Octodad: Dadliest Catch, a silly game of tentacle manipulation

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I’ve seen Octodad screenshots, and I even glanced at the game during E3, but I never really gave it a whole lot of consideration until I saw it yet again at IndieCade. In the game you play as an octopus who is living with a human family, attempting to prevent them from finding out his true identity. This is a game about an octopus who has to perform mundane family and dad-oriented tasks, but because of the awkward tentacle mechanics, it ends up being more than you might expect (maybe).

One of the first tasks was to simply exit a room. Now, in most games (GTA4 exempt) it’s fairly easy to open a door and walk through it. In Octodad, it takes a lot of extra effort to perform even that easy a task. Players will press one button to activate Octodad’s tentacle controls. From there you can move his tentacle up, down, forward, and backward to pick up objects.

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Moving around is a little different as well. By alternating between the left and right shoulder buttons, Octodad will awkwardly stretch his tentacles forward, plodding around the environment while knocking things over and climbing over things you normally wouldn’t. Attempting to be creative with the controls, I decided to hold one of the tentacle “walk” buttons and spin the movement stick around. What resulted was Octodad stretching close to the limits of the room, spinning, and creating visual chaos.

After having successfully opened my door, left my room, and destroying the living room, I was apparently in need of some morning joe. With tentacle poised for mission completion, I managed to throw the coffee on top of my head as his “wife” stared on–success! I decided to play around a bit in the environment by throwing things out of the refrigerator. It seemed a bit tougher to violently throw objects for comical effect than I would like, but it was fun nonetheless.

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Slinking outside, I found plenty more activities to enjoy. I gleefully slithered across a water slide, mowed the lawn by dragging a lawn mower behind me, and threw lawn gnomes into the neighbor’s yard (not a “proper” objective, mind you). As for the wood chopping, all it required was that the axe touch the wood, so swinging the axe around and chopping the wood perfectly as I did provided some comedy.

Based on my hands-on time with Octodad: Dadliest Catch, it seems to be a game about mundane tasks that are made fun by the awkwardness of the main character and his tentacles. The fact that the objectives can be completed in a normally, completely unsatisfactory manner multiplies that fun.

You can expect Octodad: Dadliest Catch to be released for PC, Mac, Linux, and PS4 sometime in 2014.

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