3/27/2012

Octodad

Face it, kids, everyone has to do chores, you're not special. In fact, you're privileged that you even have a skeletal system with which to do chores in the first place. The same can't be said of Octodad, the star of Octodad, who haphazardly flings his limbs around in a vain effort, trying to perform simple tasks we all take for granted. Lament the unfortunate Octodad.

Octodad breaches the fourth-wall to clumsily shake-hands with various KFC employees.

Octodad (PC)
Developed & Published by: The DePaul Gaming Experience
Released on: November 1, 2010

Octodad is a ragdoll physics-based puzzle game, where Octodad must complete everyday chores, despite his anatomy not being very well suited for such. You use the mouse to painstakingly move each of Octodad's legs forward to walk, and have to navigate his arm directly into items in order to pick them up. The game's mechanics as a whole are incredibly baroque, but that's the point. Octodad is an octopus, and he doesn't have any bones. Doing anything and everything with Octodad takes a huge amount of effort.

Needless to say, Octodad doesn't have much chinaware.

The game is controlled via a strange reverse WASD configuration, where the mouse moves Octodad's various limbs, and W A S & D control the camera. The spacebar acts as a shift-key, allowing you to alternate between using Octodad's arms and legs. When in 'Arm-mode', you move Octodad's arms in and out horizontally (X & Y planes), and holding down the right mouse-button will allow you to move up, down and vertically (X & Z planes). It's actually quite simple, but it is really difficult to do anything in an efficient manner; simple tasks such as cleaning out the fridge, digging through a toys-chest, or even scoring a soccer goal - once - seem to take five minutes due to Octodad's tenuous grasp of the concept of 'movement'. Although scoring a soccer goal in under five minutes is actually 85 minutes faster than it takes professionals. Good job Octodad. Not really.

Cephalopods are better soccer players than actual soccer players.

In case you haven't noticed, Octodad is a secret octupus. Although his family loves him, they are extremely racist against octopi, and the game will end if you act out of character too much, by means of dropping things on the floor, stumbling on everything or doing anything in general, really. The game features a 'Suspicion Bar' that slowly fills as he behaves... well, like an octupus. Octodad takes some getting used to, and you will likely fail a few times at first. And then this guy will come and cook you:

WATASHI WA OCTODAD DESU!

The goal of the game is to complete Octodad's various household chores, in order to recover things his (step?)-children have playfully hidden and use them to build a decoy Octodad, so that he can skip dinner and finish working on his anniversary gift in the secret underground lair that most suburban homes boast.

Goonies homages do a wonder for property values. I'm thinking of adding a few galleons myself.

However, Octodad's soon finds his humble efforts foiled by his mortal enemy, the Sushi Chef. The Sushi Chef, for whatever reason wants to prepare Octodad for lunch; he must have OCD, since he won't settle for any octupus, and is determined to get Octodad in particular. Consider the household chores a tutorial of sorts for the Sushi Chef's gauntlet. Which include lasers, step-ladders, and more lasers.

As if the lasers weren't enough, ladders? LADDERS!?


I've mentioned the controls earlier, and there actually remind a great deal of Garry's Mod, a game used in Medieval France to kill the brain cells of political dissenters. They both use ragdoll physics, and feature a lot of awkward flailing around. The game's controls are intentionally obtuse, resulting in a lot of ...erm, 'slapstick' gameplay:


You too can experience the frustration of 
superior mouse-controlled tactile gameplay at Octodadgame.com

And don't forget to get hype for Octodad 2: Dadliest Catch, coming out at some point in 2013.

Octupus-themed alternative rock is one of my favorite sub-genres:


No comments:

Post a Comment