When a product has been available for nearly six years and still it’s being worked upon, it makes me excited. If you then add in a simple concept and exciting and amusing theme, it should be a winner. Well, this is the basic background for Who’s Your Daddy?! a ridiculous conceptual title that has captured the interest of the gaming community.
It has been developed and published by Evil Tortilla Games and was Kickstarted with a $1500 backing. It is a Game Preview multiplayer parody simulation title similar to DEEEER Simulator or Goat Simulator. In its current build, it has many locked areas, and it’s missing some key elements. However, this doesn’t stop you from playing, and there is some enjoyment to be had.
Who’s Your Daddy?! is absurd.
Who’s Your Daddy?! stands out from its peers because it lacks a story. Its core gameplay revolves around online or couch co-op multiplayer action. This idea is wonderful in theory, but in reality, it can quickly become tiresome. Luckily, though, its absurd set-up helps to alleviate the monotony while adding a sick but amusing twist.
The action spans four game modes; 1v1, 4v4, Daddy’s Nightmare, or custom rules. Whichever you choose, you get a short match that follows a similar pattern. You must pick team Daddy or team Baby, and then all hell breaks loose. The Dads must care for their babies as they pick up deadly items and try to kill themselves. The babies, however, must escape their father’s attention and cause as much mischief as possible. Whatever happens, you are guaranteed to giggle as things rarely go to plan.
Conceptually great, but lacking balance.
The idea behind Who’s Your Daddy?! is equally brilliant and ridiculous. Snatching items from your toddler while forcing food down their throat is both rewarding and sinister. Likewise, it’s bloody amusing to pour petrol everywhere and burn down the house as a baby. Furthermore, it was excellent fun to evade capture by sneaking through crawl spaces or consuming potions of invisibility.
However, much of the enjoyment is tarnished by some very noticeable issues. Sadly, each taints the game’s balance, and this makes it infuriating to play.
The first noticeable complaint lies within the 4v4 lobby. The description implies balanced sides, yet every game I played had me as a daddy taking on 7 babies. Aside from the constant laughter as 7 rugrats crawled around ruining my life, it was impossible to win. When you have no fighting chance, there is zero enjoyment to be had.
The second problem is that most of the map is locked. Now, I know this is still in development, but the playable area simply isn’t big enough. Furthermore, what has been created unfairly favours the baby. Nearly everything is deadly, and there isn’t enough to counter it. In short, team Daddy will always struggle.
Finally, the action is confusing. Now, I enjoy a nonsensical title, but there is little structure to define how you win. Free for all action is all well and good, but I want goals. Going forward, the developers should structure each match to define the winning criteria. In its current build, I believe its longevity will be adversely affected.
Who’s Your Daddy?! isn’t groundbreaking.
I’ve covered many of these simulation titles and all of them look similar. Where Who’s Your Daddy?! stands out is its differing perspectives. It was great to compare the world through the eyes of each team. As a baby, everything is larger than life and this was a great move. Whereas, the adult has full scope to plan and move objects out of reach. This element of the game was well delivered while retaining a colourful and cartoon approach.
The mischievous nature of the gameplay is enhanced by the naughty soundtrack. The blend of baby noises and catastrophic booms will make you chuckle. If you then add in the sounds of machinery as well as the playful splashing of kids enjoying the swimming pool, you have a bizarre and eclectic blend. Fortunately, this was another layer that works brilliantly and it can only improve as the game expands.
The controls are lacking.
Much of the action relies on a floppy physics-based style and this will frustrate some players. I didn’t mind this, as it has little bearing on the gameplay. My problems, however, lie somewhere else. As the dad, you are tasked with loving and protecting your child. Yet, you can’t pick them up, other than to feed them. Moreover, you can’t prevent them from leaving a room, nor can you put them back in their crib. The developers need to alter this to even up the playing field. Other than these issues, the controls are well mapped and are responsive.
Four game modes is a good return from an inexpensive title. Though they are conceptually similar, they are unique enough to add to the longevity and replay value. This will improve further still as the game expands and more elements are added. Sadly, its current build is limited and this forces you to play casually rather than for hours.
Who’s Your Daddy?! needs a lot of work.
I appreciate that bringing a game to market is a long and arduous task. Furthermore, I also understand it’s easy for me to highlight the shortcomings. Yet, Who’s Your Daddy?! has lots going for it, it just needs a few tweaks. If the developers can get the balance right and expand the action, this will be an enjoyable title. The graphics are good; the sound adds to the fun, and the concept is ridiculous. It has a bright future and you can experience it here! Being a parent is tough enough, but these babies don’t care! Can you protect them, or will they get their own way?
Who’s Your Daddy?! is a conceptually amusing title that’s held back by its imbalance. The developers have some minor elements to focus on to make this reach its potential. Its graphics are as expected, but I loved the combination of each perspective. Furthermore, its audio is fun and lighthearted while having a mischievous twist. If a defined goal is added to the action, and Team Daddy is given better powers, the gameplay will be improved vastly.
(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Mac and PlayStation.)