Revisiting the Indie Megabooth on Saturday I sat down at several booths and talked to all sorts of developers. To be honest I’m not sure what I’m expecting in the indie area of PAX, everything is usually new and unique, no two games really look the same. Well, even considering that Octodad stood out pretty well. This is a game that deserves the title of “high concept” and expects quite a bit of what the industry terms “suspension of disbelief”.
In Octodad: Dadliest Catch (so many puns!) you play the titular octopus who has mysteriously found a place in the real human world, but struggles on a daily basis to keep the fact that he is an octopus a secret. In other words, the game has you, a very obvious looking yellow octopus, doing very menial and mundane chores in an effort to appear human, lest you raise the suspicions of your family and friends.
Octodad on paper sounds both too high concept and too difficult to pull off. I mean really, how are people not suppose to believe you’re an octopus? Somehow you’ve even managed to convince someone to marry you and sire human children! I don’t even know how the biology of that is suppose to work, but for the sake of the wild idea going on here I’m willing to hold back my own suspicions.
Some of the things you’ll be doing in this game include riveting activities such as mowing the lawn and chopping vegetables. But hold on! You’re just an octopus, so this isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. Controls are difficult at best to manage and require extreme patience. Even with that you’re likely to be flailing around like Kermit the Frog on a bad trip. On top of all that your neighbors are well aware of your secret and will be out to kill you just for being an octopus! How’s that for subtle social commentary? I also don’t mind their theme song:
To be honest the game plays out a lot like the infamous and surprisingly addictive QWOP, which has you controlling each limb to reach your runner to the finish line. Personally I’ve never made it, but it shows you just how different the brain works when instructed to think about moving each limb on an individual basis. Octodad is infinitely more playable, but I’d be hard pressed to argue that its any easier. Its definitely more interesting, arguably more fun.
Currently the game is going through the new Steam Greenlight process, which while I have some reservations about the system, I still want to see Octodad get the sort of recognition it deserves. So jump over and give them an up-vote if you like the concept.