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Ooblets (Xbox Game Preview)

Posted by GG Goblin On July - 27 - 2020

I couldn’t say what an Ooblet is, but any creature that resolves its issues with a dance battle is okay by me.

 
There is always something a little terrifying about starting up a game that is in Early Access. No one wants to launch into a mess of a game that barely works. This is even more the case when the game has already caught the players interest, through previously viewed videos or even just a simple concept. Starting up Glumberland’s Ooblets, which recently launched in Early Access on PC and Game Preview on Xbox One, there was a distinct holding of breath. On paper, Ooblets ticked all of the boxes. But could this farming, questing, dancing game really live up to expectations in early access form? Of course it could!

 


 
Above all else, Ooblets is a happy game. Filled with joy and optimism, the game begins with the player arriving in Badgetown with absolutely nothing. In a matter of moments though, the unfathomably young town mayor has come along and not only offered the player a job, but also given them a run down farm to live in. I mean, surely there is nothing more optimistic than that?

 
There are three main gameplay aspects to Ooblets. The first revolves around the titular Ooblets themselves, strange little creatures that exist alongside the humans in this world. Yes, there are some comparisons to be made with Pokemon, but there are also some distinct differences. Perhaps the biggest difference is that Ooblets are far less aggressive than the picket monsters. The player will be gifted an Ooblet early in the game, which will allow them to jump into their first fight with another Ooblet. However, it is less of a fight and more of a dance battle.

 


 
Ooblets love to dance, which is fair enough. If the player has the right resources, they can approach groups of different Ooblets that are just hanging around all over the place, and challenge them to a dance battle, which plays out like a card game. Depending on the Ooblets that the player has in their team, each turn they will draw a selection of cards that have different dance moves on them. The player will only have a fixed amount of power each turn, and the different moves will cost different amounts of power. The aim of the battle is to reach a score, and different moves can increase the players score, decrease the opponents score, or manipulate the battle in other ways, such as forcing the opponent to skip their turn, or make subsequent moves more successful. The dance battles are not too difficult, keeping the game as accessible as possible, and are quite fun as the player unlocks new Ooblets and then gets new moves to play with.

 
The great thing is that once a battle is won, the player can request a seed from the losing Ooblet. This leads nicely into the second gameplay aspect – the farm. Anyone who has played one of the many farming/life sim games, such as Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley, will feel quite at home here. At the very beginning, the farm is nothing more than a broken-down shed with an overgrown field. Hard work and plenty of snacks will soon see the farm improved though.

 


 
The players character has to manage their stamina, and everything they do in the game will deplete that and bring them closer to needing a nap. There is a day night cycle and the player will not be able to go to bed and sleep to the next day until a certain time, and so getting exhausted before that time will mean having a nap and just wasting time. The other way to replenish stamina is through eating or drinking, and as the player progresses they will gain access to items that can replace lost stamina far better.

 
First up, the player will have to clear the field of debris. Once this is done, they can get down to the important job of planting seeds, watering them, and then harvesting them and making some money. As is always the case, there are different seeds that take different amounts of time to grow, and then bring in different amounts of money. Shops within the town will give the player access to seeds and tools, but also new furniture to improve their home, and even the chance to expand and smarten up the house. There is also cooking to be done and recipes to learn, so plenty to keep the player busy.

 
Hang on, remember that Ooblet seed that was a reward for winning the dance battle? Yeah, plant that in the field and grow your own Ooblet. There seem to be quite a few different types of Ooblet in the game, and before long the player will have more than they need in their team. Those other Ooblets are not just left in some computer somewhere though, these guys are put to work. The player is able to build a home for them in the field, and in return they will help the player manage their farm, leaving the player with some spare time for the third aspect of the game – quests.

 


 
As already mentioned, the player is given a job at the beginning of the game in exchange for their farm. This basically means being the dogsbody for the mayor, and running around doing all manner of tasks. The tasks are generally quite easy to understand, and mostly involve collecting the required resources or visiting certain places. The game has a number of different areas to visit, although in early access only a couple are available so far. There is still quite a lot to do though. There are other tasks available that offer a different sort of currency as a reward, and there is even fishing to partake in. Then there are the townsfolk to talk with and get to know, all of which have their quirks and opinions.

 
As a game in early access, Ooblets plays really well and it is not obvious that the game is incomplete until the player actually hits those walls. For an early access title, there is already a lot of content here. Ooblets is oozing with charm and cuteness, from the nonsensical noises to the joyous visuals, and that will not be to everyone’s taste. It could also be said that the dance battles lack depth, and the mayor’s quests offer very little by way of reward, but the reality is that this unfinished game is already far more fun than it has any right to be.

 
Ooblets Is currently available in Early Access on the Epic Games Store and in Game Preview on Xbox One. The game works perfectly fine so far and has the potential to be something really special. Anyone with a passing interest in farming, collecting strange creatures or dance battles should keep an eye on Ooblets and maybe join the fun.

 

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Ooblets Early Access Trailer

Posted by GG Goblin
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