2From an anime fan’s perspective, though, the reason why the box is so shoddy is kinda awesome. It’s basically packaged like an old school VHS box. The dimensions are perfect. If you slapped this thing on your shelf along side copies of Urotsukidoji and Bible Black, it’d blend right in. That crappy cardstock they used for the box is the same sort of material in which VHS tapes were sleeved. The game is in a VHS box. This is an awesome thing, making it look like a hentai tape.

As for the game itself?

Eh.

tentaclegirlIt’s a simple set collection card game. The goal of the game is to “capture” as many school girls by the time four Event cards are drawn from the deck. To capture a girl you have to play three cards: a Location card, a Girl card, and a Capture card. Said cards come in four different suits: Smart, Cute, Sexy, and Sporty. If each card in your set is of the same suit– say a Cute Location, Cute Girl, and Cute Capture– a few things happen. Said combos can include up to three girls– I’m assuming that represents capturing similar girls doing things they’d be doing together– and you get to do a special game effect that screws around with everyone. For example, if said Cute combo is played, everyone has to pass one card from their hand to the person to their left (or right if turn order has been reversed).

That’s pretty much it. You draw a card each turn, try to make a capture combo, and then discard a card at the end of your turn. There’s some strategy to the game. As the discard pile builds up, you can choose to draw cards from the discard pile. You can either take the top card, or you can grab a card from anywhere in the deck and take every card above it in the discard pile. So you have to be careful as to which cards you discard at the end of your turn while keeping an eye on what everyone else is discarding.

tentaclecaptureThere are a few other cards in the game that mess around with stuff. A few of the girls are All-Stars. They’re worth more points at the end of the game– 5 rather than 1– and they have a special screw-you effect that happens when they’re captured. There are a few special Character cards. These cards can’t be captured, since they represent non-school girl characters, but they can be played on other people to force them to discard cards or force them to do certain things during their turn. These cards add some much-needed chaos to the game, but there are only three of them in a deck of 100+ cards. The game could use several more cards of this ilk, or more All-Star like cards (there’s only one of each suit), to make things a bit more  interesting.

Those Event cards add a little to the game. There are four of them, and they represent different events you see in school anime– festivals and talent shows. They have some broad game-changing effect, and once the fourth one is drawn the game is over. It’s a cool way to keep track of time, since you could say that four events = four seasons = one school year, but I wish there were more of them. If there were several different events, and you drew four randomly at the beginning of the game and shuffled them into the deck, it’d make things a bit more unpredictable.

tentaclelocationSo yeah, this is a simple, straight-forward card game. You could easily make this game out of two decks of normal cards, with the different types of cards– captures, girls, and locations– being different face values. If the theme was something different, I doubt I would have bought the game. But it’s that very theme that makes this an enjoyable game, if you’re the sort of puerile, immature, easily amused sort like me and my friends.

We got a kick out of this thing. Most of us are familiar with those old days of buying these shitty tentacle porn videos out of curiosity, realizing they’re terrible, but still having some perverse attachment to the concept. Yeah, it’s a disgusting concept, but it’s so absurd and alien that it’s fucking hilarious. People were getting into it. People were being made uncomfortable and icky. People were relishing reading off the innuendo-laden flavor text on the cards. The actual gameplay wasn’t much of a factor– it was all about the tentacles.

In that way it’s a lot like something like Munchkin. It’s an experience game, and if you’re of the right mindset, you’ll get a kick out of this shit.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Camman permalink
    February 4, 2013 10:00 AM

    this game makes me laugh everytime i play it the outcomes of certian circumstances are just hilarious. i know this next part has nothing to do with the game but its just a question. i was wondering if you had seen Sora No Otoshimono and if you have what are your thoughts on it.

    • Landon permalink
      February 5, 2013 5:48 PM

      Nah, not familiar with that series. Sorry.

  2. Landon permalink
    February 5, 2013 5:50 PM

    Played this a couple of times since I wrote the initial review. Didn’t go over quite as well the last time I played, but we also played it close to midnight after a fairly “intense” game of Agricola. The guy who was new to the game was a bit brain-burned.

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