Octodad: Dadliest Catch

May 20, 2014

The PlayStation 4 may be the most successful Next-Gen console, but the question on everybody’s lips is the same as with any console launch – where are all the games? This is one area where the PS4 isn’t necessarily standing apart from its brethren, and certainly not in comparison to the might of Steam and PCs, but is still providing a steady stream of enjoyment in the form of great support for indie titles. Early adopters already have had access to Contrast, Outlast, Mercenary Kings, Flower and more, and now the PS4 is home to its very own port of the exceptionally unique Octodad: Dadliest Catch.

You may remember Octodad from its debut as one of the most bizarre yet hilarious concepts to be produced by a student team, its success bringing this sequel, Dadliest Catch. Don’t worry if you haven’t played the original – Dadliest Catch doesn’t require you to have any prior knowledge and in fact brings you up to speed throughout the game with the protagonist’s history.

The protagonist is, of course, Octodad – an octopus posing as a human who has somehow started a family with a lovely wife and two kids. The game is framed around a day in Octodad’s life as he helps around the house, visits the shops and local aquarium, and is occasionally pursued by a sushi chef who seems to be the only person alive who has realised the very obvious truth of Octodad’s true species. This is all interspliced with flashbacks from Octodad’s past, including how he first decided to disguise himself as a human, how he met his wife and the day they got married.

While each of these plot elements is amusing, and perhaps necessary in order to expand the game and pad it out, there’s something beautiful about keeping the concept simple. We don’t need much more explanation for what Octodad’s deal is beyond the game’s amazing theme song – “He’s got a good thing going on… Nobody suspects a thing!”


The entire conceit of the gameplay is as hilarious as it always was, by simply asking you to perform average everyday tasks… as an octopus. While the game is merciful and keeps Octodad’s limbs to the human-like four, they’re still bendy appendages that stretch and contort in unpredictable ways. Your main challenge is often simply walking, as you use the triggers to raise your feetacles from the ground and the analogue stick to stretch them over a distance, trying to form a regular walking cycle as best you can.

The game is larger than its predecessor, with a few hub areas with multiple objectives. Ultimately, a lot of these objectives are little mini-games or side-attractions, that provide a small amount of challenge or can be bypassed entirely with some canny stepping-around of their rules. The game’s structure feels loose, with no grand objective or goal until the very end of the game, just a set of situations thrown at Octodad to blubber around.


On PS4, Octodad looks crisp and clean with simple cartoony graphics, yet suffers from small yet noticeable frame-rate jitters from time to time. The music is simple but fun, and Octodad’s voice acting is great but not nearly as funny as his subtitles which attempt to convey what he is communicating.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch is really funny for the first hour or so you spend with it, before settling into a more generally amiable tone for the next five hours it lasts. The concept is smart, but Dadliest Catch stretches and pads it out about as far as it can go. If you’re looking for something a bit strange, unusual and hilarious, in the tradition of PlayStation classic weirdos Katamari and Noby Noby, then check out Octodad: Dadliest Catch on PS4.


Hilarious idea


Short, yet feels stretched out

Overall Score: