The lights are on
What's it like being an octopus who's pretending to be a human? Not easy. Octodad is a complete bear to control, and yet it's an absolute blast to play.
You might already be familiar with Octodad. The original freeware game from a group of DePaul University students has already amassed a plethora of humorous YouTube walkthroughs showing people muddle their way through the game's janky controls. The game is about an Octopus who decides to find out what life is like above water, and ends of living a lie as he tries to pass himself off as human. Unfortunately for him, moving around like a normal human is challenging for a sea creature with eight legs. However, these awkward movements are the best part about Octodad. Watching people clumsily knock over every object in the room is hilarious in itself. The game’s exaggerated physics prove equally humorous even when you’re the one fighting the alien controls.
Recently, Sony announced that it would bring Octodad to the PS4, and we got our hands on the latest build of the game during this year’s San Diego Comic Con. The goal of our demo was simple: get ready for our wedding. However, we caused more property damage than a bull in a china shop trying to fasten our tie with our balloon-animal limbs.
Two of the shoulder buttons control Octodad’s “legs.” However, pressing these buttons only prepares the limb to move. After you activate his legs, you still have to move them around the environment using the joysticks. This is where things tend to get messy. I knocked over a vase, overturned a table filled with presents, and got my leg stuck in a chair just trying to get to the other side of the room. Another shoulder button activates his arm, allowing you to open doors and grab objects. The controls take some getting used to, but their unintuitive natures makes your onscreen actions all the more humorous.
It would be easy to charge across a room by plowing forward with the sticks, but the real challenge of Octodad comes from trying to conceal your identity. Octodad doesn’t want the world to know that he belongs in the ocean, and the more unusual his behavior, the more attention he’ll draw to himself. This makes Octodad one of the strangest stealth games I’ve ever played. Many of Octodad’s challenges are fairly mundane tasks such as buying apples from a grocery store; just try to grab one without knocking over the whole stand.
I’ve seen videos of Octodad for some time, but this was the first time I got my hands on a version of the game. The PS4 version should prove entertaining for old fans of the game, and developer Young Horses, Inc. says they’ve come up with several ways to keep the gameplay fresh even after players have progressed through the early hours of the game. That's almost hard to believe, but I'm interested to see how the team pulls that off when Octodad comes out later this year.
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