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Bite Sized Reviews: Ooblets
Well, it took a while for Ooblets to come to Steam, didn’t it? I’m so glad it did.
Happy October, the month of spooky things, ghosts, and eating a ton of sugary snacks. I love Halloween, so I might do something special for it. Anyhow, no rambling intros from me today, so let’s jump right into it.
Ooblets has been around on PC for quite a while. Originally launching on the Epic Store in the summer of 2020 as an exclusive to some… controversy, it’s finally on Steam this year. I’m not going to go into details on the controversy. It’s available on the internet if you are desperate to look it up. Epic exclusivity is still a sore subject for many people, especially so in 2019-2020 after Epic’s aggressive tactics to grab titles for its store. Ooblets was an Epic Exclusive for several years, and many folks weren’t happy.
I hold no strong opinion on the matter. I’m just happy for Ooblets to arrive on Steam where it can get the positive attention it deserves because it is a great game. Sure, it took longer than I expected for the game to come to Steam — a year after it was released out of Early Access. All the controversy is still a sore spot for people. I get that. I won’t say any more about it. It’s out there, go look it up if you’re interested.
Now onto the game itself, because that’s the purpose of this little review! Ooblets is a game that’s greater than the sum of its parts. While it might look like a simple game, it is so much more than that. Big thanks to the developers for providing me with a review code. I already own the game on Epic, but it’s nice to play it fresh on Steam with all the changes and updates, so this review is my return to Ooblets after months away. I put about 30 hours into the Epic Store version before this, but this is with a new playthrough.
At its heart, Ooblets is a cute mix of critter collection and farming. We’ve got a ton of farming games on the market. Just this year alone we’ve seen awesome ones. Fae Farm, Cornucopia, and Paleo Pines leap to mind for me. Ooblets oozes charm and joy in its visual design. A cute, cartoony world with plenty to explore, the game leapt out at me from the screen, with all sorts of quirky characters to know and befriend, and a metric crapton of activities that gradually unlock over the day. While you cannot save whenever you please, the game constantly autosaves — removing one of my popular pet peeves about farming sims. The stamina system is another strength of the game — I never feel pressured to complete a ton of activities before collapsing from exhaustion. Ooblets is designed from the ground up to be an adorable, casual game to mess about in, and I appreciate that.
Ooblets are the name given to the cute little animals that host this world. Yep, it’s one of those Pokemon Lite games! Unlike the Pokemon battling, however, Ooblets do not make war, but through the medium of dance. That… ended up being more enjoyable than I expected. It plays like a simple card game — get your score up to a certain threshold before the other Ooblet can, using a selection of cards to get the score up, take points from the opponents. It’s a decent minigame and while it does not show much depth, I don’t mind it. Sometimes, it’s pleasant to play a game without murder.
Shoves the screaming prisoners from Rimworld back into their cells Back in the box you guys go.
The amount of things to do in Ooblets is quite remarkable. You get to do the usual life-sim/farming stuff like grow crops, build out the home, talk to people — the usual gubbins, but there’s also all the Ooblets to collect and befriend, minigames, several large regions to explore, running a shop, and plenty of ways to customize your character over time. I could go on, but it’s best to just play it and explore for yourself. It’s a blend of silliness and wholesome that I dig. The characters with their cutesy dialogue might seem annoying to some, but I found it endearing after a while. Even though the dialogue won’t win any prizes for depth, their personalities do burst through. Some characters just do not give two shits about you until you prove yourself, which is nice. It reminds me of the old Animal Crossing games — not the Horizons one where every character worships the ground you piss on. Refreshing.
There shouldn’t be any problems running Ooblets on even modest systems. I have no issues running it on my 1060 Max-Q laptop at full settings, and you can probably run it on smaller hardware without a problem. It also plays great on handheld systems like the Steam Deck, even on a low wattage. Full controller support out of the box, although the mouse and keyboard work fine too. I have no complaints about performance.
In terms of flaws… I’m not sure. Ooblets has taken a long time to reach full release and the Steam launch, but I’m so happy they did. It’s a unique twist to the farming simulator/creature training collection genre and offers a ton of systems. It’s been a long time since I played so I have yet to scratch the surface in the Steam full version, but Ooblets offers a ton for players. There are so many different systems that I wonder how balanced they are in the long run, and I imagine the simple dialogue system might not be everyone’s cup of coffee. It might not be the most complex game out there, but Ooblets was built to be fun and charming. On that level, it’s kicked the ball out of the park.
A unique, silly farming sim that oozes content and cuteness from every corner
Some players may find character dialogue annoying rather than endearing
Content packed with a ton of features and systems
The card dance system of Ooblets could do with a little more depth
QOL features that favour player enjoyment over frustration, like autosaving and reasonable stamina limitations
I’m unsure how well balanced all these different systems are overall