Ooblets has been in development for a long time. It was announced with a teaser trailer in 2017, but work presumably started earlier. Its release has been teased many times, but it went into early access on PC platforms at least in 2020. It may have been the best time to release a simulation-like experience as everyone was locked in.
This is one of the reasons Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been so successful. Fast forward two years e Ooblets is finally coming out of early access and reaches consoles with an official version 1.0. Was all that waiting worth it? The answer is complicated but good or bad, the game could undeniably be better with these few fixes in mind.
6 Battle updates
There are some updates that could make card-based gameplay smoother. First, there is no way to skip enemy turns. Some RPGs allow players to jump over enemies to save time. Another solution is for developers to insert a fast forward button.
Another great RPG for Switch, Triangle strategy, had this fast-forward feature that applied to both hero and enemy groups. In the end, Ooblets could use an automatic battle mechanic. Combine these three things and turn-based battles will pass in no time if players wish. It is always good to have options.
5 Travel updates
One of the most annoying aspects of Ooblets it is the inability to jump. Going between the beach and the docks, for example, presents a slight difference in height. It would make sense for the hero to be able to jump or climb the dock naturally, but it doesn’t.
The development team doesn’t have to run Ooblets into a real platformer. All the game needs is a small jump button to make it easier to overcome small changes in altitude. Increasing your running speed would also be helpful along with increasing the rate at which stamina naturally recovers.
4 Add a more accessible map
There is a map placed outside the gate of the player’s house. It’s great because it shows where the characters are in town. So if there is a mission involving an NPC and players need to find it, they can study this map.
As useful as it is, it would be nice if players had the map as their menu button instead. It seems silly to place a map in a small but large enough city where traveling can become a hassle. That is why an increase in travel speed would be useful in conjunction with an improved fast travel system. That mechanic could be incorporated into the menu map if the developers deem it worthy.
3 Other character customization options
This is a cute game that exudes charm. The only downside to the game’s creativity is the character customization menu. Players can choose from a few preset heads, hair choices, and clothing options. Clothing options expand as the game progresses as stores get more inventory.
That part is nice, but it would have been better if the developers added more initial options. Not being able to edit the heads from the presets at all might be the weirdest part. This is an indie game with few resources. It seems unfair to compare it to a AAA game Saints Row with an absolute stacked customization menu. Still, it’s worth pulling that game out to inspire Ooblets.
2 Sleep updates
The main character runs on two energy bars. One is the aforementioned stamina bar which decreases as players run. The other is energy and every task that players attempt, from planting seeds to weeding, will require a certain amount of energy. This energy can be replenished if players eat something or take a nap.
The tricky thing is that the days can last a while, which means players will have to regain their energy often. Naps only fetch so much, which means resources will have to be spent to produce food thereby creating an inevitable cycle that can be detrimental in an agricultural simulation game like this one. It would be great if the developers added a way to increase the nap option so that more energy can be restored. An option to go to bed until the next day, regardless of the time, would also be helpful.
1 Make storage items usable
Video games that have storage facilities set up have realized that it’s no fun running back and forth between them and NPCs for missions. It’s nice when games allow players to use the items in storage for missions, armor upgrades, sales purposes, and so on. This has been the standard in RPGs, as an important example, for centuries now, although it may not make sense.
Ooblets is backward in this sense. Not only are storage options limited in the first few hours, but items need to be on hand to use them for just about anything. It is another thing that increases the exhaustive backtracking in the game. Giving players better storage facilities and a way to use items wherever they are would be of great help. It would also be useful to allow players to leave items on their farm or property.
Ooblets was released on September 1, 2022 and is available on PC, Switch, and Xbox One.
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