Reviews - Updated on April 6, 2022

Ooblets has been developed since 2016, and since then, its creators have been regularly posting news on their blog about how the game is changing and what is being added to it. From the very beginning, the authors wanted to mix Stardew Valley and Pokemon, not copying popular projects, but offering something of their own with similar mechanics. The process clearly took longer than planned – in January 2017, the game was going to be released by the beginning of 2018, and then the creators refused to release it in early access. However, by the date indicated, Ooblets was not completed, and even now the development has not been completed. But the early version of the game is finally available for purchase.

Plant and Harvest

After a few hours in Ooblets, it’s safe to say that the wait was worth it. This is a very positive, cozy and pleasant game, which is constantly drawn to return for the sake of a wonderful atmosphere, and for the sake of gameplay mechanics, which are taken from completely different genres, but surprisingly perfectly combined. In the words of Double Fine (the former publisher of Ooblets), it’s “a mixture of all your favorite games in one.” Every time you think that now you will complete one more task and turn it off, talk to one more resident and go to sleep, live one more day and do something else. But in the end, you sit down.

Ooblets really feels like a mixture of a farming simulator and a monster-catching game like Pokemon. The main character (we create him in the editor) sails away from a boring life to an island, where on the very first day he is given his own house (or rather, a dilapidated hut) and a huge field overgrown with weeds. In the east, there is a town where life is in full swing: there are shops everywhere, in the center there is a square with a fountain, local residents scurry along the streets, and strange creatures – ublets – run around their feet. As it will later become clear from the dialogues, ublets are prohibited on the hero’s home island, but here many residents have personal monsters – just like in Pokémon.

Ooblets preview

Of course, it will not be possible to clear the farm in one evening – her condition is so-so.

Ublets are very strange creatures. Outwardly, they may look like mushrooms, and plants, and robots, but they are born like vegetables, growing on a farm. The starting ublet is given at the beginning of the game, and in order to “collect them all”, you will have to walk around the town and look for groups of other ublets who are ready to fight with you and give you a seed for growing your own creature for victory. But they don’t want to fight just like that – you need to bring them resources or treats.

Fights in Ooblets are designed as dance duels, where every move is made by playing cards. Depending on which ublets you have taken to battle, random cards with different actions will appear at the bottom of the screen. Some creatures reduce the number of points received by the opponent, others impose “debuffs” on their team, but their cards are cheap and give a lot of points, others stun the selected opponents for a couple of moves … The goal is to earn a certain amount of points in turn-based competitions before the opponent.

Ooblets preview

One of the most important parameters of cards is the amount of hype and fluster when playing. The first increases the number of points you receive, and the other reduces it from your opponent.

Although in most cases these battles are simple, they are not boring. Look for ublets with the most useful cards, increase their levels in battle and get new abilities for this (however, for some reason they stop being issued after the third level), think over the order of actions – all this is interesting to do. Subsequently, the “dance shed” can be repaired in the city, where daily fights between residents take place, and there not only conditions become a little more complicated, but useful prizes are given out.

Pleasant routine

However, until this moment, you need to live. First you need to get acquainted with the mayor, issuing tasks. Then – to communicate with all the townspeople: the more often you talk with them, the stronger your friendship, and gifts are also relied for this. Some of them need help – they ask to bring certain resources to repair or build something. You find some of these resources by traveling around the city and picking up all sorts of mushrooms, turning scattered pieces of wood into neat boards, shaking trees and putting fruits in your pocket.Ooblets preview

Ublets themselves run up to the main character – and strive to get into his collection.

Something is needed to prepare meals and restore energy, which dries up after each action, as in any farming simulator. Something is expensive and only good for sale. And with the money you earn, you can buy a lot of things: gameplay improvements (a high-quality watering can, an enlarged bag, a large item box), clothing items, home decorations, and seeds of carrots and other vegetables. Seeds can be useful for completing randomly generated tasks in the local machine (for their passage they give good amounts).

Ooblets is good in that it constantly rewards the player even for completing small tasks. Somewhere at the beginning of the game, you help a girl fix an ublet scanner and get a gift for it, but that’s not the end of it. When you get a new seed in a dance duel, plant it and grow a personal ublet, you can lead it to that scanner and receive not only a monetary reward, but also a creature figurine. And these figurines can be placed in the city hall in special showcases to collect a collection of ublets available today.

Ooblets preview

Scanning does not take much time, and the bonuses for it are pleasant.

For other actions, another currency (wishes) is often awarded, and it is necessary to buy goods in the fountain in the central square. There are drawings of useful items (including automatic sprayers for the farm), and an increase in the supply of energy, and an invitation for new types of ublets. The fountain is full of resources that you can buy if you don’t want to look for it yourself (some are so rare that it’s faster to acquire them), and the exchange of this currency for ordinary money is available.

Of course, there are times in Ooblets when there is nothing to do. All the seeds are planted, I talked to all the people, the resources are collected, the tasks are either completed or they need to wait until the next day. In such situations, you either go to bed or find new entertainment – for example, clearing the farm and making room for future seeds, or installing objects that simplify gameplay like watering cans. Or you go to other people’s houses and search them unceremoniously – there are a lot of valuable things that appear almost every day.

A few hours later, you open access to a new region, where there are your own ublets and your trash scattered on the ground, and subsequently two more regions will be added to the game – so far, next to their names, there is an inscription: Coming soon. Probably, in the later stages, you will have to spend more and more time away from the farm, so process automation will not be superfluous.

Ublet seeds come from… Well, you can see for yourself.

***

The game is not finished – now it is version 0.3. Not all locations are ready, the list of ublets will continue to grow, additional entertainment will appear. But even now the game is so alluring with its charm that you want to spend all your free evenings in it, turning a blind eye to bugs like crooked animations and ublets stuck in the doors. Every time the character wakes up, they have something to do – find resources and treats for ublets that are not yet in the collection, or collect everything you need to create interior items.

If you’re willing to spend time on a game that’s far from being released, Ooblets won’t disappoint – you have dozens of hours to go before you have to think about the lack of entertainment. The rest should wait for the full version – maybe it will be available not only in EGS, but also on Steam. In any case, the game is great: a wonderful design is uplifting, mechanics from different genres are perfectly mixed, and you can watch the dancing of charming ublets endlessly.

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