QWOP was a strange game that was frustrating, but that was part of it's design. So why on earth would I want to try Octodad: Dadliest Catch, a game that has controls that can be as frustrating to control? Well, because it's…different. And humorous. An octopus living among humans that don't have a clue about him? Recipe for a good, funny game.
So the game's basic premise is to live among humans and blend in. It starts out with Octodad on his wedding day, having to walk down the aisle and put a ring on Stacy's finger. This serves as a tutorial to understand how to control Octodad.
Okay, let's stop right here and address that. Octodad is an octopus that walks upright and tries to act human. Sound awkward? Well, it's almost as awkward to control. In order to get Octodad to move, you have to manipulate his legs with the triggers on the GamePad. ZL moves his left leg, and ZR moves his right leg. You can also manipulate one of his arms with the left and right analog sticks. He can also pick up and release objects by pressing the A button. It's hard to describe how to move Octodad without spending more hours sitting and thinking about it, but just understand it isn't difficult once you understand how it's done, but it is a bit frustrating.
This video kind of gives you an idea about how Octodad moves.
Tha main objective of Octodad: Dadliest Catch is stealth. Octodad is trying to keep his identity as an octopus from the people around him, including his wife and kids (Kids? How?), while doing routine tasks like brewing coffee, cutting the grass, and buying aquarium tickets. If you err while people are watching, they will start to catch on and your suspicion meter will start to fill up. Mess up too much and you'll have to restart from the last checkpoint that you reached. Fortunately, these checkpoints are pretty easy to come by.
At the beginning of the game, the tasks are funny and lighthearted, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the latter half of the game beginning with Octodad's flashback. It felt a little too difficult. Without spoiling the story, Octodad is naked and needs to get to a change of clothes without being seen (this happens more than once), but if he's seen, it almost spells instant failure. Contrast this to the first half of the game where it's very lighthearted and it could get easy to quit before the story comes to a resolution.
Octodad also includes a couple of boss encounters. Neither of them are too hard to pass, but it did take me a couple of tries to finish both of them. Adding a speed element to the game was an interesting change of pace, but the controls made me fail more times that I cared for.
Dadliest Catch is a pretty good looking game though there is one section where the framerate is atrocious. I'm pretty sure it hit single digits when I was trying to power the aquarium back on at one point, and it made the game very, very difficult for a few minutes. The dialogue is consistently funny, and coupling that with the ridiculous controlling of Octodad makes for a funny, funny game.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch lasted about a half-dozen hours for me, but I didn't end up collecting all of the ties or completing all of the achievements. There are a couple of bonus scenarios available (Octodad and Stacy's first date, Medical Mess). There's also a co-op mode for up to four players, though I didn't get the chance to try this mode out.
If you're looking for a quirky, unique game on the Wii U, you won't go wrong with Octodad: Dadliest Catch. It will frustrate you, but you'll probably be too busy laughing at yourself to let it get to you.