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  • Writer's pictureJessica Nacovsky

37: Ooblets Review

Tinsel & Player in Badgetown
Tinsel & Player in Badgetown

Howdy! Back when Pokemon announced an end to the National Dex in their games, I started looking for Pokemon-like substitutes. To each their own, but the way I pay Pokemon involves raising my dream team from the fresh hatchlings of my previous team, each game. I'd include a single regional addition from the region I was in and this was a fun system for me. I used to do a whole fanart over it.

Am I still salty over the National Dex ending? Absolutely.

As for those games I found to replace my Pokemon hobby, I turned to Ooblets and TemTem. There were others but those are the two games that itch the Pokemon scratch the best from those I've tried. Of those two, I've progressed significantly further in Ooblets.

First off, what is Ooblets and how is it like, and unlike, Pokemon? Well, my Avatar, an Oobin, which is basically a human, in the land of Oob, plants seeds which grow into Ooblets. Non-Ooblet seeds can also be planted to grow plants that can be used as ingredients. Ooblets are cute little buddies who compete through dance battles or help maintain my farm. As they level up through dancing, they get new dance moves, kind of like how Pokemon learn new moves. However, My avatar has a deck of cards, those cards being based off the moves my party of Ooblets can perform. I draw a hand of cards from this deck each turn and choose from those moves, as opposed to a standard set of four. Each card uses a set amount of energy points to either earn points for my team, steal points from the opposing team, or apply other related bonuses/penalties.

There is a story mode. Completing chapters of the story open up spaces on the map. Note, while the towns have physical maps, the land of Oob, as far as I am aware, doesn't yet. That said, the game gets period updates and expansions (at no extra cost). When the game begins, the player has just moved to Badgetown in Oob, and the player is provided with a farm. That farm can be expanded. The story progresses as the player completes quests and befriends their neighbors. The dialogue with the neighbors is very fun. I used to Snap snippets of dialogue constantly, because they were so entertaining. Most quests involve either winning dance battles of providing supplies, generally ingredients or cooked meals, to whomever requires them.

The Ooblets themselves are super cute and very fun. A team of them follows the player around. The team can be easily changed. Both the player and Ooblets can alter their appearances. In the player's case, this involves changing hair and dressing up. For Ooblets, this includes altering their size and providing them with accessories. One small issue I've had since day one is that while dressing an Ooblet, the more accessories I have in my inventory, the harder it is to try them on the Ooblet. The menu to view the accessories looks like it should be vertically scrollable, but to my knowledge, is not. So I have to try accessories in small batches. The player's house can also be customized. I wish placing and moving furniture did not have to involve two separate sets of buttons/menus, but that's a small frustration.

In terms of graphics, Ooblets is very stylized and cutesy. I love the gradients and the simplified stylized appearance, how cohesive everything looks. That's something I wish Pokemon would take into account. If Pokemon wants to keep simple blocky graphics, like those of Sonic Adevmture Battle 2, they should at least stylize them so they seem sophisticated? But that's just me being bitter. Anywho, I love Ooblets. Every update has been a joy. There are slow periods, like after I've grown at least one of every attainable Ooblet? Whats the big goal then? For me, I've begun seeking out Unusual Ooblets and Gleamy Ooblets. They're kind of like Pokemon shinies, but not as rare. I think part of why they arent as rare is that their are way less types of Ooblets than even the first generation of Pokemon. It just makes sense that if you're seeing the same Ooblet in one spot everyday, eventually one or two of them will be a fun color.

Like Pokemon Silver/Gold, Ooblets does have night and day. When the player sleeps at night, they wake up and it's a new day. Progress gets tallied at the end of each new day so that the player levels up, just as the Ooblets do. Like in World of Worldcraft, Oobles does take real holidays into account, at least with Halloween and Christmas. Unlike Pokemon and Animal Crossing, the player has an energy bar. When that depletes, the player needs to sleep or chug some sweet sweet bean juice.

I love Ooblets, It's not quite up there with Animal Crossing: New Horizons for me, which I consider the perfect game, but I love it loads more than Cozy Grove (Sorry Cozy Grove! Please include some interior design features and stop moving the trees so I can set outdoor furniture around and have it suit the space!). Is Ooblets as fun as the older Pokemon games? Yes. Is it as fleshed out as the older Pokemon games? Not yet. Not compared to Gold/Silver, but with the updates, I think it will be within the next couple of years.

One notable downside of Ooblets is that, for now, you can only play it if you have the Epic Games or an Xbox. Epic isn't exactly known for treating their employees, nor their developers well likewise, I don't trust them to secure my information. For this reason, I use the weirdest possible log in information with them that I won't be using anywhere else. I do not own an Xbox and I wouldn't buy one to just playa single game. However, Ooblets is still in early access. Once they full release, which should be soon given their last update was 0.9, I think they're planning to release of more gaming systems and maybe even on Steam.

Thanks for stopping by! I put out a new blog post every Monday. Toodles!

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