Games with farming and life simulation elements sometimes take into account other things that would happen to people on a daily basis.This can often involve relationship mechanics that let you befriend or romance characters. Ooblets is no different, with a friendship mechanic even present in its early access phase. While its certainly only in its preliminary stages, it still is handled rather well and provides an excuse to check in with people every day.
Before you can start befriending people in Ooblets, the game presents you with a task. As the town’s newest resident, Mayor Tinstle makes you an assistant and tasks you with making it a better place to live. Part of this involves Ooblets’ Friendship Sticker Printypress. This used to be an initiative to encourage people to socialize via earning stickers, but its broken. To fix it, you need to collect a sweetiebeetie, six sporbets, and ten nurnies. Sweetiebeetie seeds are five gummies each at Meed’s Seeds. You can get the nurnies by breaking rocks on your farm. The sporbets are random, common items found around Badgetown. Dropping them off fixes the press, and now whenever you talk to certain townsfolk, you’ll build up a rapport.
What’s nice is how Ooblets friendships are handled. Like both Animal Crossing and Story of Seasons, you get some friendship points for talking to people each day. People who you can form relationships with will have a white circle above their heads if you haven’t spoken to them that day, so it is easy to check in with them.
How friendships go from there is pretty simple. In some cases, you can get through the whole first relationship rank without them asking you for any items. This means you can get your first sticker, rank up, and earn items like accessories for your Ooblets, clothing for yourself, furniture, normal seeds, Ooblet seeds, and gummies. There are some people who might ask for a few items, and your friendship meter won’t continue to fill until that’s completed. For example, one of the first people to ask me for an item was Arah, who wanted boreguses.
What makes all of this so great is how rewarding it all is. After about ten hours invested in Ooblets, I had befriended both Tinstle and Taffy to levels that resulted in getting their special Ooblet seeds for Legsy and Tamlin. I didn’t have to invest in new clothing, since people were giving it to me. (Considering one quest had someone asking me to change up my look, this was rather handy.)
It’s the sort of thing that can leave you feeling fulfilled and happy while you play. You took the time to talk to someone. Maybe it also gave you a reason to look for or grow certain items. Because you took that time, you get a whole new Ooblet to experiment with or items that change up your appearance. But if you didn’t want to do any of that, that’s fine too. Extra Ooblets aren’t necessary and you could always get things like clothes for your avatar or furniture for your home in other ways. It’s just a pleasant extra activity.
Ooblets is available in early access and game preview forms on the PC and Xbox One.