I was warned beforehand, but I failed to grasp how viral it truly was. Day and night it now dances around my subconscious like Bez at a Happy Monday’s reunion party. Of course, I’m referring to the frustratingly catchy theme tune for Octodad : Dadliest Catch. (Damn you Ian McKinney)
Octodad: Dadliest Catch is the direct sequel to the 2010 game created by the team who would go on to form Young Horses. Reprising the role of Octodad, the titular cephalopod in a 3 piece suit, you must undertake your day-to-day parental and familial duties without arousing the suspicions of those around you. This is easier said than done given your appendages are distinctly lacking bones and moving on two “legs” requires significantly more logistical planning. You must navigate household chores, shopping trips and excursions with your family without alerting anyone to your anthropomorphic illusion, all the while avoiding the machinations of the returning antagonist Fujimoto, the sushi chef who can see through your disguise, and will stop at nothing to expose you to the world.
Controls are extremely simple. The left stick controls the horizontal movement of your “arm” tentacles, while the right stick controls the vertical. Holding down the Triggers transfers this movement to your “leg” tentacles, allowing you to move. Finally, the A button allows you to grab items when controlling your arms. Although straightforward in design, in use these controls are a different kettle of fish. (Nautical idiom intended).
Using these controls you must achieve relatively simple tasks, things like: putting on a coffee, mowing the lawn, hang a birdhouse, or collect the items on a shopping list.
These challenges are difficult, complicated and sometimes downright frustrating, but utterly achievable despite your pendulous movements, but balancing this with your detection meter is key to completing a level. Knock over too many things, bump into too many people and your disguise begins to slip away. Make too many mistakes and you will have to restart. Beyond these tasks, there are some trials that require precision and accuracy to surpass and these thankfully are few and far between.
Dadliest catch not only gives us a story of daily life in the Octodad household, but also gives us a glimpse into the past and the events that shaped Octodad’s relationship with his wife to be Stacey and his nemesis, Fujimoto. Also included in the Xbox One version are the two DLC stories that follow Octodad on his first date with Stacey at a fancy restaurant, and a vivid imaginary story that your kids have conceived of your day working at a hospital. Each of these additional stories add a short period of time to the total playable, but all in all it can be completed in around 5-6 hours.
Despite its short life span there is some replayability for those wanting the coveted 1,000G as some of the achievements are linked to completing tasks within the game in a certain way, or within a certain timescale.
Overall, Octodad is a challenging and amusing title that will have the those of you that pick it up smiling and grimacing in equal measure.
Thanks to Xbox and Young Horses, Inc. for supporting TiX
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