Anybody who haunts Newgrounds on a regular basis (so, like, me) has probably seen the Dad series at least once. I first discovered Dad back in college, and I've enjoyed the series ever since.
So I can't believe that I hadn't noticed that it had a game. And that said game was two years old! I must be slipping.
For the uninitiated, Dad is a crazy bugger who, ah, busts stuff up. For no real reason. He can fire lasers from his eyes, pull a sword from his throat, run at super speeds, fly, rock out on a guitar so well that the police forgive him for his misdeeds... that sorta thing. The second movie took him into his work, however, and here he faced off against his boss...
... who, it turns out, is EVIL. Here enters Dadgame, Dad's struggle against the Evil Boss and his hordes of minions, all for no discernible reason. The guy's evil, that's probably good enough.
As mentioned, Dad likes to bust stuff up, and though there is a plot to this game - crazed though it may be - the main goal here is to ravage the landscape. Destroy everything you see. (Dad might be the actual villain of the game.) Simple concept, and quite fun: mash your surroundings. If you happen to catch some enemies in the process, all the better.
Or is it? Admittedly, a game based on the Dad series couldn't be anything other than wanton destruction. Problem here is, there's little else to the game - all you do is punch, slash, zap or otherwise destroy everything in your path. A little slim, even if you do have lots of options for mangling your foes.
Dadgame's pretty basic in the controls department, which makes it rather easy to pick up and play even for novices. You'll spend most of the game jumping and punching (or smashing stuff with a weapon), to the point that you might not even know what's going on at a given time. Controlling Dad is a little loose, but not to the point that you'll suffer too many cheap deaths.
The main issue with controlling Dad comes back to the game's concept: all you do is attack. You'll probably break your finger tapping the Z key, because that's almost all you do the entire game.
Dadgame is virtually identical to the other Dad installments in terms of aesthetics: semi-crude cartoon characters in chaotic situations. The art probably wouldn't pass muster if not for the way in which it's employed, using smooth animations to depict scenes of wanton (yet surprisingly bloodless) violence. Of particular note are the bosses, who are in some cases much more complex than the normal characters and really neat to watch in action.
Of course you also fight a monkey, so... don't expect every boss to be a feast for the eyes.
The only thing that disappointed me about the graphics were the cut scenes. They seemed... sloppier than the original videos. Not as well drawn. This is a small quibble since these scenes don't last very long, but, there you go.
Dadgame has a fairly solid soundtrack, typical of a Dad production. Good, high-enegery tunes that fit in with the mayhem. Not much else to say. (You can buy the soundtrack, as well, if you really enjoy the music - I don't think I'll go quite that far.)
The level of challenge fluctuates radically in this game. The majority of the levels are really easy - you could probably sit in one spot, jumping occasionally and swinging a weapon, and do just fine. Then you get to the bosses, and the difficulty jumps through the roof. They're not impossible, but... well, needless to say, you might get too annoyed at the last boss to bother beating him. There is, fortunately, a challenge setting, so if you find the game too hard by the end you can restart somewhere easier (or vice versa if you're a gaming god and you find it too easy).
One of my biggest concerns challenge-wise is the ease with which you can gain invincibility. Every time you trash something on-screen, you build on an invincibility meter, and once you get that meter high enough Dad will go into a whirlwind frenzy:
Dadgame is fun. It's not the best Flash title in the ever-growing compendium of browser-based games, but it will give every Dad fan a chance to share in the carnage, especially given the sheer number of references to Dad's other adventures.