Night of the Cephalopods

By: Derek Yu

On: December 1st, 2008

Night of the Cephalopods

I thought this was rather apropos, considering our Lovecraftian Commonplace Book Compo just ended (voting will start this week)! Night of the Cephalopods is a simple, top-down action game where you have to survive until dawn with only a shotgun and a box of shells. Originally conceived at the Toronto-based Artsy Games Incubator, the interesting aspect of NotC is its prodigious use of voice-over (TIGdb) to lugubriously narrate the events that unfold. Everything from room changes to running out of ammunition is caught by the player character’s rambling inner monologue, to hilarious effect.

NotC’s gameplay feels deliberately slow, and claustrophobic, which adds weight to the dreadful narrative. I liked that. But something feels slightly underwhelming to me about the actual gameplay… maybe it’s because there’s nowhere to go after you’ve visited all of the rooms in the game (and there aren’t many). Because there’s not enough to see or do, the goal quickly ends up being finding ways to trigger all the voiceovers, rather than survival. It’s still a really charming game, though.

TIGdb: Entry for Night of the Cephalopods

(Source: Mr. Langosta, via Sensible Erection [NSFW-ish])

  • Leventhan

    I have to say it’s pretty fun to play and innovative. You really can effectively integrate narrations into the game.

  • Cthulhu

    Yyess, mmy childreenn haave aawokenn.

  • Lim-Dul

    Notice that this isn’t the full version of the game – it’s still being developed. The voice-overs are also far and few in-between but that’s because Miguel recorded them all with the help of a professional voice-actor on one day. =)

    I really liked the game and it was even mentioned on Rock, Paper & Shotgun – I’d subscribe to the newsletter and see where the game goes from here…

  • Sisyfos

    Interesting concept, not very well executed. The voice acting is awful and made me cringe every time. The gameplay is flawed. I like the graphics though.

  • shuggy

    Kinda boring and the voice acting is good for the first 2 min. But, not bad sprite art. It would be cool to see more done with the concept.

  • null

    why the hell does this need a Xbox 360 controller when the game only uses 4 directional movement and one button?

    does anyone have a 360 controller? does the game control differently with it?

  • Dominic White

    Sisyfos – I think the joke may have gone over your head. The tagline for this game is ‘An experiment in narrative excess’ – they’re trying to capture the ridiculously verbose, meandering writing style of Lovecraft.

    And that they do, very admirably.

  • Sisyfos

    Dominic White: Ah ok, that explains it!

  • Scott

    Using the Xbox 360 controller gives you well-implemented rumble, which is hella fun.

    (Full disclosure: that’s my voice in the game.)