While E3 headlines are typically reserved for well-known franchise names and the most explosive Triple-A titles, a smaller game can sometimes steal the show.
For E3 2017, the pleasantly weird Ooblets might just turn out to be that game.
Ooblets comes to us from Double Fine Studios who you may know as the publisher and developer behind such games as Broken Age, Massive Chalice, and Stacking. Even though the studio has made a name for themselves as the home of certifiably unique entertainment, Ooblets is a different bizarre beast entirely.
The easiest way to describe the game would be “A mix between Animal Crossing and Pokemon with a little Stardew Valley/Harvest Moon thrown in for good measure.” The very basic premise involves you growing your own crop of Pikmin-esque creatures that you can later use in the game’s Pokemon-style battle systems. All the while, you can interact with a village of eclectic citizens while fully customizing your home and character in all kinds of strange ways.
That customization seems to be at the heart of the game. Ooblets emphasizes turning every aspect of the world into something that is truly your own. Nearly every other aspect of Ooblets feels simplified in some way – especially the combat system – but the title’s depth seems to be based on just how much free reign you are granted in terms of personalization and developing your own path of progression.
It’s hard to talk about this game without comparing it to an array of other titles, but it’s clear that Ooblets wears its influences on its sleeve. There’s something refreshing about the honesty of the game’s familiar style especially when some of the influences in question – most notably Animal Crossing and Viva Pinata – aren’t due to receive a proper update in the foreseeable future.
Ooblets is currently scheduled for release sometime in 2018 for Xbox One and PC.