Octodad: Dadliest Catch
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Octodad is one of those games that I just had to play after hearing about the concept and I can say that I was definitely not disappointed. The game loses some of its momentum towards the end due to forced stealth sections but overall it is a blast to play. Grabbing a few friends and playing the co-op mode where everyone is given a different limb to control is also a definite highlight.

Gameplay: Mix tricky controls with a physics engine and watch the ensuing hilarity.

Graphics: Charming and colorful.

Sound: Pretty good overall

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Octodad: Dadliest Catch

Developer: Young Horses | Publisher: Young Horses | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Action / Adventure / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Being a good husband and father is hard enough, but imagine trying to do so while hiding the fact that you are an octopus. This is the dilemma that faces the protagonist of Octodad: Dadliest Catch. The poor guy obviously loves his family, but to uphold the charade he has to go to ridiculous lengths to hide his true nature. Fortunately everyone, including his wife and two children, are oblivious provided he stays in character and doesn’t draw too much attention.

Octodad opens with the wedding of our tentacled hero and the mere act of finding his suit and walking down the aisle is impossible to achieve without random acts of destruction. Octodad has boneless tentacles for limbs which, coupled with the physics engine, results in plenty of unintentional chaos.

You are given simple objectives such as making coffee, mowing the lawn or shopping for groceries, but thanks to the deliberately unwieldy controls performing them are not as easy as you might think. The first few levels that take place at your wedding, home and grocery store are enormously entertaining due to the mishaps that take place when attempting to perform mundane tasks. The latter half of the game is set in an aquarium where the challenge ramps up due to stealth sections and areas with instant death penalties for failure. The game remains humorously entertaining throughout, but the frustration factor definably ramps up towards the end.

The visuals are cartoonish instead of hyper realistic which is to be expected from a game with a giant octopus playing the lead. The various environments are packed with precariously stacked objects and items which make navigation perilous to say the least. It’s hard not to laugh as your character flails about trying to grill a burger or gets sucked into the lawnmower when attempting to cut the grass. The slapstick humor provided by the physics engine means that every player will have their own little anecdote to tell about a mishap that befell their character. I did notice some clipping which I guess is to be expected considering the amount of objects that can be moved around, but the lack of camera controls are a bit annoying.

I started out playing Octodad using a keyboard and mouse, but quickly switched to a controller which felt way more intuitive. After flopping about with the mouse controls the degree of accuracy I was able to achieve with a controller almost felt like cheating and it definitely made the stealth sections much more bearable. You control your character’s limbs independently so to move you have to manipulate his left and right “legs” while the “arm” is used to pick up or throw objects. There is even a co-op mode where two to four players are each given a limb to control and the results are wacky to say the least. You can even specify that the limb control is switched around after each objective is completed to keep players on their toes.

The audio is pretty nice with a catchy theme tune and some good background music. Characters are voiced except for octodad who simply burbles when speaking. The evil chef that serves as antagonist sounds a bit stereotypical, but overall the voice acting is pretty decent. If you play through the game focusing only on the objectives the experience is pretty short but you will be missing out on a lot of things. Each area is like a little mini physics sandbox where you can see how much mischief your character can get into and there are also tons of gaming references hidden throughout. You can also search for the collectible hidden ties or aim for the wacky Steam achievements. There is even a secret level tucked away somewhere in the game. Add in the level editor with Steam Workshop support and free play mode where you can try to beat the developer times and you’ll find that the game has a lot of longevity and replay value.

While the last few areas of the game strays a bit wide of the mark compared to the humor of initial areas the checkpoints are at least very generous. I had a lot of fun with Octodad, both in single player and co-op and it is definitely a game that I will return to in order to check out the new Steam Workshop content.

*Review originally published February 2014.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP SP3
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0Ghz or equivalent
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel Core HD Graphics 3000/4000, NVIDIA 8800 GT, ATI Radeon HD 4850 or better
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
  • Additional Notes: NOT SUPPORTED: ATI Radeon X1600, Intel GMA950, NVIDIA Geforce 7050
  • OS: Windows 7, Windows 8
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 2.8Ghz or equivalent
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 450, AMD Radeon HD 5670 or better
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
  • OS: Snow Leopard 10.6.8 or newer
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0Ghz or equivalent
  • Memory: 3 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel Core HD Graphics 3000/4000, Nvidia GeForce GT 330M, ATI Radeon HD 4850 or better (ATI Radeon X1600 NOT SUPPORTED)
  • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: NOT SUPPORTED: ATI Radeon X1600, Intel GMA950
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 2.8Ghz or equivalent
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce GT 650M, AMD Radeon HD 6750M or better
  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or newer, other unsupported distros may work
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0Ghz or equivalent
  • Memory: 3 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel Core HD Graphics 3000/4000, NVIDIA 8800 GT, ATI Radeon HD 4850 or better (Open Source Drivers NOT SUPPORTED)
  • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
  • Sound Card: lib32-alsa-plugins or libasound2-plugins:i386 and libasound2-plugins-extra:i386 may be required.
  • Additional Notes: NOT SUPPORTED: ATI Radeon X1600, Intel GMA950, NVIDIA Geforce 7050
  • OS: Ubuntu 14.04
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 2.8Ghz or equivalent
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 450, AMD Radeon HD 5670 or better
  • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space

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