Published on November 22nd, 2015 | by Patrick Garde0
Octodad: Dadliest Catch Review
A few years ago, a wonderful little game called QWOP came out, where the major mechanic of the game was the controls given were bad, which led to controlling your character a one giant pain in the neck. Octodad: Dadliest Catch effectively reiterated on the idea of having dodgy controls, to give the game its own level of charm. The team behind the game was originally a group of students at University, who later became an independent team, known as Young Horses, Inc.
Originally, the Octodad series was on PC, at first as a freeware game, and then later on down the line the series got itself a sequel, which was released on Steam. This sequel has now been ported to the iOS and Android platform, but still manages to keep what made the game popular in the first place: the fun, yet difficult controls.
The reason the controls are so difficult has to do with the fact that you’re an octopus, and as this octopus, you have physics applied to every single part of your body. Whenever you’re moving, every piece of your body is pretty much going to go and do whatever it likes. It’s as if your limbs were rubber bands, constantly being flung about the place.
You have two separate modes when it comes to your movement: one gives you access to your arms, and the other gives you access to your legs. To use your legs, you have to swipe the left side of the screen to move your left leg, and the right side of the screen to use the leg on the right. If you take things slow and gentle, you won’t be bumping into too much, but you will be taking your sweet time. However, if you start making big, long strides, your body is going to enjoy making use of the physics it has implemented into it, because you’re going to be hitting into a number of different objects throughout the level.
If you would like to make use of your arms, though, you just tap the button near the bottom of the screen, and you can get and use your arms instead. With your arms you will stay cemented into the ground, giving you full use of one of them. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s easy, however, as your arm will still wibble wobble, pretty much anytime you move it around. Then, you also have to make sure your arm is on the right level, and if it’s not, you’ll just have to hope you can raise it or lower it to wherever you need it to be. Now, thankfully, as an octopus you have those things on the end of your limbs, known as suckers, and those things will allow you to pick up objects and throw them, so your arms do actually have a purpose.
Gameplay consists of you traversing the level, by completing whatever objectives the iPhone game hands to you. These tasks would by most standards be fairly menial, and nothing more than a chore. For poor Octodad, however, something like putting the groceries away or cleaning the dishes is nowhere near as easy as you might like to hope. More often than not, you’re going to be making one hell of a mess when it comes to things, which is just about as much fun as following the objective. Just like your character, objects tend to have physics tied to them as well, so when you dive headfirst into a pile of presents, they might just be set to fly all over the place.
Careful, though, because if you go around, flipping up tables and whatnot around people, then they’re going to see you acting weird and they’re going to start getting a little suspicious of you. With every suspicious action that someone sees, it will fill up a bar. Once that bar has been filled, it is game over for you and you will have to start over from the last checkpoint.
The physics of it all makes the iPad game the fun package that it is. It just makes everything a lot more wacky, ridiculous, and just overall fun to play. This is the draw to Octodad: Dadliest Catch. It’s one of those games where you shouldn’t take it seriously, and then you’ll enjoy your time with it all the more. If for some reason you think the game is meant to be taken seriously, then feel free to read over the general idea over the story: you play an octopus, trying to keep his identity a secret by disguising himself as a human male with a family. How that octopus has kids and a wife I’ll never know, but it just goes to show that the story, along with the rest of the game is not meant to be taken all that seriously.
I haven’t come across any problems with the Android game so far, but there is one thing I thought was just a touch overwhelming when I came across it. Within 5 to 10 minutes, the game will have given you the tutorial for all the controls, and it’s honestly a little difficult to keep track of. It’s hard to recall every single different way you can utilise the controls, meaning that you might forget one every now and again, which isn’t exactly something you want.
Overall, though, the port of Octodad: Dadliest Catch ($4.99) on iOS and Android platforms has been handled very well. At first, I wasn’t expecting the controls to make any sense, leading me to become quickly frustrated with the game, but in actual fact, the developer has made the port from keyboard and mouse to touchscreen really well. Not something that I would have expected, but I’m happy to be proved wrong. That, along with the rest of the game hasn’t been worsened by the platform change, something that you certainly want to see when it comes to a port.
Summary: The slightly quick tutorial I would have enjoyed seeing it be a little slower, but that doesn’t deter Octodad: Dadliest Catch from me in the slightest. Controls for the iPhone, iPad and Android game work wonders, and the gameplay is just as wacky and fun as it always was. This game makes for an easy recommendation for anyone.