A day in the life

This morning, around eleven, I rolled out of bed and into my computer chair to peruse this morning’s news. I took a sip of water—only to realize it was from yesterday evening—when it struck me: I hadn’t written this week’s Idler piece. So, I rolled up my sleeves, gave myself a good stretch, and promptly made breakfast, took a shower, cleaned my room, organized my bookshelves, and went for a bike ride (code for 800-yard stint to a coffee shop for two hours reading of The New York Times). Hours later, here I am, writing this piece.

Now that I think about it, if you replace the Idler piece with any given project and add a hangover for good measure, you have pretty typical Andrew Simone morning. So, just for fun, let’s imagine I am going about my usual routine but also happen to be a mimic octopus.

Now, if you debachelorize me, give me two human kids and make me a mimic octopus who is trying to hide the fact that he’s an octopus, you’ll begin to get a feel for the hilarious indie game, Octodad.


It is a short game—maybe an hour long—so I am going to avoid spoilers so you can get the full experience. I will, however, mention that the controls are terrible. The middle mouse button toggles between feet and hand mode, the left and right mouse buttons select which “arm” or “leg” you want to move, and the mouse movement manipulates them. And, while that makes walking across the room or picking something up an absolute chore, it also happens to be precisely the point.

The game is the struggle with the controls

This game is quietly brilliant. The developers realized the best way to communicate the times and trials of the modern octopus was to make the man behind the mouse frustrated through the mouse. (All I wanted to do was walk to the kitchen without arousing suspicion!) It’s another case of the game mechanic perfectly fitting the narrative which, as you know, is what I think makes for a worthwhile game.

Octodad is free for the PC

9 Responses to “A day in the life”
  1. Kevin Mattison says:

    I. must. play. this.

  2. Kevin Mattison says:

    P.S. I’ve seen that mimic octopus footage before. It’s hypnotic. I’ve already watched it twice today.

  3. For those interested in the animals-doing-things-they-are-not-supposed-to-do genre, see, also, Enviro-bear 2010

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