Octodad: Dadliest Catch was first announced back at E3 2013. I’ve been waiting for this game to come to PS4 before buying it, as I knew it’d be one that my children would enjoy watching and playing with me. And now it’s finally here. As Octodad, you’re an octopus in a suit and no one knows what you really are, unless you cause too much commotion. The game employs rag-doll physics so every step you take, every arm movement you attempt….is a seriously wonky ordeal. But that’s where the greatness of the game lies; in the ridiculous mayhem that ensues from an octopus trying to behave like, and fit in with, the humans.
Developed by Young Horses, a small group of students from DePaul
University, Octodad: Dadliest Catch actually started out as a student
project, then known simply as Octodad. It was created for the student
showcase of 2011 Independent Games Festival.
Octodad went on to be one of eight winners that year. Pretty
impressive! After doing so well at IGF, the team decided to create the
sequel “Octodad: Dadliest Catch” and bring it to PC and consoles. The
concept looked fun and a tentative release date of January 2014 was
given. On January 30, 2014 the game released on Steam and nothing was
mentioned at all about the console release. Well the weeks turned into
months and still no release. Then last week on the PlayStation blog the
game finally got a confirmed release date of Tuesday April 22. The games
launch price was set at $14.99 but thanks to my PS Plus subscription, I
snagged it at the low price of $11.99. Thank you PS+.
Well I spent some time with the game this
afternoon and I have to say, it lives up to the expectations I had for
it. And my 4 year old daughter, was just as enthralled with the
experience as I was. Whenever I get a new game like this, one that my
children are as excited for as I am, I usually let them have first crack
at it (as hard as that is to do). The game opens with your wedding. The
best man comes to check on you, and that’s where you take over. The
onscreen help walked us through how to move each limb, one at a time.
The left stick moves your arm left and right, while the right stick
moves the arm up and down. R1 or X are used to grab/drop items in the
environment, and L1/R1 control the legs. If it sounds a little
confusing….it is, and it’s supposed to be! It really conveys the sense
that you ARE the octopus, not just a person controlling him.
Even with as befuddling as the controls are, in no time at all I felt
comfortable with getting around. One of your first objectives is to get
your Tux on for the wedding. The process of navigating from room to room
involves coordination and precision. After finding the tux, you simply
grab it, and POOF. With a cloud of smoke you’re changed and ready to
Upon opening the wedding hall doors, you see people seated in the pews,
all laser focused on you the groom, making your way down the aisle.
Your new objective is to make it to your bride, without causing a scene
or too much damage. This is the main mechanic of the game….people
starring. The more you knock things down as you move, the more and more
on-lookers become suspicious of you. As long as you don’t make a mess
of things, no one is the wiser about who you really are. Octodad:
Dadliest Catch offers the normal game mode, Free-Play mode, and a Co-Op
mode (the co-op mode allows other players control over different limbs
of the same body….sounds crazy fun right?!). If you don’t want to
worry about being careful and precise, Free-Play mode allows you to
play without the fear of people finding out who you are by wrecking to much of the environment.
Good Family Fun
the next hour or so some of the objectives I encountered included;
pouring the morning coffee, mowing the yard, grilling some burgers and
serving them for lunch, shopping at the market, and taking the family
on a trip to the aquarium. I don’t imagine the game is all that long,
so I won’t spoil things by going into detail about each scenario. I
will say, that the fun of flailing around making a mess of things (or
trying not to, depending on how you’re playing) is just as great to
watch as it is to play. My girls and I laughed and laughed as we
flopped and squished our way through the supermarket freezer to get a
pizza on our shopping list.
It’s refreshing. It really is. To play a game with simple fun and simple objectives. Such a nice change of pace, from the photo-real games that are being cranked out one after another. It seems like sometimes the purest joys of gaming get lost when making the AAA blockbusters. Octodad: Dadliest Catch is a riot to play. It’s priced fairly and it’s a game the whole family can enjoy. These gems are a rarity now a days. Without having played through the entirety of the game yet, I can still safely recommend purchase of this game to anyone and everyone.
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