Review: Ooblets

After years of anticipation, I’m pleased to say ooblets it was worth it

ooblets is one of those games that I followed from its announcement in 2016 until its release, so suffice it to say that it was a long-awaited game for me. stardew valley satisfies Pokemon it’s a great logline, and the combination of those gameplay elements compared to the game’s cute and colorful art style basically made it feel like it was made specifically for me. The game entered early access in 2020, but this month it got its full 1.0 version.

You’ve got all the usual mechanics you’d expect from a game like this: farming, fishing, foraging, cooking, befriending villagers, as well as some new twists. You can see clear inspiration from farming sims like stardewand yet ooblets it still manages to feel completely unique in that regard. I’m absolutely ooblets‘ target demographic, and I’m pleased to say I found it to be an absolute delight. Let’s talk about it.

ooblets (epic game store [reviewed]Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S)
Developer: Glumberland
Publishers: Glumberland
Release: September 1, 2022
MSRP: $29.99

the premise of ooblets is that it takes place in a magical land called Oob, which is populated by creatures called… you guessed it: Ooblets. At the start of the game, the player lands in a quaint seaside town called Badgetown, having left the big city for the countryside where the Ooblets run free. Naturally, they settle in an old dilapidated shed and begin their new lives as local farmers.

Badgetown is as cozy and quaint as you’d expect, complete with a coffee shop, barbershop, clothing store, seed shop, town hall, and more. The residents are a lot of fun and have some of the most distinct personalities I’ve seen in a community sim from the start. animal crossing days. Some of his dialogue was so ridiculous and cleverly written that it actually made me laugh out loud, which made the friendship part of the gameplay loop something to look forward to.

In fact, all of the dialogue, item names, and descriptions are written in a goofy tone reminiscent of “SO RANDOM XD” humor from the 2010s, but they’re actually written in a way that feels fresh and fun. instead of irritating and irritating. . When I was playing, I had a feeling the style might make some players bounce, but I found it charming as hell – do what you want with it.

They got the moves

But let’s face it, the real appeal of ooblets is the promise of Pokemon-Style Battles: Don’t worry, there’s plenty of that. Shortly after arriving in Badgetown, the player is tasked with selecting one of the four local Ooblets clubhouses to join based on their values ​​(I joined the cute Frunbuns club, naturally) and, by extension, choosing a starting Ooblet. . With your starter in tow, you can engage in battles with wild Ooblets to get seeds from them. After planting those seeds and growing them on the farm, players have their own Ooblet of that specific type. Ta-da!

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It’s also crucial that I mention that your Ooblets run after you, following you everywhere, and there’s no shortage of cute accessories to dress them up. Finally, a game that understands me needs.

As for the dance battles themselves, well, those were another nice surprise. Instead of a typical fight where your pets hit each other, all combat in ooblets it takes the form of dance battles, an idea that made me absolutely giddy the first time I saw it. Battles are card based, with each unique Ooblet getting their own special cards added to your deck as they level up.

You can fight other Oob citizens in the Dance Barn or other regions, or the most common way to fight is with the wild Ooblets that run around the different environments. I have to catch them all, right? Each type of Wild Ooblet requires a different item for you to fight them, which can range from forages to crops to processed foods.

Each match sets a score between twenty and forty, and the first team to earn that number of points wins. Players earn points from cards and there are also modifiers in the game such as Hype, which allows you to earn more points; Fluster, which earns you fewer points; Stun, which causes one of your Ooblets to lose a turn; Trepidation, which adds useless cards to you or your opponent’s deck; and so. If you have played any Battler based on cards of Hearthstone a kill the needleyou will feel at home.

Sometimes a little out of the ordinary

The battles are easy with a few exceptions, and many times a win or a loss can depend on the luck of the cards. Considering ooblets it’s a relaxing game, I didn’t mind a bit of RNG, so as not to win every battle without recoil.

I have a few qualms with the battles – that there was no way to look at or modify my entire deck, which would have been a nice touch. Sometimes the movement animations can be a bit slow (which is also a problem the newer it is). Pokemon games have had).

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The other thing is the Dance Barn battles, which are unlocked after repairing said Dance Barn in the city. It is a tournament style setting where you take on other city dwellers in 1v1, 2v2, and 3v3 battles. I tried to do them as often as I had time, and let me tell you, I only won one or two of the tournaments.

Jokes aside about my gaming abilities, it’s because some of the Ooblets have stun abilities. This isn’t a problem when you’re battling teams of four or six, but if you’re unlucky enough to get caught in a 1v1 with an opponent who can stun you, it’s literally game over – you get stunned for the entire match.

There are special game modes in Dance Barn, including one where players can only use their Ooblets’ special cards, which is a problem when you realize that the Ooblet you chose has no way of earning points without the dot. – Winning cards from the deck. Either way, I had a lot of fun with the battles and would often go out of my way to do them just for the fun of it.

To-do lists, but make them fun

I feel like stardew valley is one of those games that strikes the perfect balance between giving you enough to do without ever getting bored, while at the same time not overwhelming you with too much. One thing I didn’t particularly like ooblets was that it got a bit messy, requiring players to collect a ton of different items to progress through the story and complete tasks.

There are like seven different entities that can give you tasks to do, not including the smaller errands imposed by your friends around town. Early in the game, I was grateful to have clear goals to get me going, but after a while, it was hard to keep track of how many things I was trying to accomplish at the same time.

Of course, you can play at your own pace, but for someone like me who loves to check things off lists, I couldn’t help but do my best to efficiently progress through all my tasks. At the very least, it kept me very busy the entire time, though part of me felt the game was insecure that I wouldn’t find enough to do on my own.

You can also have up to five or six fairly complicated tasks going at the same time, and as someone who struggles with multitasking, I found this to be a bit overwhelming at times. This problem isn’t solved by the fact that everything in the game has a silly name (the little springs you use to build things are called nurnies, for example), so I often had to keep checking to see what was actually there. looking at the first place.

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Luckily though, I love the foraging aspect of these types of games, and boy, a lot of ooblets he is running and collecting things. If that’s not your thing, you might feel a little frustrated, I’m not going to lie to you.

Exploration

A few hours after the game, you meet a local named Gimble who owns a hot air balloon. After repairing it with a large amount of supplies, it can take the player to different regions of Oob, where they will gather more supplies, engage in dance battles, and progress through the main story quest. Each region has its own unique forages, seeds you can take home and grow on your farm, and of course, Ooblets to collect.

I found that each region had a fun theme, and I was always looking forward to seeing a new place and the surprises it would bring. I don’t want to give too much away, but the area called Port Forward was really a highlight for me as a minigame lover.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the game’s main story, which doesn’t really come together until the very end. Most farming sim stories are pretty basic, but ooblets It presents you with a mystery early on, and seeing the culmination of that mystery in the final hours of the game is great.

Another item added later is your very own shop, where you can sell items you collect, build, or cook, and it’s easily the best way to earn money in the game. Of course, you can also upgrade and decorate your store over time. Once I got to this point, I again got the feeling that there was too much going on in the game, but it wasn’t a deal breaker by any means.

In conclusion

General, ooblets it absolutely fulfilled the expectations that I had built up during those six long years of waiting. If you love the farming/community simulation genre, this is an absolute must play, and I think it will be a game that will last for years to come.

I played it on PC for this review, and I’m looking forward to trying out some mods that the community will cook up, but I have to say this is a perfect Switch game. In fact, after going back and taking this save file to the ground, I plan on buying the Switch version to play again, like I did with stardew. You have to support the indie games you love, right?

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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