Welcome to our regular gameplay impressions and video post where we record our first 10-30 minutes with a new game, and provide some general impressions on that early playthrough. Today’s game is: Octodad: Dadliest Catch from developer Young Horses.
The original Octodad was a freeware game made by a group of college students back in 2010. It featured some rudimentary, but clever, mechanics whereby players controlled the various limbs of an octopus masquerading as a human. As this octopus, named Octodad, it was up to the player to complete a series of basic household chores without drawing any undue suspicion. It was simple, but very creative.
In Octodad: Dadliest Catch, many of those same students have come together under the banner of developer Young Horses and delivered a product that is more polished, longer, and much deeper than its freeware predecessor. The premise is still the same: complete objectives without drawing suspicions, but the tasks are even more complex this time around.
As you can see in the above gameplay video, navigating Octodad — let alone completing tasks — is easier said than done, but that’s part of the fun. This isn’t a game about precision or speed, although you can shoot for those goals; Octodad players are supposed to revel in the chaos.
So while the controls are hard to get the hang of, that feels as if it is by design. And anytime you struggle completing even the simplest of tasks, you aren’t frustrated with the developers, you are frustrated with your limitations as an octopus. This is a case where perceived flaws in the game’s make-up are actually there by design, in order to give players the sense that nothing is easy.
The one area that Octodad: Dadliest Catch seems to struggle is in camera control. While there are some limited options to help players get their bearings, the camera jumps into odd angles far too often and without rhyme or reason. And although the player is not shooting for precision, there are moments where the game requires some specific actions – moments that become extremely difficult with a finicky camera.
That being said, it’s hard not to be instantly charmed by the design of Octodad: Dadliest Catch, both from a visual and a mechanics standpoint. The game might be simple at a glance, but it draws you in almost instantly and puts a smile on your face.
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What do you think of Octodad? Will you be picking up the game later this month?