Octodad is a third-person adventure game that puts players in control of an octopus that is masquerading not only as a human, but also as a father. The gameplay revolves around completing mundane tasks in a way that hides Octodad's true nature from his family.
The player controls Octodad similarly to how a person controls a marionette. Players drag his arms around while his body flails, which makes performing even simple tasks much more difficult. However, as an octopus the player can take advantage of certain benefits such as higher than normal strength and the ability to fit through tight spaces. If players complete tasks too suspiciously, the family becomes wary of Octodad, which results in having to restart the game from the last save point or checkpoint.