Review: Octodad

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Octodad is like a Will Ferrell movie; technically you can experience it by yourself, but it only really becomes a fun time when you have someone to share the laughs with.

The game follows an octopus who is living incognito as a picture-perfect husband and father. You walk him down the aisle, help him mow the lawn, take the kids out and occasionally escape a murderous sushi-chef who adds a light sprinkling of peril to the proceedings. Whilst the premise tiptoes towards the brink of absurdity, the controls kick it over the edge with a raucous laugh, as four limbs (2 arms, 2 legs) are controlled independently, and two players will get 2 appendages each, making tasks as simple as preparing a coffee for your lovely wife a real mission.

The game forces you to work together, which can be tricky when you are doubled over laughing as Octodad inadvertently tips a plate of pasta on top of someone’s head, or it takes you a full minute to put a key in a lock. It has somehow made frustration its driving force, turning rage into pure joy.

At its best, Octodad will have you laughing so hard you won’t be able to hold your controller properly, let alone use it. But there are a couple of missteps that can drain the joy out of lengthy sequences. There are a couple of stealth sections that are more tedious than thrilling, and we seemingly completed them out of sheer luck. There is also a section in which Octodad must swim away from a hungry predator, this locks out player two for the entire sequence, and player one basically just holds forward as the camera swoops and spins in a lame attempt to build excitement. I’m sure these sections were included to add a little variety, but all they do is slow the game down.

Depending on how quick you are to master the controls, the game will be done in a few hours, but if awkward silences ever descend on nights in with a mate, it is perfect to load up and revisit, and will no doubt have you laughing in minutes.