Octodad: Dadliest Catch – E3 Preview: The Sleeper Hit of the Show

Octodad. What a weird game. Weirdly brilliant, weirdly funny and weirdly ridiculous. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe Octodad‘s approach to gameplay and how it’s probably this year’s E3 sleeper hit of the show.

Ever wondered what it would be like to try to pass off as a human while actually being an octopus? Octodad‘s developer, Young Horses did, for some reason, and what a game this turned out to be. The E3 demo begins as Octodad is getting ready for his wedding, dressing up, finding the gold ring and actually marrying a human, trying to do so without anyone realizing what he is. Objectives change the further you make it into the chapel. Getting further, though, is the real challenge.

Hopefully, you didn’t forget about the fact that Octodad is an octopus – and, with that, comes an added layer of difficulty moving around, which is brilliantly translated into controller form. There are basically two control modes that put Octodad in motion and help him interact with the environment and items.

Movement mode is mapped to the two triggers. Each trigger controls the extension and retraction of Octodad’s lower limbs, which makes for some hysterical moments of lumbering about. On the other hand, once you get used to the flow and rhythm of movement, dashing about turns into second nature.

Handling items works in an apparently less precise, but nonetheless fun way, by using both of the analog sticks, adjusting the pitch and how deep his arms go in from of his body. Thankfully, a quick button press is enough for an item to stick to his limb, which is also how he interacts with doors and other things in the environment.

Octodad was unfairly labeled as a ragdoll simulator by some of the attendees around its booth. Although it isn’t the very first attempt at trying to give much less direct control over a character in a game, it’s quite easily the best developed idea in that category. And, according to Philip Tibitoski, president of Young Horses, the E3 demo is just a glimpse of how crazy Octodad: Dadliest Catch will get when it’s finally released sometime in Spring 2014 on PS4.

We can hardly wait.