Day three of E3 2017 will likely go down in history as featuring one of the cutest announcement trailers in history. During the PC Gaming Show on Monday, PC Gamer hosts ushered in a clip of Ooblets, a farming and creature collection title inspired by Animal Crossing, Pokemon, and Harvest Moon. Published by the San Francisco-based company Double Fine Productions, Ooblets will launch for PC and Xbox One next year.
The Ooblets trailer shown at the PC Gaming Show included everything one might expect in a game that bills itself as a triple blend of video game classics. There was infectious, almost 8-bit music complemented by adorable sound effects. There was a gardening scene in which the protagonist planted and grew a happy blue bird and a grumpy-faced yellow creature straight from the ground. There was even a scene where that same character, now in rain boots and what looked like an Adventure Time-inspired hat, ran through the grass with a pack of mini monsters behind her.
Of course, the clip also focused on the ooblets themselves. Tiny creatures that can be leveled up just like all those unique Pokemon monsters can, ooblets appear to be totally customizable as players spend more time with them. Additionally, the Ooblets announcement gave a glimpse at the in-game town of Oob and all its bits and bobs. There are farms to tend to, shops to run, new hairstyles to try out at the salon, glowing cemeteries and warm-toned deserts to explore, and homes to decorate.
And just like the title it pulled inspiration from, Ooblets emphasizes community. Team up with fellow ooblets trainers, battle larger-than-average ooblets out in the wild, have an impromptu dance party in the middle of town square, or even take a ride on a hot air balloon. The sense of togetherness present in the Ooblets trailer rings so familiar to that of the Pokemon franchise, which is known for holding Pokemon Sun & Moon global missions, among many other collaborative events. The inclusion of this in Ooblets is something many gamers may admire about the forthcoming game.
While there’s plenty to do in the bustling town filled with quirky little characters, players will be relieved to know that they can game at their own pace and leave “the stresses of city living” behind them. What Ooblets fans do inside the game is entirely their choice: spend a day or two polishing up their small house, join a club (where gossiping about fellow ooblet trainers is totally an option), automate production on trinkets and mechanics like sprinklers, or build an ever-growing collection of seeds, badges, machinery, furniture, and friends. The possibilities seem pretty endless in Ooblets.
What’s interesting to note about Ooblets, particularly its marketing strategy and the angle at which the developers are choosing to launch the title, is that while its clearly an inspired game, it still looks fresh. The goofy town feels similar to the one in Animal Crossing, the shuffle-footed ooblets could be cousins of the full collection of Pokemon, and the farming simulation is undeniably akin to Harvest Moon. But the soft color palette and interesting art design seem to make Ooblets stand out. Then again, this is only the announcement trailer, so players will simply have to see how the title shakes out when it’s released next year.
Ooblets will launch sometime in 2018 for PC and Xbox One.