Ooblets Review – A Cheerful Grind – Game Informer

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The Ooblets Monster Collection offers a smile-inducing amalgamation of farming simulation and relationship building. However, this delightful chill pill becomes harder to swallow due to a tedious, grind-heavy progression that tests your patience in less pleasant ways.

The adventure takes players to Badgetown, a quaint village where residents live harmoniously with Pokémon-esque creatures known as oblates. Regardless of your newcomer status, the people of the city turn to you to restore the city to its former glory. This includes tasks like reopening buildings and cleaning up trash while making friends along the way. In many ways, the Oblates feel like a more purpose-driven Animal Crossing, which appealed to me as someone who likes to work toward tangible goals.

Checking off your to-do list requires the help of Ooblets. These critters serve as partners and protectors and come in many species and rarities. Although cute, some of his designs seem uninspired. For each spring-legged jellyfish, an oblate described as “mushroom with a smiley face” or “a plain bird” is best. Instead of catching oblates, you must obtain their seeds, then grow one on your farm. How do you get seeds? The game’s comical spin on turn-based combat, defeating the oblates in dance battles.

Dancing against each other as the Six Ooblets battle the Big Pit Squad. Orders take the form of cards adding an element of randomness. Many cards sport a point value, and the goal is to play enough to reach the total value represented by a meter, before your opponent. However, you can only play a certain amount of cards each turn, depending on how many beats (basically mana points) they require. You don’t build your deck; Instead, you have a permanent selection of general-use cards to which Ooblets bring unique abilities, thus determining your line-up. One Ooblet burdens an opponent’s deck with useless cards, another focuses on weakening their attack power, while others increase the power of your cards by generating hype.

Regardless of the strategic elements, Dance Fight is a walk in the park. I’ve never lost one in over 30 hours of play, and it didn’t matter which oblates I used because the AI ​​rarely plays aggressively. I wish dance battles challenged me more because they became an uninteresting formality, especially during quests where you have to complete multiple bouts in a row. However, I regard the combat system as a cute, non-violent introduction to turn-based combat for young or inexperienced players.

Thankfully, the bulk of the experience unfolds at your farm. In addition to growing new oolets, you cultivate the crop by plowing and watering the land. This turned out to be my favorite part of oblates. I enjoy designing my farm and concocting systems to produce crops as optimally as possible (which sometimes takes days). Once you create tools to make the job more autonomous, such as automatic sprinklers, it gets even better. You can also assign your farm extra oolets, such as pulling weeds or harvesting ripe produce while you’re away, providing a nice incentive to get the most out of these little helpers.

Collecting farmed crops and materials, whether plucking them from the earth, fishing them from the sea, or hauling them out of the trash, is critical to Oblet’s progress. Each major task requires delivering bundles of materials to players, whether you’re restoring Badgetown’s clubhouse, repairing a hot air balloon to travel to new cities, or a ton completing the search. Having everything on you at all times matters; You can’t challenge the oblates to dance in battles unless you’re carrying a specific crop or dish made from them. Running into new Ooblets loses its enthusiasm when they need the vegetable you left in storage, forcing you to head back home.

Quests began to lose their charm once I realized they were similar, after practicing the sometimes lengthy, escalating or scavenging stuff. This often left me at the mercy of the meter and clock, creating parts where I fiddled with a few options until a critical resource sprouted or was replenished. Additionally, these progress constraints sometimes go overboard. One campaign mission required me to grind hundreds of precious gummies, the game’s currency, to pay an arcade hacker. Another job forced me to go up and down a mountain path repeatedly by NPCs whose requests could only be satisfied by returning home. Rewarding certain tasks with Wishes, a secondary currency spent on upgrades, helps but isn’t enough.

Other elements and activities don’t click completely either. Running a shop seems unnecessarily tedious as batches of items can only be sold in a single quantity, which can be a hassle. Making the rounds of chatting with the same group of citizens every day to build the Friendship Meter, which unlocks cool rewards, also loses its appeal. I ended up avoiding Dance Barn, which hosts dance battle tournaments to win prizes daily, because of my boredom with combat. Locations outside of Badgetown offer little incentive to revisit the missing Oblates after completing their expedition’s quests, outside of collecting them. Considering how important it is to eat food to keep your energy up, with a meter that drains throughout the day and promotes many basic functions, I was annoyed that consuming snacks without even entering the menu. Couldn’t be done, even when equipped.

Ooblets offers solid fun, and I enjoy its cheerful tone. I just wish it didn’t take so long to play it. Despite the pride I took in my farm, clearing the checklist ultimately felt more laborious than satisfying. As long as you’re willing to work for it, it’s fun.

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