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Octodad is one of those games that you can’t be good at. No matter how hard you try. Octodad is student-made by a team of 19 from DePaul University for the Independent Games Festival as an entry, it’s free to download for PC, and it’s possibly the (best) weirdest game I have played this year on both a conceptual and mechanical level.

To put it simply, Octodad is a game full of destruction, deception, and fatherhood, where an octopus (that’s you) has managed to convince his family, and supposedly, society at large, that he is just a normal guy in a rather dapper suit. A lot of the indie game appeal are the controls. Every leg and arm movement is controlled entirely by your mouse movement. These controls are intentionally difficult and lacks the precision a normal human has. Octodad has no fingers nor opposable thumbs, thus causing every object he meets into a frenzy, leaving you in a tangle with your own limbs.

If the controls didn’t frustrate you enough, you are also forced to wrestle with an uncooperative camera. The camera can be shifted to the left and right manually, but due to your erratic movements and the tight level design, the camera angle can suddenly shift, having Octodad covering up most of the screen (as well as go through you!). Coupled with an awkward lock-on that automatically places your arm… tentacle to the nearest object, grabbing stuff is less enjoyable next to the simple joy of knocking over furnishings.

To add challenge to the game (like it isn’t challenging enough), there is a Suspicion meter. Acting less like a human and more like the real octopus you are, will drain the meter until the jig of being the caring husband and father is up. The Suspicion meter puts pressure on you to put on a decent and convincing act.

The unique gameplay, visuals, and sound effects presented in this indie title is light hearted but funny humor is truly different to anything I have ever played. Although Octodad has its bugs, the overall experience of being an octopus disguised as the family of four is a concept hard to hate and not to laugh at.  The game is rather short, but do not fret! Octodad: Dadliest Catch will be out shortly… For anyone with an hour or two to spare, I totally recommend this game!

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