Developer(s) – Young Horses
Director – Kevin Zuhn
Octodad is a quest-based linear adventure game, which has players controlling an octopus fitting in with human society and performing mundane tasks typical of the average family man. Whilst it is an extremely different experience from the norm, and one of the most outlandish ideas for a video game I’ve ever encountered, I unfortunately wasn’t overly impressed like I thought I would be, having played the demo of it earlier this year.
Graphics – 5/10
In terms of visuals, except for the main character Octodad, nothing really stood out from either a graphical or conceptual point of view in my opinion. The overall scenery and style of the game is particularly simplistic and bland, and dauntingly, there doesn’t seem to have been a great amount of effort put into it. Taking place in areas such as back gardens, supermarkets and generic-looking ships, its almost as if the scenery and style of the game speak of the mundane day-to-day life of the average man, that is being portrayed in the game.
Gameplay – 5/10
With a small array of boring tasks to do and criteria to fulfil, and with one side quest involving finding a number of differently styles ties in each chapter, the gameplay was just about as exciting as the visuals; not very much at all. There’s no real substance put into it in terms of gameplay, which to me, makes it a particularly fleeting and ultimately forgettable experience. It was extremely difficult for me to see the appeal that a lot of other people seemingly see in it.
Controls – 6/10
Though it’s by no means prefect, the game’s control scheme is it’s most noteworthy aspect, the way I see it. The player moves the character around and interacts with objects and items in the game by moving each individual limb with individual buttons. Whilst I can appreciate how different the game’s control scheme is compared with that of a typical game, what I can’t appreciate it for is how frustrating it can eventually become. To me, it’s a question of trial and error; a unique video game aspect that needs a lot of work done on it for it be fully perfected.
Lifespan – 1.5/10
Lasting just over 2 hours, taking in times when I struggled profusely with the games controls, I think it’s just as well that this game lasts this short a time, since there is nowhere near enough activity to have kept it interesting for any extended amount of time. There is no true replay value to be had, and in all honesty, I wouldn’t advocate anyone play it even for the first time.
Storyline – 5.5/10
The story of Octodad follows the titular octopus character integrating with modern-day human life, taking a wife and having two children, and performing day-to-day chores, whilst all the time avoiding an evil chef, who plans to cook him. Whilst its somewhat different, like the control scheme, it’s not exactly memorable the way I see it. The best things about the story are the clever cultural references found throughout along with some references to other video games, and the small comedic element when certain characters break the fourth wall. But other than that, it the game’s story isn’t overly immersing, in my opinion.
Originality – 6/10
Whilst the game is fairly unique in its controls scheme, and somewhat unique from a story point of view, there hasn’t been much creativity put into the main aspect; the gameplay. Also taking into account the games severe lack of conceptual design, I think there should have been much more added to this game to keep players wanting to play for as long as possible.
Overall, I think the developers of Octodad deviated away far too much from making gameplay as interesting as possible to focus on how unique the control scheme is, and seemed to think they could create a successful game solely on that premise. But it takes much more than a unique control scheme to make the most deep and meaningful gaming experiences, and this game, in my opinion, severely under qualifies.