There’s no doubt that going into EGX Rezzed Ooblets was the game I literally couldn’t wait to get my hands on. Being a huge fan of Pokemon, both as a franchise and as an iconic RPG game, and Stardew valley the creature battling farming sim seemed like a game made for me. I can’t deny, sitting down to play the game brought about a sudden sense of nervousness, what if I didn’t like it, what if I had overhyped the game in my head, what if it was another poor rip-off of Pokemon. Well, it greatly pleases me to tell you that my concerns where completely unjust – the game is brilliant.
I will mention that the build we played was slightly rough around the edges and didn’t feature everything that has recently been announced via the continuously updated Glumberland dev blogs. However, despite the slightly unpolished build, the potential the game offers is huge and the key mechanics around the games exploration, customisation and combat all felt solid.
Almost as soon as I started the demo I could see some big Pokemon influences, most notably the fact that you’ll need to pick one of three Ooblet clubs to join, all of which offer a different starting Ooblet. Once you’ve chosen your club your free to explore Badge Town and meet some of its quirky residents. One thing that really took me by surprise early on was just how much customisation the game offers. You can kit your character out with a host of haircuts and rather cute outfits, whats even better, you can even customise your adorable Ooblets. If you didn’t think they looked cute enough already then just wait till you see a Rad Lad rocking a Santa’s hat and some Hipster glasses – now that’s adorable.
So, if you hadn’t guessed it your little friends are called Ooblets. And as I’ve previously mentioned they are very similar to Pokemon. The biggest difference I noticed was how you come about obtaining the Ooblets. After you defeat an Ooblet in the wild it will have a chance to drop seeds linked to that specific ooblet. Planting, nurturing and cultivating these seeds will lead to you growing the Ooblet and now having them as part of your team.
This farming approach to the Ooblets also carries over to their abilities, once you’ve used an Ooblet in battles enough you unlock new abilities for them, but to equip these you’ll again need to plant their seeds and ensure they grow. This emphasis on farming was one I really liked and does a good job of making Ooblets not feel like another Pokemon game. I have no doubt that as you venture further into the game this farming mechanic will become more reliant on key quest items or vital resources needed, as well as your adorable Ooblets.
Finally, I wanted to touch on the combat in the game, which is pretty much what you’d expect from a turn-based combat system. Starting off my Ooblet had two attacks, a basic which had no cooldown, and a more powerful attack which had a cool-down of 2-4 moves depending on which Ooblet you was attacking with. Although the combat all feels very tight and as expected I did notice one thing missing, elemental abilities. You have to remember that this wonderfully ambitious game is being developed by only two people so we cant expect the same depth as more common RPG or even JRPG’s’. In all honesty, Ooblets probably dosen’t need elemental damage, but with me being a huge RPG/JRPG fan it’s something I would love to see added as the development continues.
In case you hadn’t guessed it from this preview I loved every second with the Ooblets demo; from choosing my first club, acquiring my first Ooblet to even choosing a new hairstyle. Granted, the build I played doesn’t offer the same depth we’ve come to expect from similar titles, but I have to remember this is an indie title, being developed by a husband and wife team and when you take that into consideration then wow, you cannot help but marvel at just how much passion has clearly gone into making Ooblets a reality.