Reviews

Ooblets: My New Oobsession

First of all, I’m sorry about the title, but I had to. I LOVE Ooblets. I feel like that corn kid, but about this game. Ooblets is everything I ever wanted from a cozy title – engaging yet undemanding gameplay, hilarious dialogue, and the cutest, weirdest creatures I’ve ever seen. They’ve definitely convinced me that the best way to make friends and settle conflict is with a contrived series of dance battles.

itsSHRUMBO
IT’S SHRUMBO ❤

Wot’s it all aboot?

I was first introduced to Ooblets about a month ago on TikTok – there was a short video of one of the mushroom Ooblets (Shrumbo) running around and following the player character. That was good enough for me – I had no idea what the game was, or what it was about, but I already decided that I needed it. IT WAS JUST SO DARN CUTE.

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So, broadly, Ooblets is a farming sim with a sprinkle of creature collection and card battle mechanics. But to get more specific, the key element of any cozy game for me is the fantasy of escapism – and Ooblets nails that right off the bat. When you arrive on your new island home, you’re immediately given a free house (literally, it’s free real estate). As a millennial, this almost moved me to tears. While this run-down shack isn’t much to look at now (though this 12 square foot shed with a single room would probably cost 2.7 million dollars in Toronto) it’s certainly a start. Sure, you’re going to be concentrating on your new-fangled farming career, but more importantly, you get to decorate and expand your humble abode. And let’s be honest, that’s really what I’m here for – the true cozy fantasy was home ownership all along.

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Okay, I’m finished spiraling now. Beyond maintaining your farm and trying to befriend all the Ooblets, there are missions around Badgetown to tackle, but as far as I can tell, there are no real time limits or pressure to complete them quickly. I’m weirdly invested in helping the townies with tasks like fixing their sticker printypress or sending a gift basket to the Ooblet High Council. The game runs on a day to night clock system, and performing tasks like collecting items or cleaning up your farm will cost you Energy, of which you have a finite supply – just like real life! And also just like real life, it’s nothing that a cup of nice, strong beanjuice can’t fix. Additional Energy, and faster movement! I am obsessed with the walk cycle when you’re hopped up on beanjuice. I’m also assuming the caffeine-induced anxiety will be added in a future patch.

A human aboot town

When I’m not getting beanjuice from Cuddlecups, I like to explore the other shops in Badgetown – you can find seeds for your farm, new clothing, and furniture for your house. Surprisingly, this was probably my favourite aspect of Badgetown – exploring the shops and houses, getting acquainted with their owners, and, you know, making friends. Socializing with the fellow townies like the icky extrovert that I am definitely not. But I live for the dialogue – it’s rare for a game to make me to want to go out of my way to interact with every single character each day, but in Ooblets, it’s a must for my routine. Not only are all of these characters utterly hilarious and entirely too relatable, but they’re each unique; I love Arah and her witchy vibe (complete with home-brewed potions), and Bazil throwing shade at my, well, everything. If I want to talk to someone sweet, I’ll find Mayor Tinstle, and if I want someone unhinged, I’ll look for Taffy (i.e. my favourite character). I am also completely in love with the concept of friendship stickers, and the fact that I get a reward for being social. Giving people you like friendship stickers should totally be a new social norm.

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But of course, we can’t talk about fantastic characters without mentioning the titular Ooblets, can we? Forget your zodiac sign – just tell me which Ooblet is your favourite. Some fools may have preferences based on their abilities/cards they can put up in dance battles, but I am firmly on team Aesthetic™ and my Ooblet squad will be compromised of the cutest friends only. My personal favourites so far are Clomper, Radlad, Petula, and of course, Shrumbo. While you can only have 8 Ooblets in your immediate party (aka, “Follow Babies”), you’re free to have plenty more to help you out on your farm – as long as you have the Oobcoops to house them. These lil guys honestly have bigger places than most downtown apartments. And did I mention you can also put accessories on your Ooblets? That’s right – THEY CAN WEAR HATS PEOPLE, THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

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Each Oob has unique abilities (represented by their cards) and leveling them up by having them participate in dance battles will grant them additional, usually stronger, cards. I like using the Clickyclaws to steal hype from the opposing team, and Tud is also essential in stockpiling hype quickly; hype is easily the most important element in having a successful dance-off. The base cards are worth a certain amount of points, and will be doubled in value for each point of hype that your team has gained. Because the amount of moves you can make each turn are dictated by your allotment of Beats (5 is the base amount, though you can increase this by using certain cards), maximizing the points you can wrack up each turn is pretty important. Your ultimate goal is to get your point bar up to the required total (40 for a full squad of 5 dancing Ooblets) before the other team – and your reward will be some XP for your party, as well as the seed of whichever Ooblet you’re facing. You’ll be able to grow said Ooblet on your farm, and add them to your squad if you choose. I wish making new friends was this easy in real life.

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I’ve run out of “oo” puns

So anyway, I’m working hard to provide my Ooblets with the highest quality of life possible. They deserve it. I’ve recently started opening up more sections of the map thanks to Gimble’s hot air balloon, and I’m entirely too excited to see what else this game has in store. I’m looking forward to finding new Oobs, new hilarious characters, and just spending more time in this world. This wasn’t meant to be a review necessarily, but moreso just me taking the opportunity to ramble about my new favourite indie title. If you’re looking for a lowkey, cozy Fall game, Ooblets has got you. You can thank me later.

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