Ooblets Review (Switch)

Ooblets Review: All the Oobs down in Oobville

ooblets review

Your life has been a giant toot.

That’s right, I said it. One big ol’ toot. You live on an isolated island where the people are probably stuffy and boring. The tootiest part of all is you don’t even have any ooblets. None! Not even a clomper! You’ve gone your whole life without a single dadgum ooblet. And that’s a toot life to lead.

But that changes today, doesn’t it? That’s because you, in a very non-tooty move, have made your way to Badgetown, where the ooblets run free and things are… not their best. Listen, I know I built up this whole thing where like your life would be amazingly better because you’re in Badgetown now, but the truth is the whole place needs some TLC. But hey, I guess that’s where you come in, right?

Darn tootin’!

Ooblets

And that’s how players get roped into sprucing up the town in Ooblets, a farming sim, creature collection, and card-based, turn-based dance battler game rolled into one. Developed and self-published by Glumberland, Ooblets finally exits Early Access after a little over two years with quite a bit to show for it. Available on Nintendo Switch, XBox One/X/S, and PC via Epic Games, Ooblets attempts a lot, and, for the most part, delivers on all those ambitions.

To understand Ooblets is to understand… well, ooblets. Ooblets are small creatures that live amongst the townsfolk in places that aren’t backwater islands (like yours). For the most part, they just enjoy chilling in groups or hanging out with their favorite human, but they are known, on occasion, to have conflict that must be addressed. And the way they do it is, of course, through dance battles. Like you do.

Ooblets

With your newly assigned ooblet in tow, the eccentric mayor of Badgetown, Tinstle, also decides to gift you a rundown farm in return for growing crops and catering to her every whim. Most of these whims are things you might find yourself doing anyway, like exchanging your crops for some cold, hard gummies, but other tasks might include clearing feral ooblets out of the town hall or fixing up the friendship sticker machine. She’s not doing this for herself, necessarily — won’t someone please think of the constituents (and her midterms)?

Once you’ve settled into your farm with your ooblet, it’s time to get out there and make some friends. You can obviously do this by talking to people, but you know what else you can do? More tasks! In fact, you’re going to need to, as the three daily tasks that populate the bottom left corner of the screen are the biggest shot of getting anywhere in Ooblets. You see, those tasks grant you up to 35 wishies a day, which are a type of more premium currency that can be exchanged at the fountain for a number of things, including regular currency, recipes, upgrades, and more. No wishies? No gummies? No progression. I don’t make the rules, I’m just here to dance.

Ooblets

Speaking of dance — the most exciting mechanic in the entire game is the dance battle, where oob faces oob in a dance-off for the ages. Surrounded by ooblets that come out of the woodworks to witness this rhythmic glory, an ooblet dance battle has players drawing cards with special dance moves on them and a number in the top left corner. That number indicates how many beats are needed to perform the move — important to keep track of when you only have a handful of beats. Play more cards to earn more points; whoever reaches the goal amount of points first wins!

After a hard day of dance battling, you can’t forget an equally hard day of farming! Since dance battles often yield ooblet seeds, it’s a good idea to take what the wild ooblet gave ya and head back to your farm to plant the seed. You can also plant all sorts of other crops here, such as sweetiebeeties and caroots, which is excellent as you’ll need them for export contracts, recipes, and… you know, food. And if you find yourself needing help, you can enlist your trusty ooblets to work on your farm, grinding all that muz into muzflour so you can make hob hob hob dogs. Don’t run out of energy after all of this excitement!

Ooblets

If you still have the energy for it, you’re free to run about town talking to people, shopping for clothing, furniture, or seeds, forage mushrooms and other resources, getcha hairdid, chill at the coffee shop, complete tasks, or head to the pier for some good old fashioned danglin’. There’s so much to do, so much to see, so what’s wrong with putting off sleep? In fact, it’s this portion of the game you’ll probably find yourself playing the most, as there are a lot of resources to collect and every little bit helps. Why, progression is so relaxed that you’ll probably forget what you’re even doing half the time!

That’s… honestly my biggest complaint with Ooblets (and one I distinctly remember from the Early Access days); it is an absolute grind to get very far, and that goes doubly so in the beginning. While the dev team does seem to have balanced the economy a bit better in the past 2 years and has given players more ways to earn the premium currency and precious resources, I still hit that exact same wall as I did 2 years ago, thinking “at this rate I will complete this task in like 10 in-game days” before being forced to put the Switch down and take a nap. Ooblets is fun, cute, and wholesome, but it is also slow to the point where it made me drowsy and I literally couldn’t stay awake. Maybe the friction wouldn’t be so noticeable if the game wasn’t so incredibly adorable, or maybe my life still is a giant toot. Whatever the case may be, Ooblets looks great, feels good, and will certainly please people who don’t mind progressing at a glacial pace (while moving at the speed of light).

I’m in awe of Ooblets; it managed to take several distinct and highly developed mechanics and make sure each one was deeply complex instead of a cheap afterthought. The farming portion satisfies, the card-based, turn-based dance battles are addicting, and the task management system keeps players busy, busy, busy. It’s unfortunate that progress still feels like it’s moving at a snail’s pace, but at least there are cute lil ooblets to show for it. If all you want to do is dance (and farm, and forage, and cook, and shop, and…), then Ooblets challenges you to take control of your formerly toot life and make it an awesome one.


Final Verdict: 3.5/5

Available on: PC, XBox One, XBox Series X|S, Switch (Reviewed); Publisher: Glumberland; Developer: Glumberland; Players: 1; Released: September 1, 2022; MSRP: $19.99

Full disclosure: This review is based on a copy of Ooblets provided by the publisher.

Heather Johnson Yu
Born at a very young age; self-made thousandaire. Recommended by 4 out of 5 people that recommend things. Covered in cat hair. Probably the best sleeper in the world. Still haven't completed the civil war quest in Skyrim but I'm kind of okay with that. Too rad to be sad.

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