Ever since I picked up my Steam Deck I’ve been looking for a casual life-sim/ farming game to play on it. Something that’s casual enough to not require lots of organisation or spending loads of time carrying out drawn-out tasks. But also with enough content to keep me playing on and off for months.
Sifting through the pile
Over the past year, I’ve tried Stardew Valley – the obvious option, I’m sure many would agree. But it felt a little too involved. Every time I started playing a new save, I just felt put off by something. I’m not even sure what it was. I just couldn’t quite get into it.
The same can be said for Kynseed. I played more of Kynseed, and was enjoying it, but there was just a bit too much traveling about. Having to travel through a handful of zones just to finish one small task became a little laborious.
There have been a couple of others that I’ve tried although I have forgotten the name of them now. Each one just hasn’t quite captured my attention in the right way. They’ve either had a bit too much management to worry about, or the style hasn’t been quite what I was looking for. Or I didn’t like the way it’s controlled on the Deck. It’s fair to say that I was being very picky.
Then I saw the release of Ooblets on Steam. A game that has been out on the Epic Store for some time and released into early access back in 2020. I’d not paid much attention to it at that time. However, it popped up on Steam and I thought it worth checking out as it is verified for Steam Deck.
It starts like many other games of similar ilk. You move to a new area and are tasked with building a home whilst helping out around the community with various tasks. However, Ooblets is part creature collector too. Which means there is the added draw of (dance) battling and collecting all the Ooblets.
Something about the game just kind of clicked straight away. I think it was maybe the speed at which you get through the tutorial stuff. It didn’t feel like it went on very long and I was quickly getting stuck into the tasks and catching some Ooblets. The combination of growing crops, building up your home, and searching for Ooblets to add to your collection struck the perfect balance of progress. Every day I feel I can spend adequate time ticking off some tasks, tending to my homestead, and then battling a few Ooblets. Plus the soundtrack slaps!
Perhaps it also helped that I started playing just as the Halloween event launched – I love a timed event, and can’t wait for the Christmas one. Seeing the town adorned in Halloween stuff helped to draw me in and capture my attention. Additionally, there’s also some Halloween-themed items and Ooblets to pick up which have been fun to track down.
The Right Vibe
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Sometimes I can’t quite explain what it is that I like about a game. Or why I get hooked in. It’s just the vibe of it, how it feels as soon as you step foot into the game. Ooblets has a good vibe to it. It’s a bit silly, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The Ooblets have stupid names like Fleeble, Shrumbo, and Dumbird, which are exactly the kind of stupid names I would come up with. It’s just a bit weird and I really like it.
I’m not really very far into my Ooblet life in Badgetown but so far I have been loving just chilling out for an hour or so plucking away at some weird plants to sell. Having dance battles with towns folk and wild Ooblets. I’ve not unlocked all the regions yet, so there is still so much more for me to explore and discover and I think that the pacing of that so far has been really good. I’ve not felt overwhelmed by what I can do because the different regions have slowly opened up.
If you’re looking for a chilled-out life-sim style game then the weirdness of Oobelts might just do it for you like it did for me!