Basically Ooblets is all about dance battles, cute critters, and “chilling out with the homies”, so not so surprising, this game made it to 2020’s top 40 most anticipated games.
Ooblets starts off with you deciding to leave your boring ol’ life and head out to a new, kinda weird island where people live side by side with small, cute critters called Ooblets. Think Pokémon, but cuter, smaller, and less dangerous and way less creepy!
These little creatures can look like mushrooms, tree stumps, robots, and more. They are adorable and I fell in love right away with all the cuteness.
When you arrive you quickly get an Ooblet of your very own and the mayor gives you a beat-up old shack and some land in exchange for helping out around the island, and that becomes the game’s prime setup: you help people, meet new Ooblets, and use the resources you earn from performing all these activities to build up and improve your farm and home. It’s quite simple, with a satisfying never-ending loop made even more enjoyable by just how cute and nice the world of Ooblets is to explore.
This is world is a total ideal, people get to say all sorts of weird, made-up words and where nobody seems to stress about much, everything sort of goes!
Anyone can be who they want to be, and that includes you. The game lets you mix and match traditional masculine and feminine clothing and hairstyles with total gender fluidity! Also, all the menu options are written casually, with stuff like “Nah” instead of no and “Sure… cool” instead of yes. If that sounds annoying to you then you’re probably too old!
The rest of Ooblets’ style and presentation pretty much mirrors this, and I found it just quirky and funny enough without crossing into annoying territory.
Nevertheless, no matter how cutesy it all sounds, it ain’t barbie as there is a lot of “combat” between your growing team of Ooblets and other Ooblets. This combat isn’t about physically attacking or hurting the other critters nevertheless, Instead, you fight in dance-offs, surrounded by other dancing Ooblets! (Okay, maybe there’s a little bit of “barbie” there).
While in-game these “fights” are shown to be contests of dance, the actual combat plays out via cards. These card battles aren’t like Hearthstone, where you’re trying to destroy cards and hurt your opponent. Instead, you try to earn points quickly to fill a meter and reach a certain amount first.
To do this you either play standard move cards which you always have access to or special cards that only certain Ooblets bring with them into battle. For example, my little robot Ooblet, candy, had a special ability that let him double the number of points I earned for my next move card. Each card has a “beats” cost, which is just another word for mana. Each turn you get three mana points and you try to earn as many points as you can. It’s sorta simple in my take, but only after you’ve been playing for a while.
In Ooblets, you have a town filled with locals who all have their own personalities and behaviors. You can talk to them all and be friendly with everyone or ignore some of them.
Additionally, you also have to manage your energy. Do too much, like tilling a bunch of lands or picking a lot of fruits, and you’ll get tired and fall asleep. You can drink and eat to regain energy, but the best way is to sleep at night. Nevertheless, you should try to explore a little bit while the sun is down, I found out that the game looks even better at night.
There’s a large amount of stuff in Ooblets. Lots of people to talk to, side activities to try out, challenges to complete, furniture to buy, and farming to be done. You can grow crops to sell, eat, or even collect seeds from defeated Ooblets and grow new critters who join you on your adventure. I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting this much depth and was pleasantly surprised to find so much to do, it sort of addicting, but in a good way.
Ooblets is available now in early access on the Epic Games Store or Xbox One via Game Preview.
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