NEED TO KNOW
Release Date: January 30th 2014
Publisher: Young Horses
Platform: Windows, OS X, Linux, Playstation 4, Playstation Vita, Xbox one, Wii U, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch
Game Size: 2.5GB
Average Duration: 2-3 hours
Official Site: Official site.
I’m about to completely blow your mind. Octodad isn’t actually a normal dad, he is an octopus, who decided to settle down and have children. Even the most mundane, easy tasks can prove difficult for him, as he must always keep up his human demeanor.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch is a sequel to the 2010 “freeware” game, “Octodad”. The original game was developed by a group of students, of “DePaul University” as an extracurricular activity. Eight of those students decided to develop another game, along with another external member. They called this development team “Young Horses”.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch has received mixed reviews from critics. It has several good and bad factors. We’ll be covering these in detail.
We first see octodad dressed in his smartest suit, ready to tie the knot with his beloved wife-to-be, “Scarlet”. The humor of this game becomes apparent straight away, controlling octodad is purposefully difficult, and so his arms and legs flail here and there as he tries to open a door, walk down the aisle and find the wedding ring.
After getting married, the second level advances several years into the future and introduces us to octodad’s children, Tommy and Stacy.
Several questions spring to mind when you see his house, children, and wife. Why? How? …What?!
Octodad has to navigate through simple, household tasks in order to complete this stage, including making coffee, grilling burgers, mowing the lawn and pulling the weeds. He has to make sure the “suspicion meter” doesn’t fill up as this will make people realize who Octodad REALLY is; an octopus!
It is here we meet “Chef Fujimoto”, who is obsessed with trying to expose Octodad’s secret! He appears as the “boss” of each level, and the only character you have to fight against. The game isn’t particularly long, and has been criticized as some believe it is too short and seems like a “demo”. In other words, WE WANT MORE!
The next levels take us to a shopping center, an aquarium, and a ship. It is at this stage I must point out that the comicality and humor make the entire game. It is a good mix of hilarious storyline and different, addictive gameplay that makes this game so great.
This is exactly the same as single player, however up to 4 different players can control 4 separate limbs all at the same time. This is almost impossible to do, UNLESS you have a team of expert Octodad players.
The gameplay is definitely difficult, even at the easiest level. Depending on the platform you’re playing, there are different buttons for each limb. Taking control of Octodad is hard, but this is the point of the game. The complicated controls ensure that your character stumbles, falls and flails around the levels, this in itself brings players and spectators to laughter.
It is made very well considering Young Horses were a group of students, however, sometimes the camera can zoom in too far, making octodad see-through and this makes it much harder to control. Other times, reaching out for objects can become difficult as the tentacles can move even when you’re keeping the control in one place. One last downside is that the camera angle is very limited to control, and although you can “look” around, it does get irritating from time to time, not being able to fully control the camera angle.
An aspect of the game I really liked was that the first level really eased you into the arduous controls, by incorporating a tutorial into the story. I can imagine without this tutorial the game would be very frustrating to figure out.
The visuals of Octodad are just passable, they’re supposed to be cartoon-like and reflect a PlayStation 2 type game era. Everything looks very basic and juvenile, which I suppose is due to the fact that if it was made any more intricate it would be near impossible to play!
All in all, I find the lack of detail appropriate and it compliments the gameplay well.
Sometimes little glitches happen here and there, but this doesn’t ever attract attention away from gameplay and does not at all matter.
Is It Worth It?
So is Octodad worth it?
Depending entirely if you can learn the controls, your level of patience, and preference of game style, Octodad is worth the cost. It’s on sale between $4-10, dependant on platform and vendor. It really won’t break the bank.
Younger children (who know how to play games) can also join in on the fun, it’s a game you can play in front of the kids without worrying about age rating, yet still, enjoy it. Octodad is a short game, (2-3 hours of gameplay), however, I find the price very fair for the content you get.
If you enjoy challenge, comedy and are looking for something different, try Octodad!