Octodad

This one was wildly popular on streaming sites around its release, and I don’t understand why. What’s fun about watching a perfectly ordinary human man doing every day chores like getting breakfast or going shopping?

A few years ago there was a rash of these sorts of games with fiddly and awkward controls- QWOP, Surgeon Simulator, Goat Simulator, and the like. I think the joke got old pretty fast and the youtube-bait genre seems to have vanished as quickly as it sprouted. It’s interesting, then, to look at one such game without the context of the era to drag it down.

Octodad features (spoilers) an octopus living his best life as a human man, taking care of his human wife and ?human? kids. Make breakfast, go shopping, take the family out on a day-trip to the aquarium, all that good stuff.

The challenge comes from the deliberately-awful controls, which see each of Octodad’s appendages being controlled individually. Even the usually-simple task of walking forwards requires a careful balancing act of button inputs and directional movements. Thankfully, unlike its contemporaries, Octodad isn’t interested in being particularly difficult, and it’s very forgiving with the mistakes you’re inherently going to make. Act too suspiciously around other people and they might notice something’s not quite right with Octodad, eventually realising he isn’t human after too many (really, too many) indiscretions.

Fin or Bin:

It also doesn’t outstay its welcome- I Finished it within two hours, and the joke didn’t wear itself thin before the end. Shouldn’t think I’ll be coming back to this one, but the humour present in the game, and the chaos you can create with the bouncy physics engine, make this one worth spending an evening with.

(Steam)

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