Developer: Young Horses, Inc
Release: April 22, 2014 (PS4), January 30, 2014 (Windows, OSX, Linux)
Ever wanted to know what it was like to be an octopus pretending to be human? Me either. Thank our lucky stars someone did, well a group of someones. To understand we have to start at the beginning.
In 2010 a group of Depaul University students created the first Octodad game for the Student Showcase of the 2011 Independent Games Festival. These students would later go on to form Young Horses, Inc.
After the success of Octdad, Young Horses, Inc started a Kickstarter campaign in order to fund development of it’s sequel, Octodad: Dadliest Catch.
Now that the formalities are out of the way, lets get started shall we?
You Learn Something New Every Day
Did you know that not all octopi or octopuses (both are correct) have 8 arms?
Well now you do.
See here at The Nation, we like to teach when we can. It’s actually something googled when I started playing and noticed Octodad only had 6 arms. Was going to be a gripe, but I can put that one to rest. You know what else I learned while playing Octodad? That everyone in the game has to have vision problems, because no one, and I mean NO ONE in Octodad’s family can see that he’s an octopus. Not even his wife, who sleeps with him every night, and had 2, count them, 2 children with him. Don’t even try to wrap your head around that mystery, it’s never explained.
In the game, everyone seems to be oblivious to the fact that he’s an octopus except an Asian chef and marine biologists. Because marine biologists “know a fish when they see one.” The story in itself is all over the place, but I’ll get to that later.
Sea Creatures Appear Human When Wearing People Clothes
The story is what you really came here to read about right?
The game starts off in a church, but not your typical church mind you. From everything I gathered during my two playthroughs, it was the church of Cthulhu. I got over the octopus in pants, and I ignored the fact that a human woman was about to marry an Octopus who’s best man was a fish. I figured it would all be explained later. Ha.
What I seriously couldn’t fathom was the church itself. Immediately I thought that Octodad wasn’t the only octopus that decided to throw on a nice pair of slacks and dress shirt, then parade around pretending to be human. I mean, there has to be more Octodads or Squiduncles running around right? They had a church. Nope.
Another thing that isn’t explained was that he’s the only one, the only octopus who decided to start a family. Without giving away the entire plot, the only explanation you get is that one day on a ship Octodad put on some pants, met his wife after defeating the Asian chef, danced with her and then got married.
Fast forward 10 years, then ignore everything you know about science, the animal kingdom, and human reproduction. Time to start the game. Guess what our major task is at home? Chores!
Trying my best to get out of doing chores my entire life, guess what wouldn’t be the first thing I’d want to do when playing a game? If you said chores, good guess, but wrong. The answer would be playing as an octopus.
Our Nation’s Verdict
Horrible camera angles, controls and inconsistent story line aside, there are some fun things to do in Octodad: Dadliest Catch. My favorite part was playing mini games when you visit the aquarium. The short time spent in the arcade numbed the pain of randomly flopping all over the place and falling off things when trying to move Octodad throughout the rest of the game.
The controls make you feel like you’re an octopus playing a game about an octopus. The repetitiveness of some missions is something that is part of most games. Go here, get that, bring it here, or put it there. If you play lots of games, it’s something you don’t even notice. I feel that if more time had been put into the controls and camera, this game would have been a lot better.
Those improvements alone might have dwarfed the story being ridiculously inaccurate and unbelievable. I mean his wife knows something is wrong with Octodad, but she just can’t quite put her finger on it. Even when they find out he’s an octopus they just go on about life like he isn’t a freaking octopus.
If you want to give this game a try, I’d wait to get it when it goes on sale or is free.