Ooblets is a game that will probably end up compared to various creature-collecting titles. Which is valid, since there are little buddies you acquire, send off into (dance) battles, and collect. But there’s something that it handles a little differently than its contemporaries. While there are certain characters in Pokemon-like games, say Pidgeys or Ratatas, who can quickly wane in utility, it feels like even Ooblets can remain practical for a long period of time.
For example, the first Ooblet you get that isn’t a starter is Lumpstump. It is how you learn to dance battle, acquire seeds, and grow a new friend. As established in our preview, it is a great introductory character that doesn’t get outclassed. Each of its moves builds up your point total while also either boosting points earned for your cards (hyping) or decreasing points opponents earn for their cards (flustering). So right away at level one, the signature move Put Down Roots will give you three points and one hype for two beats, which is pretty good since some general moves might only give you two points for one beat. Boogie Blossom doubles that for three beats. Shake the Tree lets you steal five points and add three flusters to the enemy team for four beats.
While Lumpstump is good for building a strong foundation, Fleeble is a nice friend that can support other Ooblets without using up too many beats. When I would have Fleeble around, I’d notice the Rhythm & Grow move, that costs zero beats and gives you a beat, would appear appear more frequently. Which would mean Fleeble’s signature Petty Formation, which would add a fluster for one beat, or Skip Step, which would stun a target for a turn, would basically cost me nothing to use. (Skip Step is great when you start seeing characters with Warm Up moves that take multiple turns to use.) Miniscule Medley, its two-beat signature move, reduces the cost of every move in your hand to one beat. Fleeble helps you set things up.
Even some of the more complex characters that show up find a way to be invaluable regardless of how far you are into the adventure. Unnyhunny is a great supporter for when you start getting more complicated moves. Its Sugar Pan Shuffle gives you three points and an extra move for two beats. You also can spend one beat on Fresh Start to start the next turn with two beats. If one of your Ooblets has a warm-up move that takes multiple turns to pull off, the one-beat Let Loose reduces that build-up by one. It’s about helping you set up more complicated strategies and managing your deck and beats.
One of the early Ooblets you can acquire with one of the most diverse movesets is Tamlin. (Befriend Taffy to get a seed for this bud.) Tamlin’s starter Signature Move is Todoozie One and an upgrade over Tud’s Tadpolka. Where Tadpolka costs zero beats and gives you one point every time you play a move that turn, Todoozie One gives you two points for each move played… also for zero beats. Its great. Its second Signature, Todoozie Two, gives you one fluster and one hype for the cost of one beat. Finally, Toodoozie Three costs three beats and two turns warm-up to earn 10-points. On its own, Tamlin might not be the best, but it can be a big help with Lumpstump, Shrumbo, or Unnyhunny.
It feels like Ooblets is the sort of game where it is okay to get attached. Where even if you are just starting out with this early build, you can still have fun and find a useful team of characters who you could still be using hours later. The characters can be versatile alone or in a group, and even some earlier critters seem like the sorts who might end up feeling more practical after you’ve spent more time leveling them up or gathering other friends to use.
Ooblets is available on the Xbox One and PC, though it is currently in an early access state.