REVIEW: Squeebels

Of Aztecgames’ prolific (and not exactly terrific; Tic-Tac-ToeRumble Voice? Really?) releases on the channel, Squeebels (80 MSP) is probably their most interesting project to date. Recalling the early days of the ‘life-creating and then babysitting’ genre (think of those adorable little Tamagotchi), and just as simplistic, the game puts you in charge of various tiny, multi-colored Squeebels, or as I (unfortunately) took to calling them, ‘hairy balls’. Told you it was unfortunate…

…but it’s also rather representative. What they lack in personality (a few sounds or a brief blink marks the extent of their individualism), they try to make up for with a handful of hair styles. Yeah, it doesn’t do much. Awkward looks aside, the goal of the game remains consistent; raise your pets, feed your farm, and continue the cycle of life via mating. And don’t worry about the particulars; incest is a-ok here.

Food is the most important aspect, central to your squeebel’s happiness and well-being. Keeping plenty of it on hand and / or growing (planted seeds will soon sprout new sources of squeebel-feed, no watering required) is tantamount to life, unsurprisingly. The shop that’s present in every farm stocks a few varieties of seeds, and dropping them into the field from your inventory effectively sustains your farm.

Sadly, the whole idea is just way too simple to encourage prolonged playtime. The different seeds don’t list the pros and cons of each type. They’re separated only by price, with no noticeable effect on your pets whether you harvest the most expensive crop or the cheapest. The only other tangible goods on the market, fencing, is more or less useless as well, since boxing in your squeebels or letting them roam free is only a matter of choice, not dictated by design or necessity.

Squeebels - Screen

Nor do the squeebels themselves have much lasting draw. Besides the visual markings, there’s no real discernible difference from one squeebel to the next, regardless of which generation or ‘family’ they belong to. Animation consists of blinking eyes, so all the talk of dominant and recessive genes doesn’t much factor in. ‘Interaction’ is simplistic as well, with you either picking them up or ‘petting’ them, neither of which is required. You can sell them too, but again, to what end?

There’s some (very) light fun to be had in watching your farm grow in size, though that it does so really without much input from you just highlights the autopilot nature of Squeebels. Keep plants in the ground, and you’ve pretty much done all you need to do (or can). Easy enough. Congratulations, you’re a fantastic parent! You want a challenge in raising something that involves actual work and meaningful payoff? Buy a kitten or a puppy. Pass on Squeebels.

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4 thoughts on “REVIEW: Squeebels”

  1. Well, I am working out an update right now.
    Already, I have simply added descriptions in the store of what attributes each plant will give your squeebels if eaten.
    I am thinking of adding illness, which would lead to building a hospital(costly of course) to spend some of that cash and get your squeebel well again.
    Also I am thinking of adding in a gene factory which would let you take a squeebel and give it all available attributes for a cost per attribute, thus allowing you to create exactly the squeebel you desire.
    Other things I was thinking was just some things to spruce up your farm to make it your unique place.

    1. That’s a really good direction to take things, I think. Anything that prolongs the gameplay, gives it more purpose and the option to add some personality to each individual farm. Don’t know if others have already came and passed judgement on it, though any newcomers would appreciate the added depth.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to review.
    The genetics picked up by feeding certain foods to your squeebels are passed on to their children over generations and will eventually become dominant traits, like stripes, spots, horns, etc.
    I probably should have listed what each seed type does in hindsight, but thought it might be more fun to figure out how to grow specific squeebel types.
    Based on your review however, I think i’ll add in descriptions in an update along with some other goodies.

    1. No problem. 🙂

      I could see others liking that ‘surprise’ in finding out what foods do what, but really, the whole game is too simplistic (in my opinion) for others to take that time in experimenting. You really needed to add more things to do or to factor in. Way too basic a game to get much enjoyment out of, but I am just one opinion. Best of luck with it.

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