Shhh shhh. Just keep quiet. Just shut up. Don’t question this. Stop thinking about why an Octopus is masquerading around as a loving family man. Stop thinking about the fact that ordinarily, he’d be dead after ten minutes on dry land. Just roll with it. Just go with the ocean flow in Octodad: Dadliest Catch.
We get it. Life gets you down some times. You want a change. You want a fresh new life. And that’s what Octodad is really all about. Tired of his life under the ocean and having to survive natural predators such as overeager Japanese whaling fleets, Octodad leaves the sea to start anew.
Eventually, he’s got a loving wife, two kids adopted from god knows where and a house with white picket fences. And that’s where the adventure begins for Octodad.
When it comes to controls, Octodad has the very worst of the worst input systems ever commited to a flatscreen TV. But you can’t imagine the game not having them. It sounds simple enough, really. One trigger controls one tentacle and ipso facto for trigger deux.
If you have a PS Move lying around gathering dust, then rest assured, the game has support for that expensive lollipop. Adding that controller option throws another tentacle in the mix, making the wacky gameplay even more mental. At least this time, the PS Move is an asset to the game.
From there, you can manipulate another tentacle to grab and move items, as you make your way through various hazards such as an unkempt lawn and a local supermarket. Sound simple? Sweet Cthulu, it’s anything but simple.
Octodad walks with the gait of a Silly Walks Minister in even the most experienced of hands, as the boneless cephalopod is tasked with various challenges. From mundane tasks such as walking down an aisle through to grabbing pizza from a freezer, it’s a mission to do anything with the former ocean dweller.
But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t fun. The game makes a point to keep the challenges tough but fair, as you wiggle and waggle your way through three dimensions. It’s absolutely ridiculous, and even though it’s a one-note joke, it’s a gag that works well throughout the entire game as you manipulate one tentacle at a time.
The other side of the game comes in by having to master these skills efficiently enough to not arouse any suspicion whatsoever from the public and their accusatory stares. They’re watching you, ready to pounce and gaze upon your underwater frame like a talent show judge looking for wooden mic candidates.
Attract too much attention, and it’s game over, back to under the sea where it’s wetter. To make matters even worse, Octodad has a sushi chef after him, determined to chop the loveable fella up and sell his remains off as a cheap Nigiri dish.
The basic gameplay of Octodad never changes much, with most tasks being a variation of grab Item A to to take to location B, mixed in with some locomotion challenges. But the game is downright charming enough to not make this an issue, and seeing Octodad blubber around is half the appeal.
It’s a pity that the game is so short however, as a few extra levels and challenges could have really made it a more attractive title. Still, it’s a fun game, even if it is relentlessly ridiculous.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch was reviewed by Darryn Bonthuys on a PlayStation 4