Published on September 30th, 2013 | by Illiya Vjestica1
Octodad: Dadliest Catch Preview
Platforms: PS4, PC
Publisher: Young Horses, Inc.
Developer: Young Horses, Inc.
Genre: Third-Person Adventure
You wouldn’t think Octopuses would make for very good husbands, let alone be suitable fatherhood material. But with Octodad, you’ll find that being an octopus can have certain advantages in life. The humble, suction grabbing mollusc had me smiling from cheek to cheek, with both myself and other Tokyo Game Show onlookers giggling in pure delight at the onscreen antics. A friendly Japanese PlayStation staff member guided me through the game’s controls, which were relatively simple.
The aim of the demo centred around every grooms’ worst nightmare: get to the church on time and don’t forget the ring. Oh, and try doing it as an octopus. There were no fellow cephalopods here to pick up the slack, just Octodad and his flimsy tentacles to help you push, grab, throw and generally knock things about. Having no bones isn’t easy – it’s even harder still when you’re an Octopus masquerading as a human who can’t quite find their balance.
The player controls Octodad like a movable puppet as you perform simple tasks such as opening doors, clearing objects off tables or putting your top hat and bow tie on in time for your big day. The analog sticks control the pitch and depth you can move Octodad’s extendable limbs and, at first, this admittedly feels a bit strange; however, after one or two goes I soon got the hang of it. You can also grab objects using the suckers on the end of Octodad’s tentacles by pressing R1 and using the L1 button to switch between your arms and legs for further control and movement. To say Octodad isn’t a bit nuts would be an understatement but there was a lovely charm and a real comedic value to every move you performed.
During the demo I had to hit a switch to turn on some dance music and party lights. As I did so the PlayStation staff member beside me jubilantly exclaimed, ‘Now, you can go dance!’. I began busting moves like MC Hammer, but with a completely boneless and rhythmic flow. This is where the hilarity really hit home as I planted one of Octodad’s tentacles to the dance floor and swung his flailing, wobbly body round and round like a hula hoop much to the amusement of my Japanese instructor who chuckled loudly.
After grabbing the bow tie, tuxedo and top hat needed to complete the appropriate formal attire to enter the church, it was time to join my expectant (and probably blind) wife over at the altar, but getting there wouldn’t be easy. I had to navigate a pathway directly down the church stalls, which was covered in hazardous banana skins; the slapstick favourite causing mayhem once again.
The staff member informed me that I had to get to the altar without alarming the guests by causing an inhuman-like scene. With each unwanted slip delivered courtesy of a yellow peel, Octodad’s fragile, eight limbed body crumpled to the floor as I managed to knock over yet another vase, causing the attending wedding guests to grow increasingly suspicious that something was awry. Thankfully, I got there just in time, but before the vows could be taken I would need to rummage around haplessly in search of the bride’s ring. Once I’d flung countless objects out of a nearby chest, mostly due to the fact I kept inadvertently picking them up, I found the ring, shambled over to my wife to be and stuck the glistening ring on her finger, thus ending the demo.
Octodad looks set to be one of best indie titles coming out for the PlayStation 4 and PC. And to think this was a game created by a bunch of University students. Wasn’t there a similar game that went on to become a smash hit from similar beginnings…? I believe it was called Narbacular Drop, which later became Portal. Enough said.