“Octodad: Dadliest Catch” Has a Great Thing Going
“Octodad: Dadliest Catch” is one of those things you didn’t know you needed until you knew it actually existed. Players assume the role of an octopus disguised as a human, keeping his real identity secret from his wife and kids. He also must avoid a chef who knows his secret and wants to turn him into sushi.
The game itself is really silly, living up to its premise. The game opens with Octodad’s wedding, allowing the player to experience this big part of the character’s life while also learning how to control him. It explains all the mechanics in a clear way, keeping the player from getting confused later down the line.
When the player bursts into the chapel, everyone stares at him as he awkwardly flops his way down the aisle, inexplicably littered with banana peels. From there, the game fast forwards and puts players into Octodad’s life after having two kids – it’s better not to ask how – and expects them to do things around the house.
The controls were easy to learn but take a bit of work to become fully comfortable with. The player has to constantly switch between controlling the legs and arms to interact with objects and move around.
While playing with a mouse and keyboard is an option, using a controller makes controlling Octodad much easier, as switching from leg control to arm control will happen automatically and players won’t have to keep sliding the mouse forward to walk. The game supports xInput controllers such as a USB Xbox 360 controller, as well as the Dualshock 4, with remappable controls.
A lot of the fun of this game comes from trying to pilot the unwieldy sea creature and watching him run into objects and break things. Almost everything in the game can be picked up and thrown, to comedic effect.
However, players have to be careful, as people watch Octodad and will grow suspicious the more destruction he causes. This adds to a suspicion meter that, once filled, will cause a game over and force the player back to the last checkpoint.
The story is told through engine-rendered cut scenes, as opposed to the 2D cartoon pictures of the original. People somehow manage to understand Octodad despite the fact he speaks in blubs, humorously described by the subtitles. The story is quite fun and surprisingly emotional. However, the end of the game is not as fun as the rest of it, as the level of challenge makes it almost frustrating, especially because Octodad is hard to maneuver.
The game is longer than the original, but still short. However, the player is encouraged to replay the game to beat developer times, unlock achievements and find the ties hidden throughout the game, adding to the enjoyment and playtime. Another addition to the playtime comes in the form of user-created levels from the Steam workshop, made with the included level creation tool.
Unsure about how much you would enjoy the game, but still want give it a chance? The original can be downloaded for free. If you enjoy that, you will most likely find Dadliest Catch worth the $15 pricetag.