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One of the many indie games coming to the PS4 is Octodad: Dadliest Catch from Young Horses game studio. The title puts players in the titular role of a father who starts a family with the love of his life and tries to take care of the wife and kids with everyday chores and activities... the only catch is that the dad is an octopus.
Yes, the slimy appendages of a squid make up for the limbs of the protagonist because it's basically an octopus trying to pretend to be human. The video is nearly 10 minutes long and is covered by Family Gaming TV [via Pushsquare], a somewhat wholesome series of videos covering video games that the whole family can play... I'm sure the offerings are extremely limited.
Anyway, the video takes players through the first mission of the game: getting Octodad married. The goal is to put on the tux, grab the bowtie and get the ring for Scarlet, Octodad's wife-to-be. Those three things sound pretty simple, but the real challenge is in actually controlling the tentacle-limbed hero.
As showcased in the video, players will have to struggle to maintain some semblance of control and movement over Octodad, as the flimsy limbs wobble, waver and stretch across the screen. It's quite hilarious and the destructive results from doing simple things like walking or picking things up carry a very similar air of hilarity to Bossa Studios' Surgeon Simulator 2013.
One of the best parts was when the player was trying to walk down the isle to Scarlet, and everyone (or the few people in the pews) were watching as Octodad slipped, spilled, stretched and slugged his way over to the bride while knocking over just about any and everything in his way.
I think the charm of the game comes from the fact that it's designed with a lot of normal looking environments and scenarios and players are trying to do simple things in a really complex way. I mean, in most games getting a key and unlocking a door is a simple task, the only thing that makes it difficult is having some sort of forced obstacle in the way like enemy AI or a complex puzzle that requires solving. In this case, the obstacle is the controls and finding a way to master them to carry out that task.
In a way, I like the fact that these students found a way to turn a tech demonstration into a game where problem solving isn't about some Rube Goldberg-type contraption or huffing and puffing through an hour-long dungeon run like in The Legend of Zelda, but instead there are these small moments of complexity wrapped in simple events with straightforward goals.
Octodad really managed to catch fire and make waves when it was demonstrated on stage at this year's E3 during the Sony conference. The company managed to show that they not only had tons of AAA titles on the horizon and all the expected multiplatform games in tow, but they were also showcasing that they're willing to experiment with games you don't usually see on home consoles.
In a way, Octodad reminds me a lot of Noby Noby Boy, although I get the feeling that the former could catch on in a big way, especially with the YouTube community.
You can learn more about the game by paying a visit to the official website.