15 April 2012

Sunday Free Game - Octodad

I first played IGF Student Showcase winner Octodad about a year ago, after Ryan Davis (of Giant Bomb) described it as a college student's first experience smoking pot turned into a video game. More recently, Jonathan Holmes (Destructoid) offered a fairly literal interpretation, positing that the game is about struggling through self-doubt, and coming to terms with one's identity as a spouse and parent.

Octodad, on the surface, is about an octopus in a suit pretending to be a human dad, which should be reason enough for everybody to play it immediately, but it's the rich subtext that makes it memorable. A wacky concept alone does not a good game make, and Octodad is absolutely a good game.

By the by, there's a remake/sequel in the works. Freed from the constraints of student game development, Octodad: Dadliest Catch will be made with such wonders as time and a budget. It looks just as hilarious and weird as the original, and it's near the top of my most-anticipated games list. My only concern with the trailer is that Octodad's previously dead eyes seem more expressive now. It could signal a major shift in tone and theme.

But then I listen to the Octodad (Nobody Suspects a Thing) song again, and you know what? I'm down for whatever tone they want to throw at me.