Indie Spotlight

Each month, the Indie Spotlight highlights a new game that exemplifies the creativity, cleverness, and beauty of today’s independent games market.

 

This month’s Indie Spotlight is:

Tentacle Town

 

Ahhh springtime.

April is here, bringing with it a sense of annual renewal after the many long months of winter. Signs of new life appear at every turn, and it’s hard not to feel that sense of invigoration. The days are getting longer. The birds are chirping. The kraken in the lake has returned.

Spring, yes, a wonderful time. It brings with it a true sentiment of rejuvenation and rekindled interest in outdoors activities. It’s a time to finally clean out that closet full of miscellaneous junk. It’s a time to don your green thumb and prep the garden for this year’s flowers or vegetables. It’s a time for the community to finally finish the new storehouse on the waterfront. Just watch out for the giant tentacles.

Some say that the coming of the vernal equinox is a magical moment, as if an invisible switch flips and nature kicks into an entirely different gear seemingly overnight. The skies go from grey to blue, the grass from brown to green, the water from eerily still to buoyantly active with all the giant appendages splashing about.

Sure, there are some minor inconveniences to springtime with allergies and yardwork abound and the need to carry a harpoon whenever you go near the shore. But, really, it’s still better than snow…

Personally, spring may be our fav—wait, what was that about giant tentacles?

Sorry young pioneers, but this is precisely the scenario you find yourself in with Tentacle Town, the inaugural title by former Gale Force 9 designer alums Aaron Dill and John Kovaleski under their new banner, Monster Fight Club. Though Tentacle Town may not be their first collaborative title together, Monster Fight Club represents a marked departure – a reset button of sorts – in attempting a game design lighter in both tone and complexity, let alone in a wholly unique setting. In more than one way they’re going out on a limb. That limb just happens to be 15 feet long and full of giant suckers.

In this hour-ish long escapade of trying to not become seafood, each player is a citizen in unsettled land trying to not only build up a new town but build up your own reputation in the process in order to become its first mayor. Using a mix of worker placement and area control elements, players take turns recruiting other citizens to a handful of different board regions to construct buildings and complete various tasks. The more citizens at a particular location, the more potent that location’s effect.

In the first of a pair of twists, however, unlike most worker placement games, you do not own the workers you recruit, which means any workers at a location have the potential to benefit any player – you will need to be careful in your timing and strategy to accomplish your goals without unduly making things even more lucrative for your competition.

The other twist, and leaning into its more irreverent nature, is that either by poor luck or poor planning, your new town is on a peninsula with waters positively teeming with giant tentacles. These tentacles have a penchant to destroy those building and eat those citizens unless they’re beaten back with harpoons, and that too takes some of your efforts – with success partially controlled by a spinner (yes, a spinner). And we hope you like calamari.

If this meaningful yet lightweight monster-hunting & city building exerercise sounds interesting to you then strap on some boots and sharpen your harpoon, because it’s springtime in Tentacle Town and it’s time to get to work!

 

 

Need more information about any of our previous Spotlight selections? Check out the list below or contact us at: info@cardboardrepublic.com!

 

Previous Indie Game Spotlights:

March 2021: SHASN | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

February 2021: Capone | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

January 2021: Canvas | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

 

Click for 2020 Selections

December 2020: Ducks in Tow | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

November 2020: Nunami | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

October 2020: FAZA | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

September 2020: Camp Pinetop | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

August 2020: STRIKE! The Game of Worker Rebellion | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

July 2020: Shaolia | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

June 2020: The Search for Planet X | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

Note: Due to COVID-19, there was no May 2020 Indie Spotlight

April 2020: Far Away | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

March 2020: Chai | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

February 2020: Dungeon Drop | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

January 2020: The TOKYO Series | Review | Q&A | InterviewDeveloper’s Site

Click for 2019 Selections

December 2019: Rival Restaurants | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

November 2019: Fantastic Factories | Review | Q&A | Design DiaryDeveloper’s Site

October 2019: Chocolate Factory | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

September 2019: Rurik: Dawn of Kiev | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

August 2019: Re-Chord | Review | Developer’s Site

July 2019: The Artemis Project | Review | Q&ADeveloper’s Site

June 2019: The Valley of Alchemists | Review | Developer’s Site

May 2019: Unbroken | Review | Strategy Tips | Q&ADeveloper’s Site

April 2019: Mountaineers | Review | Developer’s Site

March 2019: Defense Grid | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

February 2019: Fire Tower | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

January 2019: Good Dog, Bad Zombie | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

Click For 2018 Selections

December 2018: Wu Wei: Journey of the Changing Path | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

November 2018: Dice Hospital | Review | Designer Interview | Developer’s Site

October 2018: Swordcrafters | Review | Q&A | Design Diary | Developer’s Site

September 2018: The Brigade | Review | Q&A | The Future of TinderboxDeveloper’s Site

August 2018: Who Goes There? | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

July 2018: Dwarven Smithy | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

June 2018: End of the Trail | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

May 2018: Visitor in Blackwood Grove | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

April 2018: Feudum | Review | Q&A | Strategy GuideDeveloper’s Site

March 2018: The City of Kings | Review | Developer’s Site

February 2018: The Last Garden | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

January 2018: Triplock | Review  | Developer’s Site

Click For 2017 Selections

December 2017: Bargain Quest | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

November 2017: Cytosis | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

October 2017: Periorbis | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

September 2017: Overlords of Infamy | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

August 2017: Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment | Review | Q&A |  Podcast | Kickstarter PreviewDeveloper’s Site

July 2017: Nemo’s War (2nd Edition)| Review |  PodcastDeveloper’s Site

June 2017: Tau Ceti: Planetary Crisis| Review |  Q&ADeveloper’s Site

May 2017: Zephyr: Winds of Change| Review |  Q&ADeveloper’s Site

April 2017: Sagrada| Review |  Q&ADeveloper’s Site

February & March 2017: Gloomhaven| Review | Goomhaven & RepresentationPodcast | Developer’s Site

January 2017: Santorini| Review |  Podcast | Developer’s Site

Click For 2016 Selections

December 2016: Karmaka| Review |  Q&ADeveloper’s Site

November 2016: Days of Ire: Budapest 1956| Review |  Q&ADeveloper’s Site

October 2016: Roll Player| Review |  Q&ADeveloper’s Site

September 2016: The Guardians: Explore | Review | A Tale Of Two CampaignsQ&ADeveloper’s Site

August 2016: Vast: The Crystal Caverns | Review |  Q&ADeveloper’s Site

July 2016: Dark DealingsReviewQ&ADeveloper’s Site

June 2016: Millennium Blades | ReviewQ&ADeveloper’s Site

May 2016: World’s Fair 1893 | Review |  Q&A | Renegade Games InterviewDeveloper’s Site

April 2016: ApothecaReviewQ&A | Designer JournalDeveloper’s Site

March 2016: ParadoxReviewQ&ADeveloper’s Site

February 2016: The Shadow Over WestminsterReviewQ&ADeveloper’s Site

January 2016: HocusReviewQ&A | Strategy Guide | Designer JournalDeveloper’s Site

Click For 2015 Selections

December 2015: Trickerion | Review |  Q&A | PodcastDeveloper’s Site

November 2015: MonarchReviewQ&ADeveloper’s Site

October 2015: Resistor_ReviewQ&A | Podcast | Developer’s Site

September 2015: Steampunk Rally | Review | Developer’s Site

August 2015: Operation F.A.U.S.T | Review |  Q&A | Developer’s Site

July 2015: StockpileReview |  Q&A | Strategy GuideDeveloper’s Site

June 2015: Lift Off! | Review |  Q&A | Podcast | Developer’s Site

May 2015: Ophir | Review |  Q&A | Podcast | Developer’s Site

April 2015: Penny PressReview |  Q&A | West Meepleville Gazette Headlines #meeplevilleDeveloper’s Site

February 2015: FallenReview |  Q&A | The Taken: A CYOA Short StoryDeveloper’s Site

January 2015: ScovilleReview |  Podcast | Strategy TipsDeveloper’s Site

Click For 2014 Selections

December 2014: Epic Resort | Review |  Q&A | Strategy TipsDeveloper’s Site

November 2014: Tiny Epic Kingdoms | Review |  Podcast | Developer’s Site

October 2014: Lagoon: Land of Druids | Review |  Q&A | Developer’s Site

September 2014: Battle Merchants | Review | Design History |  Q&A | Strategy Guide | Developer’s Site

August 2014: Magnum Opus | Review | Developer’s Site

July 2014: PraetorReview | Google HangoutDeveloper’s Site

June 2014: Boston Festival of Indie Games | Why You Should Submit | Indie Convention Bump |  Q&A | Podcast | Developer’s Site

May 2014: Havok & Hijinks | Review | The Creation of H&H | Podcast | Developer’s Site

April 2014: Euphoria | Review | Favorite Gaming Pieces | Google Hangout | Developer’s Site

March 2014: Relic Expedition | Review | Q&A | Designer DiaryDeveloper’s Site

February 2014: What’s He Building In There? | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

January 2014: Empires of Zidal | Review | Q&A | Beginner’s Guide to Zidal | Developer’s Site

Click For 2013 Selections

December 2013: Eons | Review | Q&A | Strategy Guides | Developer’s Site

November 2013: Compounded | Review | Developer’s Site

September 2013: Deadwood Studios, USA | Review | Q&A | PodcastDeveloper’s Site

August 2013: Heroes of Metro City | Review | Q&ADeveloper’s Site

July 2013: Pixel Lincoln | Review | Q&A | History of Lincoln’s HatDeveloper’s Site

June 2013: ViticultureReview | Strategy Guide | Extra Pieces on Game FlavorDeveloper’s Site

April 2013: Island Fortress | Review | Profile on Creator | Developer’s Site

March 2013: Zpocalypse | Review | Q&A | Z-Breakout  Print & PlayDeveloper’s Site

February 2013: Inevitable | Review | Developer’s Site