Octodad: Dadliest Catch (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Ofisil 13.11.2017

Review for Octodad: Dadliest Catch on Nintendo Switch

After its humble beginnings as - somewhat ugly - freeware video game project, Octodad soon evolved into the cult indie hit known as Octodad: Dadliest Catch, which, like all unorthodox products, divided the gaming community into those who hated its QWOP-like, purposely awkward control scheme, and those who embraced it for what it was - the ordinary tale of a suburban family cephalopod that just wanted to fin… err, fit in. Get those tentacles ready, then, as the "Man With the Eight Strong Legs" has finally arrived at the Switch.

The bride is waiting for a long time for the groom to arrive. "He is always late," she says to herself, while somebody is trying to check on the man of the day who is currently preparing himself. He opens the door, takes a look at our protagonist, who, by the way, is actually an octopus, and gets immensely shocked from what he sees… and then scolds poor 'ol Octodad for not being ready yet! This is basically the big joke that this adventure is centred around, and, despite its silliness, it's handled surprisingly well.

It's hard to put it on text, but the fact that no one ever, ever realises that he is something more than just a suit-wearing fellow that clumsily stumbles on his surroundings, is as hilarious as it is surreal and silly. No one, though? Not exactly. A Japanese chef is beyond having a fishy feeling about the situation, and is eager to expose our hero, turning him into tasty sushi while at it. As for Octodad, being the paci-fish that he is, instead of picking a fight with this culinary professional, he just tries to avoid him, while also being sure to keep deceiving the rest of the populace.

Screenshot for Octodad: Dadliest Catch on Nintendo Switch

Of course, under the beautifully minimalistic cartoon visuals, subtle commentary on everyday routine, and overall off-the-wall concept, for all intends and purposes, this is still a game, therefore, while it's definitely fun to watch, what really matters is how fun it is to play. The goal? Oh, pretty simple. You'll just have to help Octodad pull off menial tasks like preparing a coffee, buying groceries, or going up the stairs. What's that? He is walking as if he has drunk like a fish? Well, that would probably be because he is a freaking octopus who's trying to live on land.

…and that's the obvious line that separates those who'll love it, from those who'll hate it with passion. Each and every "mission" has zero complexity, yet the real battle seems to be with the controller, since the player has to individually control Octodad's tentacles. Thankfully, while clearly weird, the controls are easy to learn, and after a while they will almost feel natural - just don't expect going in and not feeling frustrated every now and then, as there are some spots where you'll have to really struggle.

Screenshot for Octodad: Dadliest Catch on Nintendo Switch

Sure, part of the fun here is exactly that: trying to do things and failing while at it. After that wears off, however, you'll simply want to finish the darn game, and, sadly, there are multiple ways it can annoy while trying to do so. For starters, the camera often becomes your worst nightmare, initially because it can't be controlled, and secondly, because it's often placed in the least helpful position imaginable, especially in the more claustrophobic areas. The real problem, however, is how unbalanced the experience is as a whole.

Simply put, there are some levels that are a joy to play, and, for those into trial challenges, replay, but there are also some that are so aggravating that, after reaching the fishing… err, finishing line, you won't really want to ever try them again. Despite all the negativity, though, Octodad: Dadliest Catch is actually a very good game that wholly deserves the cult adoration it has received - it's just that it cod… err, could be much better with a little bit more care.

Screenshot for Octodad: Dadliest Catch on Nintendo Switch

As for the current version, like many indie titles, it has found what seems to be its perfect home, as its levels are super small, and thus, it fits like a glove with the Switch's portability. Furthermore, this is the platform of choice for most couch party goers out there, and Octodad: Dadliest Catch is certainly a game that's best enjoyed with a bunch of friends - especially if willing to experience the living hell of the co-op mode, which enables four players to control each individual limb!

No new modes in here, however, not to mention that, for some strange reason, the developer hasn't actually included any motion controls… although many would view this as good news, given the nature of this title. So, in conclusion, should anyone spend any money on Octodad: Dadliest Catch? The short answer: if you want something small, silly, and purposely hard to handle, sure! The long one: wait for a generous price drop, because, while this is definitely a fun and charming bundle of indie bizarreness, it's not worthy of its current price tag.

…Oh, and remember, "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Octodad R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!"

Screenshot for Octodad: Dadliest Catch on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Octodad: Dadliest Catch is the epitome of cult, as it's clearly a love-or-hate video game, since its purposely "bad" control scheme and comedic approach to things is far from most people's cup of sea water. As for those who think that this is up their alley, it's best to wait a bit. Not because this isn't fun or anything, but because it's currently a bit too pricey for what's on offer.

Developer

Young Horses

Publisher

Young Horses

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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