[PS4 Review] Octodad: Dadliest Catch
Put on your suit and get ready for another day of pretending to be human.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch is a game about destruction, deception, and fatherhood. The player controls Octodad, a dapper octopus masquerading as a human, as he goes about his life. Octodad’s existence is a constant struggle, as he must master mundane tasks with his unwieldy boneless tentacles while simultaneously keeping his cephalopodan nature a secret from his human family.
In this sequel to the splash hit Octodad, our cephaloprotagonist has gotten himself in a bind between his wife’s mounting mistrust, and a disastrous trip to the local aquarium! Are you dad enough to control the titular octopus father as he strives to hide his nautical nature from his family while keeping his tangled tentacles intact?
The premise for Octodad: Dadliest Catch is that you are an octopus pretending to be a human… and you’re somehow getting away with it. The game starts at your wedding as you prepare to walk down the aisle. This level serves as a unique tutorial to the game, thus showing you the controls and how to play. You can operate your hand tentacles with the right and left sticks. When you hold down the right or left triggers you can control your corresponding leg with them. No game has ever really attempted such controls, and it does take some time to get used to it.
Essentially, you are trying to get through the game completing everyday human tasks without everyone realizing you are an Octopus. Instead of a health bar you have, for lack of a better word, a suspicion bar. As you do things that could get you caught it fills up, and when it is full the level ends and you can restart from your last checkpoint.
As mentioned earlier the game starts off with your wedding, and then you do get to work on tasks at home such as making coffee and mowing the grass. You get to go grocery shopping, and you even visit the aquarium. This doesn’t sound that eventful, but the humor of the game makes it all work. The awkwardness of you doing things in the game really shines. I also love how oblivious every character in the game is to your cover, and even though your wife is a reporter (possibly inspired from Lois Lane, another reporter missing things in front of her eyes), your family doesn’t notice. When your character talks it has subtitles with blurbs and gurgles with the general mood he is trying to convey.
There is a co-op mode where you can assign several controllers to take over different tentacles on the body. This can make the game much more difficult, but it also makes it even more hilarious. This is a great game to play when you have friends over. There is also support for the PlayStation Move. I was all ready to blow the dust off my controllers before realizing I didn’t have the PS4 camera. I do appreciate the inclusion, and I don’t complain when I can put older peripherals to use. If anyone tries it with the Move let us know how it was.
The game is only 2-3 hours so you can play through it pretty quickly. It does have a bit of replay value with ties hidden in each of the levels as collectibles, as well as thanks to the trophies you collect. Almost every level has 3 hidden ties that you can customize your character with, and even if they don’t have any special effect, besides making him look slightly different, you’re drawn towards collecting them. I would have loved to have different suits to wear, since that could have been entertaining.
As for the trophies that you can collect, they are easy to obtained. They often involve you doing something different than what is presented to you in the regular path for the level. For example, I got one of them for not cutting in line while waiting to get into the aquarium, and another can be unlocked for picking the weeds out of the garden without damaging any of the flowers. In total, there are 20 trophies for the game, and they’re all bronzes.
Octodad is a unique experience that I hope everyone gets to enjoy. It was great to see a developer take a chance on something unique and it has paid off here. You have not seen a game like this before, and I recommend that you buy it at once.