Octodad: Dadliest Catch (Wii U, PS4, Vita, Xbox One, PC)

OCTODAD_BOXOriginally a short PC project, Octodad is a 3-D action game where you play as an octopus disguised as a human.  Somehow along the way he’s been able to get married and have two kids (best not to think too much on that).  In the original game, you would try and do household chores while controlling the octopus’ legs and arms separately; which isn’t as easy as it sounds and oftentimes would lead to funny sights.  In the new game, Dadliest Catch, not only must you do household chores this way, but you must also take the family to the grocery store as well as an outing to the aquarium, which doesn’t make Octodad too happy to be there.  You’ll also have to make sure not to make too many mistakes or draw attention to yourself or you might get caught by one of the aquarium’s many marine biologists (the game claims they “know a fish when they see one”), or a revengeful French chef who is out to get you!  Octodad: Dadliest Catch is available to download on most of the current-gen game consoles, but reviewed on Wii U here.

In the game you’ll go through various areas like the family’s house, the grocery store, the rooms of the aquarium, etc.  In each area you’ll be given missions to complete, like mowing the lawn, grilling burgers for the family, getting certain groceries on the list, or finding the kids at the aquarium.  Once you complete all the missions in an area, you can move onto the next.  But it’s not as easy as you might think given you must do all these things as an octopus.  You’ll control his tentacles separately, and use the right stick to move his arm around and pick things up with his tentacle by pressing the R button. To walk around, you must point in the direction you want to go with the left stick and lift each leg to move by pressing the ZL and ZR buttons alternately.  It sounds a bit complicated, and it is, but it also leads to a lot of funny situations as you try to figure out how to do basic tasks this way.

Luckily, you can also play the game in co-op mode, which is what I recommend doing at least at first.  One person will control the tentacle that acts as the arm, and the other player will use a separate controller to move the legs.  This makes things a lot easier (as long as you and your pal have good communication skills).  The game also has different difficulty levels, and I recommend at least starting the game on the easiest selection at first.  In the game, if you make too much of a mess or act too weird, people will start watching you and if you keep messing up, you’ll get caught or found out and must start the mission over.  But on the easiest difficulty selection you won’t have to worry about that as much and can just focus on the task at hand.  At some parts in the game, the French chef will find you, and you must do an action sequence where you must run away from him or find a way to stop him.

While the main problem of the game is the controls, which can be frustrating sometimes, it’s also half the fun since the game is so silly.  The other main problem is that the game is a bit short.  The main quest can be completed in just a couple of days, but there is some replay value to be had.  You can try the game on harder difficulty selections, and there are three hidden neckties in each area to find as well.  Plus there are some separate short levels where you take your wife out on a date; and another where the two kids make up story about their dad being a nurse at a hospital!

But even with those problems, the game is just a blast to play because it’s so funny and creative.  It reminds me of some games that would’ve come out in the PS2 era, like Katamari Damacy, A Dog’s Life, or Mister Mosquito.  Those games weren’t perfect, but they were still very creative and fun, and that’s just how Octodad is, too.  Plus the game is flat out hilarious, and I haven’t laughed that hard while playing a game in a long time.  The two kids, Tommy and Stacy, are especially funny and the lines they say in the game are just as funny as those found in cartoons like The Simpsons or Gravity Falls.  In fact, Octodad would make a great cartoon!  The game even has its own theme song with lyrics!  At any rate, if you like humorous games, I highly recommend downloading this one.


Kid Factor:

Octodad: Dadliest Catch is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence.  But nothing too violent is actually shown, just implied.  You can fall off a boat or get caught by the French chef, but when that happens the screen just fills up with pink ink splats and you start the mission over.  While the game has lots of spoken voice, reading skill is still helpful for the menus and instructions.  Younger gamers may also get frustrated at the controls.  But whether they’re helping out in co-op mode or just watching, I think kids would just laugh and laugh at this silly game.

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