A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Octogeddon is a downloadable arcade game for Windows that lets gamers control a mutant octopus out to destroy the world. By rotating his body, using his tentacles to destroy enemies, and upgrading his tentacles with silly add-ons, players start in the ocean, begin to take over the United States on land, and the rest of the world after that. There's cartoon violence, as the point is destroying enemies before they can kill you, but it's not realistic or graphic. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content in the game.
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What's it about?
OCTOGEDDON, as the name implies, casts players as an octopus out to destroy the world. Why, you ask? One day, our hapless hero is watching YouTube and sees a human chef take a knife to a squid. That was enough to set him off, so he vows revenge on civilization, and works his way out of the water onto land in some of the biggest cities around the world. By using his tentacles as weapons, you'll blow up airplanes, submarines, tanks, and buildings, as well as multiple "boss" characters that are bigger, stronger, and more mechanized. You'll earn enough clams (the in-game currency) to add additional tentacles (at a maximum of eight, of course), and upgrade the tentacles with super powers, such as a chicken that can toss eggs, a snake that spits venom, and a lobster claw to clamp down on fighter jets.
Is it any good?
This fun, wacky, and accessible arcade smasher is strangely addictive, even with its cartoonish focus on destruction, and an underwhelming start that becomes better over time. After the opening cinematic, you'll find yourself underwater and learning the simple mechanics to destroy approaching enemies. By pressing the left mouse button you'll rotate left (counter-clockwise) and pressing the right button rotates you to the right (clockwise). That's all there is to it -- until you're on land and must hold down the buttons to roll in a given direction, as well. But the fun is in angling Octogeddon to aim tentacles at baddies, avoiding getting hit by them first (or else you'll lose a heart), collecting goodies (like coins, clams, and hearts), and tackling a boss at the end of each major level. While simple in its control and premise, the game does get quite challenging over time.
The real fun is in expanding your limbs and then experimenting with different tentacles before applying your strategy on a stage. For example, while destroying the Statue of Liberty, you'll need to simultaneously take down rockets, aircraft, and nuclear-armed tanks. Should you freeze them first with the penguin tentacle and then have your snakes fire at them? Or wait until they get closer so you can aim better with the claw, which destroys them in one snap? You can choose what works best. Plus, at the end of a stage, what should you spend your hard-earned clams on? Extra lives? More tentacles? Bigger upgrades? Buy a turtle shell to protect you from damage? You get the idea. As fun as the game is, there are some issues, such as having to repeat multiple levels over again when you die, and instances when enemies hurt you even if your arms are lined up perfectly to destroy them. But these problems don't take away from the enjoyment too much. From the ridiculous storyline and cute graphics to the addicting upgrades and smart tactics needed to succeed, Octogeddon is a blast -- especially for action-loving PC gamers on a budget.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the violence in Octogeddon OK because you're playing as an octopus and upgrading its tentacles with silly add-ons like penguins, snakes, and chickens -- or is this still inappropriate because you're causing mass destruction?
Talk about game complexity. Do games like Octogeddon prove that accessible and fun gameplay can be had in smaller packages, or do we need longer, more complex games?
- Platforms: Windows
- Price: $9.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: All Yes Good
- Release date: February 11, 2018
- Genre: Arcade
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, Magic and Fantasy, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Robots, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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