Developer: Glumberland LLC
Genre: Role-Playing, Simulation
Platform: Xbox One
Age Rating: PEGI 3
A code was kindly provided for review purposes.
Dancing in the Moonlight
“Ooblets is a farming, creature collection, and town life game where you build up your farm, befriend townsfolk, grow ooblets, and have dance-offs.”
The above was all I had to read to know that Ooblets would be the perfect game for me. I had followed the development of the game for a while and was so excited to hear that it had released as an early access game; I couldn’t wait to get stuck in.
Upon starting the game you will be tasked with creating your very own character – there are few options to choose from, but enough that I managed to make a character that somewhat resembled me with the exact outfit I tend to wear, so that was awesome. When you have chosen your ensemble, it’s time to enter Badgetown – and your journey begins.
Before continuing, it’s worth noting that Ooblets is an early access game, meaning that it’s a work in progress and will receive various bug fixes and updates regularly.
Ooblets combines gameplay features from games such as Stardew Valley, Slay the Spire, Pokemon and Animal Crossing to make one giant bundle of joy. The story begins explaining that you have only ever known Ahroh Island, where the people are ‘stuffy’ and there are no Ooblets to be seen. You fancy a change of scenery and thus have come to live at Mainland Oob, Badgetown.
You’re quickly greeted by Mayor Tinstle, who tells you that you can live in an old-abandoned Farmhouse if you’re willing to A. do the work to get it in livable condition and B. help out with certain ‘Mayoral Tasks’. Obviously, you jump at the idea of a free house and you’re quickly taught about Ooblets and Ooblet clubs, and you’re ready to go.
After introducing yourself to your new neighbours and discovering your Grumboire (where you track your tasks, items in your inventory, relationships and most importantly, Ooblets!) you will finally get to chose your Ooblet club; Frunbuns, Peaksnubs, Mimpins and Mossprouts. Each one gives you a different Ooblet so choose carefully. It’s kind of like choosing your starting Pokemon – I went with Frunbuns.
It’s now time to learn about dance battles, an amazing form of combat in Ooblets. Apparently, Ooblets LOVE to dance. Before starting your dance battle you are able to choose which Ooblets you would like involved (all of them, it’s so cute). Each player has a hand of cards (otherwise known as dance moves), each with different abilities which are randomly drawn at the beginning of each turn. These dance moves will either damage the opponent’s ‘life points’ or subtract from yours.
Each move costs a ‘beat’: you only have a certain amount of these to use per turn so plan out your attacks wisely. The first player to get to the designated number loses. It’s a fairly simple principle and it’s quite easy to win but it’s so much fun. Winning a dance battle allows you to gain EXP and a seed that allows you to grow another Ooblet. This is how you will gain the majority of your Ooblets. Now that’s done, it’s time to see your new home.
Very similarly to Stardew Valley, upon gazing upon your farm and farmhouse for the first time, you’ll be a little underwhelmed. But, trust me when I say you can make this your own little palace. You are able to customise your house (imagine Animal Crossing), you just need to unlock and purchase the items you want or need – this is a lot of fun in itself. Add to the fact that you need to also clean up your farm area and grow crops and Ooblets, and you soon realise just how addictive this little game is.
You’re given daily tasks to complete and a whole host of main missions to complete also, so you never feel stuck for anything to do. The game does a good job at constantly keeping the player busy, which is great because often in these types of games the player is left walking around waiting for something to happen. Don’t get me wrong, there will be moments you’re waiting for a certain crop to grow to complete a mission or waiting for your daily tasks to reset, but it’s not a constant.
I absolutely adore the art-style Ooblets uses; it’s bright, colourful and my favourite thing, cute as hell. I was surprised to see the amount of detail that has gone into not only the Ooblets (which all look amazing and unique) but also the world itself – the different areas are all as beautiful as the last.
Even though Ooblets features gameplay mechanics we all know and love, it still manages to feel like a brand new experience and I found that to be a breath of fresh air. I can’t wait to see where Glumberland goes in future updates.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Ooblets right now from the Microsoft Store.