Glumberland is a two-person indie development studio and Ooblets is their debut title. It's been four years in the making, and over that time hype has been building for this cute life simulator game. Now the wait is over and an Early Access version of Ooblets is available for Xbox One and PC. We find out if it lives up to the expectations.

Life Is A Giant Toot

The opening line of the game is "Your life has been a giant toot." This sets the tone for the silly quirky adventure you're about to undertake as you're told that your character is moving to Badgetown to start a new life.

Here you'll help the mayor with her tasks and revitalize the town, in return for being able to stay in a run-down farmhouse. The house itself is a total mess but as the mayor herself says, "what do you expect for a free house?"

The game's dialogue is one of the most endearing aspects of gameplay, along with the Ooblets themselves of course. From the refreshingly honest admission from your character that you have "no money, possessions or skills," to the fact that fishing is known as sea dangling, the silliness and quips will have you smiling along the way as you take in your new surroundings.

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Pokémon Meets Story Of Seasons With A Dash Of Slime Rancher

Ooblets feels like the very best elements of some classic games all mixed together. The premise is that you need to grow, harvest, and scavage a number of different items in order to complete your tasks for the mayor. As these are completed new areas will open up and new challenges will be unlocked. You can also upgrade, furnish, and decorate your home, Animal Crossing style.

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Finally, you'll need to collect Ooblets. These adorable companions can either follow you around or stay on your farm and hold down the fort. In order to gain more, you'll need to participate in dance battles with visiting Ooblets. Winning these battles will reward you with seeds that will allow you to grow new Ooblets. The cute animations and the way the Ooblets behave is reminiscent of Slime Rancher's quirky style. Somehow Ooblets express different personalities despite having little to no expressions.

The farming system feels similar to that in Story of Seasons and other similar games, requiring players to till, plant and water crops before they can harvest them. It's simple but effective and enjoyable, with my only issue being the controls. Keeping hold of the trigger button to stay in farming mode can be annoying, as can the fact that you need to use two buttons to scroll through your tools, rather than having the selection menu loop back to the start.

In terms of the dance battle system, this is where the Pokémon echoes are seen. Each Ooblet has its own set of dance moves to use in battle. The core moves will increase your points, steal points from your rivals, boost other moves, or interfere with the opposition. Each turn cards are drawn at random from the decks of each Oooblet in battle and players have a set amount of points to spend using them. The team to hit the point target first will win.

Now don't misinterpret this as copying. This game is in no way a clone of any of those I've mentioned. It's very much unique but you can see where the team has drawn inspiration from the best elements of other successful titles. It takes several different aspects of other enjoyable games and pulls them all together into a glorious and unique package.

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Early Access Doesn't Mean Unfinished

Make no mistake, Ooblets is going to get more content. However, the amazing thing about playing the game right now is that it doesn't feel like Early Access. It's every bit as immersive, engaging, and enjoyable as many fully released titles.

I've been playing for a few days now and I still feel like I've only just scratched the surface. I also had to purchase a PC copy and move my gameplay to my computer, since my kids are fighting over who gets to play the Xbox version. This game has captured the hearts of my entire family in just three short days.

There are some aspects of the game that are unfinished but these don't interfere with regular gameplay and are dealt with amazingly. A closed gate informs us that a specific area is closed because the team "broke it real bad" and rather than be annoyed I was just sympathizing because who hasn't done that before?

Ooblets contains enough to keep players entertained for a long while. There are Ooblets to collect and level, dance battles to participate in, weird and wonderful things to grow, and tasks to complete. You can also spend some time scavaging, socializing, gift-giving, and spending your gummies on new hairstyles and clothing. That's before we even talk about the Ooblet clubs. Just the fact that I could join a club for "people who are clever but bad at social interactions" was a winner for me.

Ooblets has my heart and as the game grows over the next few months I can't see that changing. This game truly deserves the title "Indie Darling."

An Xbox One copy of Ooblets was provided to TheGamer for this preview. Ooblets is available now for Xbox One and PC. The PC version is currently an Epic Games Store exclusive.

NEXT: Ooblets: How To Get Clothplant Seeds & Grow Clothlet

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