I am a big Animal Crossing fan and currently at level 56 on this game, so I think I’m probably overqualified to review it by now!
For anyone who doesn’t already know, the basic premise of Animal Crossing is living in your own wholesome kawaii world with your fellow villagers, who are all chibi animals. Following their release of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, a game which expanded a lot on the playability of Animal Crossing: Wild World, Nintendo decided to bring out a free mobile game, allowing their fans to enjoy a simplified version of their previous hits.
This game pares back the elements of New Leaf. Instead of having your own village, you have your own campsite. You can customise it however you like with furniture and other trimmings that you collect materials from all those cute critters around you to make. You can also customise your camper van inside and out.
Much like New Leaf, the game also keeps things fresh with periodic special events in which you can grow special flowers or catch fish in a tournament and win prizes, either clothes and accessories you can wear or themed items you can decorate your campsite with. The game also accounts for seasonal themes, meaning if you complete certain actions you can unlock Christmas furniture, Halloween furniture, and so on. There’s even a screenshot mode so you can capture pictures of your campsite once you’ve got it looking really good!
Another aspect of the game is building relationships with the different animals in the world around you by visiting different areas of your map. Each animal has a different theme that you can build furniture for (hip, cute, sporty, elegant, cool, etc.). Whether you keep it in your campsite is up to you, but once you’ve built a certain number of items you can invite that animal to your campsite and make room for them to stay for as long as you like. Once they’re there you can see them interacting with your furniture, sitting on sofas, turning lamps on and off…it’s pretty adorable.
I really love this game and have gotten a lot of play out of it, way more than I expected to. I think this is because it has almost as many different elements as a full game, so there’s enough variety to keep you hooked and coming back to modify your campsite and see what other cool bits you can unlock to personalise it even more.
The only thing that would make this game perfect for me is more options to interact with the people in your friends list. At present you can visit other people’s campsites to have a nosy, buy things from their marketbox (a place to sell excess fruit/fish/bugs you might have) and help them out by watering their flowers. I’d love it if you could maybe write notes to friends or give them gifts while visiting their campsite and maybe even invite them to visit yours. It’s entirely possible Nintendo might even add these things as they’re constantly updating the game which is great.
If you love cutesy games and building your own little world, you really can’t go wrong with this game! It’s free, a whole lot of fun and is bound to get you excited for the next Nintendo Animal Crossing release.