Developed by Young Hourses and available for most gaming platforms out there, Octodad: Dadliest Catch is the sequel to the splash and free hit, Octodad! This time, we will need to deal with his wife’s mounting mistrust, and a disastrous trip to the local aquarium. Are you dad enough to control the titular octopus father as he strives to hide his nautical nature from his family while keeping his tangled tentacles intact?
Octodad: Dadliest Catch
The game is about an octopus trying to hide the fact that he isn’t human. With maddening controls as in I am Bread, QWOP and Surgeon Simulator, this some sort of new genre challenges you to perform the daily tasks of a regular human being: to make breakfast, grocery shopping, even a fun trip somewhere with your family. The problem is, these simple tasks are next to impossible without your valuable spine and fingers.
Gameplay is key in Dadliest Catch. To interact, players control one of Octodad’s tentacles with both analog sticks. The right stick controls the appendage’s movement on the Y axis while the left stick makes movements into the Z axis. It’s as confusing and frustrating as it sounds. The game is a constant fun struggle, as you must master mundane tasks with his unwieldy boneless tentacles while simultaneously keeping his cephalopodan nature a secret from his human family.
The story side of Octodad is simple and silly, but effective. You are an octopus that, for some reason, can breathe air. All you do is for the love of your family who, apparently, doesn’t even know you are an octopus. Mundane chores like grocery shopping are hard not only because of your lack of hands, but also because you need to try your hardest to not attract any undesirable attention. If you are caught, you lose and you need to restart from your last checkpoint. His suit is enough to fool even his wife, kids, and everyone else… except for an evil chef who is desperate to wipe Octodad out.
On top of that, unfortunately, the game features one of the worst cameras I’ve had to deal with. This is good and bad because the game is supposed to be frustrating, but controls are hard enough to also have to care about weird camera glitches. Without a map and the lack of camera control, you will more often than not waste a lot of time trying to discover where you are and where you need to go. Fortunately, the game delivers a steady flow of jokes and puns while Octodad does his best to mimic the way people behave with one another.
But there’s a bigger problem: when you start getting the hang of the controls, the credits roll. There’s nothing wrong with a short game, but at just under two hours, Octodad feels just too short. Another hour or a few additional locations would have helped it tremendously, but instead, the game ends. There’s some replay value in co-op, which instead of controlling a second character, up to four players can control each limb. This will create all sort of funny moments, and there are also some collectibles, but still, the game is too short.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch is a short but fun game. Running away from a mad chef trying to cook you while crazy music plays in the background is just one of the many things you will do in your mighty quest to become a loving husband and father. The basic concept is simple and stupid, but effective.