Anyone who has spoken to me in the last week knows that I am slowly losing my grip on reality due to the presence of rats in my apartment. The only thing keeping me from confronting the greasy creatures with a tactical vest made of rat coronavirus spike proteins and knives is Ooblets, the saccharine farming sim that came out from early access on September 1.
To me, the whole appeal of Ooblets is its ability to liquefy your thoughts into happy, oozing non-thoughts. None of the game’s mechanics — not planting crops, not decorating your home, not collecting squidgy Ooblets, nor engaging them in dance battles — require more than two micro units of higher-level brain power, which is currently my ideal level of cognitive function.
I recommend you take a brain vacation with me. To help you get started, and without any of the negative side effects of the ancient skull-removal procedure known as trepanning, (which I am considering performing on the rats), I present to you my top tips for anyone starting a leisurely game of Ooblets.
Farming sim veterans will recognise the hallmarks of the genre in Ooblets: You leave your home in search of better living; you meet a quirky mayor who needs help restoring a charming but tumbledown town; you move into a small, boarded-up home they bequeath you (hey, it’s free!), and work your spunky magic.
But Ooblets departs from the likes of similar games such as Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley by prioritising Ooblet collection and dance battles. Successful dance battles earn you seeds that you can plant to grow new Ooblets. But here’s the catch: You can’t initiate a dance battle without meeting its entry requirements of having two or three specific items like fig-like quibs, which you can shake from trees, or mushroom-y buttonboys, which can be pulled from the ground, in your inventory. Time to hunt those down.
Shaking down trees, walking through town and collecting or buying items, and weeding and cleaning up your garden gets you these necessary dance battle material, as well as useful crafting and farming items. Be curious, wander, and let your pockets overflow with mysterious items — they’ll probably be useful to you very soon.
In your curiosity, you should enter neighbours’ homes without them inviting you. Seriously, they won’t mind. Ooblets exists in an anti-gun universe, I think.
In other people’s houses, gold sparkles will guide you to helpful items you can steal without consequence, including gummies, the game’s primary currency. Kleptomania is cool!
Repopulate the planet with your children
Ooblets, peppy creatures with big eyes and tiny bodies, provide more than their slight frames suggest. Though only up to eight “follow babies” (this game has a sugarcoated name for everything) can trail you at first, you can store additional Ooblets in your at-home Oobcoop. You can upgrade this area and use it to assign Ooblets tasks like weed removal, or send them to the unlockable Wildlands, which acts sort of like a daycare.
Acquiring a shit ton of Ooblets provides both aesthetic and practical benefits. Obviously, they are adorable. Looks are 99% of their appeal, like with stuffed animals. But assigning them Oobcoop tasks will improve your farming experience while opening up the Wildlands gets you access to rotating challenges and rewards.
By the way, try not to overthink choosing a personality-based club. The game asks you to do this from the very start. But your club will not noticeably impact your game experience. You can meet and perform tasks for all club leaders regardless of which club you’re a member of. All clubs do is determine which starter Ooblet you get, and all your options are equally cute and useful.
Sell your children out for science
Having an Ooblet menagerie is also a fast and easy way to get a bunch of gummies. When you first head to the Lernery, a research centre in your town, you’ll meet the character Rugnolia, who give you gummies if you help her with her studies by placing new Ooblets in a scanning device. Scanning takes a second, and it doesn’t seem like your Ooblets feel objectified by it, which is good. You’ll get 50 gummies for common Ooblets, 100 for rare variants, and 300 for ultra-rare “gleamies,” which you can identify by the shimmer that surrounds them.
Dance your heart out
There might be a trick to dance battles, but honestly, Ooblets is a relaxed game that doesn’t seem like it wants to inconvenience you too much. This is an anti-gun, pro-kleptomania community, as you might recall.
So in turn-based dance battles, where you need to reach a number of points before your opposing team does to win and grab an Ooblet seed, all you need is to start strong. Rack up as many points as quickly as possible. It really is that simple.
To expedite this process, make use of “hype” cards. These boost the number of points gained by dance moves in your arsenal, while inflicting the other team with “fluster,” which depletes points.
And dance battles are another good reason to keep a bunch of Ooblets around. In addition to having item entry fees, dance battles require you battle a certain number of Ooblets. To always be prepared for this, it helps to have eight babies following you and ready to dance at all times.
Plant according to your needs
Ooblets is a farming game, but there are so many things to do within it that I don’t feel like farming has to be your number one priority.
Though, farming is still necessary. You’ll need to grow and gather materials from your plot of land for item crafting, town restoration, to make food, and to gain entry to some Ooblets’ dance battles. You can also decide to take on orders at Plenny’s, a shop that fills the town’s bulk goods needs, in exchange for a hefty sum of gummies.
But you don’t need to worry about it too much. Though crops need to be watered daily (you can do this easily with your upgradable watering can, by upgrading your sweatshop-lite Oobcoop to add watering as an assignable task, or by installing sprinklers in your garden), nothing that serious will happen if they get a little dry — they’ll just take longer to sprout, and they might start collecting weeds for you to pull.
Plant what you want and reap the benefits when you want to. There’s really no rush.
On the off chance that you’re in a rush, you can collect the tin cans polluting certain parts of town and recycle them in order to go “sea dangling” for items that speed the farming process.
You’ll find a few mounds of cans every time you head into town. If your inventory allows for it, collect them all and stick up to ten at a time into the Reconstitooter, the cute version of a recycling machine (this game is occasionally painful for me, someone who cannot bring themselves to say Super Happy Fun Time Burger-type food names at restaurants).
For every ten cans you smush, you’ll get one “slurry,” a basic bait for scooping more pollution out of the water. You can get some items by fishing with basic bait, likeSpeedy Grow and Speedy Grow Pro, both of which reduce crops’ growth time. Basic bait can also net you Stay Soggy and Stay Soggy Extra, which reduce the need for daily watering, and even gummies, which you can use toward gardening upgrades and buying seeds.
Get to know all currencies
Outside of gummies, Ooblets makes it necessary to be familiar with wishies (even typing these names makes me feel like everyone in a themed restaurant is scream-cackling at me). These are a secondary yet still valuable form of currency.
“Wishies” are earned in bulk by completing tasks or daily challenges. They can be redeemed at the “Wishywell” (oh my God) to access a range of items and upgrades that scale with your character’s level. At level one, you can use wishies to buy things like a set of 100 gummies, increase the number of Ooblets discoverable in town, or boost the amount of seeds available for purchase. You can access the Wishywell from the fountain icon in your main menu, or by clicking on the one physical fountain in town.
Ooblets’ protagonists get tired quickly. Even the act of passing a watering can over blooming plants can make them sleepy. To remedy this, you can eat food you forage, buy, or prepare, drink “beanjuice” (coffee…it’s coffee), and, most efficiently, take a nap in your snuggly bed at home.
Put aside your desire for immediate reward and satisfaction (digging all the holes, harvesting all the crops) and sink into the game’s slowness. And on that note, make sure you go to bed on time — going to bed too late makes you “groggy” and you’ll start the next day with stunted energy levels.
Don’t take it too seriously
This isn’t a game you need to grind. Don’t even waste precious time thinking about grinding this game. Ooblets is an appealing world to be in because nothing is urgent and nothing that bad can happen to you or your Ooblet pets. Everything is pastel and edgeless. The trees always bear fruit. You would never even find a rat’s nest in your kitchen appliances.
Don’t have rats in your apartment
This one is just for me. Yeah.