Many developers have been going darker with the tones of stories lately. It's time we stop asking definitively if this is a good or bad thing and consider the artistic value at hand.
Octodad: The Dadliest Catch Preview: A Hilarious Breath of Fresh Air
For those who aren’t familiar with this crazy indie game, the original Octodad tasked players with performing simple, everyday tasks as an octopus disguised as a loving husband and father. To keep from spilling his secret, Octodad has to avoid suspicion by looking as normal as possible performing his menial tasks, but that is no easy feat for an aquatic sea creature.
Much like a 3D QWOP game, the controls are nearly impossible to master, but that’s the point. Using entirely the mouse to maneuver the world, players control Octodad’s arms and feet independently by switching between them with a click of the mouse wheel. When operating his arms, you move the horizontal level Octodad can reach for with the mouse wheel and move his arm back, forth, left, and right by moving the mouse. Players can also grab items with his sticky tentacles by clicking on them. To walk, you alternate between left and right clicks while swinging his legs forward to move. The entire process is hilarious.
The demo I played of the upcoming sequel involved Octodad getting ready for his wedding. I started out in a dressing room in front of a medicine cabinet. On the shelf in front of me were several pieces of garbage I was tasked with throwing aside before I could get to a key at the bottom of the pile. Carefully raising the key up, I unlocked the medicine cabinet door. Immediately the wall in front of me crumbled over, Octodad still tightly gripping the now detached cabinet door. This guy was clumsier than I thought.
I took this opportunity to walk forward. After figuring out the controls and stumbling my way through the church halls, I had to complete other objectives in order to prepare for Octodad’s marriage, like throwing wedding gifts through a stained glass window to dislodge a bowtie to wear and finding a tux and top hat to put on. After several shenanigans, I was finally ready for the hardest part of my mission.
At the end of the level, I had to guide Octodad carefully up the church aisle to his bride without raising suspicion. Cause too much ruckus by knocking over objects and the world will be onto Octodad’s hidden identity. The better you do to avoid blowing your cover and the quicker you make it to the stage, the better your overall score. I managed to walk over the pews–apparently a totally nonchalant action–to make it to my bride without letting others onto my secret.
I had a lot of laughs with Dadliest Catch. The premise is quirky and funny, and the game is quite an accomplishment for Young Horses, Inc., a developer studio straight out of college. If you’re looking for a charming, laid back indie title that will make you smile, look no further than Octodad: Dadliest Catch when it releases later this year.