Also On: PC
Publisher: Young Horses
Developer: Young Horses
Octodad: Dadliest Catch isn’t your typical console videogame — not by a long shot. I mean the catchy title alone should be enough of a tip off to tell you that. At times, Octodad is more of an Octopus-pretending-to-be-a-human-simulator than any sort of game you’ve played previously, and it certainly can be a unique, albeit occasionally frustrating, experience. Though if you’re looking for an offbeat PS4 adventure that shouldn’t suck up too much of your precious gaming time, Octodad: Dadliest Catch may be worth checking out.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch is the story (yes it has a story) of an octopus who somehow meets a human woman, gets married, has two perfectly human children, and lives a content, normal human life in the suburbs. We’re talking a house, white picket fence, trips to the grocery store, chores, fatherly duties and whatnot. What makes Octodad so unique is that no one realizes he’s an actual eight-limbed octopus… unless he does something stupid, like getting spotted without clothing or stumbling around excessively in public. And that’s basically the concept of Dadliest Catch.
Using the DualShock 4’s analog sticks in conjunction with the analog triggers to actuate Octodad’s tentacles, it’s your goal to work through various everyday scenarios without causing too much attention to yourself. The challenge is learning how to walk, pick up items and perform actions using Octodad’s floppy limbs. The first few minutes you spend with the game — getting dressed and ready for your wedding — will be hilarious, guaranteed. Soon thereafter, your enjoyment will correspond with how much patience you have with the purposefully imprecise controls. The first time through the game there were some seemingly simple tasks which took me way too long to perform, thus wearing on my patience rather quickly. Some of the tasks assigned to Octodad are legitimately fun and interesting (making coffee, playing arcade games, running up an escalator), though others, such as shambling across some narrow beams or climbing structures can and will touch a nerve.
I found my second playthrough of Octodad: Dadliest Catch much more enjoyable than the first, since I had a much better handle on the controls; not to mention knowledge of was expected to complete each objective. So your mileage may vary in terms of how frustrating/enjoyable you find Octodad. Once you play through the story (which is no more than 3 hours long), all that’s left is to find 100% of the hidden ties scattered on each level and clean up some relatively easy trophies. Young Horses did find a unique way to let players team up to control Octotdad, by allowing them each to move a different set of limbs with additional controllers. The end result is pretty bizarre as you would expect.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch is a relatively low budget indie game, and visually, it looks like a relatively low budget indie game. The star of the show obviously is the physics engine which allows Octodad to flail around and interact with nearly everything in the environment. Knocking stuff over and making a huge mess by tossing objects around (hamburgers, axes, dishes, balls, canned goods, etc.) is honestly half the fun. The graphics are colorful and cartoon-like, though other than being output at a 1080p resolution, the game isn’t what you would consider impressive looking.
The game’s audio is a mixed bag, with an amazing theme song created especially for the game and some humorous gurgles and sound effects. The kids’ voices can grate on your ears after a short time, but the overall voice acting isn’t bad. The sitcom-style title song and intro is definitely the highlight here.
I wanted to completely love Octodad: Dadliest Catch, though it’s sort of a difficult game to wholeheartedly recommend to PS4 owners who don’t know what they’re getting into. The short-lived Octodad experience is super unique and amusing, occasionally irritating, but overall fun and probably worth checking out.