If love between a woman and a cephalopod is wrong, I don't want to be right.
I am not particularly good at most games in the "bumblecore" genre. I don't get the appeal of QWOP, and I found Surgeon Simulator to be funny for a few minutes, but quickly it became tiresome.
However, Octodad manages to take the sort of weird, often frustrating controls of this genre and turn them into something fun and charming rather than irritating. I used an Xbox controller and quickly mastered walking and basic interaction with the environment. Throwing stuff still felt a bit awkward, but there really wasn't much use for the throwing mechanic in the game.
The tone of Octodad is very light and silly, but as a parent I can tell you that the "family dynamic" felt really real in this game. The writing and the characters all seemed reasonably honest, despite the fact that the protagonist is incapable of speaking anything more than blubs and blurbs. (Pro tip: turn on the captions, because each thing Octodad says is captioned differently, despite sounding roughly the same)
Octodad is a bit on the short and easy side, if I'm being honest. I played it start to finish in an afternoon. I don't know that this is a terrible thing, as overly difficult games like this tend to just get frustrating. Still, I was left wanting more. There are some free DLC "shorts" that I might check out to help extend the experience.
Octodad takes some complicated controls and a heartfelt story, and tells a slapstick comedy adventure with them. It's a fun and funny way to spend $5 and an afternoon. Definitely check it out!
(Cult of the Fiver is my monthly series on great games that can be had for cheap. Want to stay on top of all our recommendations? We have a Steam Curation Page! In Pre-Cult articles, I collect my thoughts about a game I plan to feature in this month's entry.)