Friday, May 18, 2012

[Review] Octodad

Have you ever noticed how serious most of the video games we play are? Usually they’re all very serious games with the occasional joke thrown in. Well this game’s whole purpose is to be serious as hell, if the title doesn’t tell you that.
See? Seriously Serious.
The story revolves around you being an octopus that is trying to masquerade as a human. Your “health bar” in this game is a suspicion meter that fills up if you don’t complete a task right, or if you do odd things, like pick up makeup (since dads don’t wear makeup, duh). Once said suspicion meter is full, it is game over. Your main antagonist is some Japanese fish store owner dude that knows you are an octopus instead of a regular human dad, and he wants to chop you up and sell you as sushi.

However, the beauty of this game is not the story, but the gameplay. You use your mouse to control the legs and hands. Basically you switch between hand mode and leg mode using either the space bar or the middle mouse button. When in leg mode, you hold left and right mouse buttons to lift your left and right leg respectively, and then drag the mouse around to move the legs around. When in hand mode, you just move the mouse around to move your hand along the horizontal plane, and then when you want to move it vertically, you hold the right mouse button. Oh, and you click the left mouse button to pick up and/or drop items. At first it feels a bit odd to play this way, but once you get somewhat used to it (you never fully get used to it, but that’s what provides the challenge to this game), the tasks that are provided to you aren’t too hard.

As far as what I do like about the game, I love the quirkiness. It’s just so fun to walk awkwardly around a room trying to pass off as a human. The sound effects are funny as well. Probably my favorite thing about it is the unique gameplay. It’s challenging to do everyday tasks, but it’s a fun type of challenging, instead of the way Heavy Rain worked (I’ve only played the demo, so eh), which made those everyday tasks a chore.

There are a few small gripes I have with Octodad though. While I do like how the hand zips over to the nearest object to pick it up with your hand, sometimes its detection of this object works oddly and makes it hard to pick up the object you wanted (like when trying to pick up a specific toy from a toy bin). I also feel like in some places it would have been nice to have a bit more help in figuring out what to do. I also would like to be able to use both hands instead of just one of them, but honestly that’s not too big of a deal.

I would recommend this game to two different types of people. The first of which would definitely be kids. If you have a young ‘un, this game is silly and fun enough to keep their attention for quite a while. I’d go as far as to say it would help improve motor skills or something. My other recommendation would be for those who do lots of “let’s play” videos with commentary. I feel like it could make for some memorable moments in a series of LP vids.

So, give it a shot. It is an indie game, so I’m sure the developers would love to have more people try it out. You can find it at

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