Marcus Grant | Managing Editor
If I walked up to you and asked, “would you play a game where you work to improve the lives of various animal citizens living in a town?” I have a feeling a lot of people would say “no.” So why is Animal Crossing such a popular game?
I was first introduced to the game when it came out for the DS as “Animal Crossing: Wild World” so I’ll be going off the releases following that. The premise of it has remained relatively stagnant over time; the player goes to a town/city/island and is made to be in charge. The citizens have problems and things they want to see happen within the player’s town. It follows players, matching the same time and date as the device the game is played on with holidays celebrated throughout the year. Each time and season brings with it new bugs and fish that the player can catch to sell or put on display at the museum. They can also connect to the internet to play with other people who also have the game.
One of the greatest parts of the game is the characters. There are different categories of villagers’ personalities: Normal, Lazy, Sisterly, Snooty, Cranky, Jock, Peppy, and Smug. They also have personalized rooms, which you can visit. In the newest installment, New Horizons, you can see the villagers singing around, fishing, reading, eating, and all sorts of other activities. The shop owners and visiting characters also add to the game. Tom Nook, a greedy store owner comes across as being hilarious and the player’s secretary, Isabelle is positive and full of joy. Nintendo also said that some fan favorites are returning in November, including Brewster, the coffee-making bird who resides in the museum, and Katrina, the fortune-telling panther.
Players are allowed to customize a lot in Animal Crossing. They can change the look of their house by buying expansions, placing furniture in, and replacing carpet and wallpaper. In New Horizons, they can also change the landscape of their islands, literally creating hills or rivers or adding paths, as well as being able to move houses and stores. On top of that, the players can plant fruits and flowers and build items to place around for the villagers to use to truly make the space their own.
Animal Crossing allows players to move at their own pace. They do not have to stress about completing big tasks within a certain time limit. The most constraint occurs when doing favors for the villagers, which are expected to be done by midnight in most cases. This aspect of the game allows players to feel relaxed as they go through the motions of the game. Once the player completes the big task in the game, they are free to continue playing rather than having to start over and do it all again. They can choose to continue making their town or island better and meeting new villagers as they come and go.
Over, Animal Crossing offers a lot for players to do. With its events, characters, and variety, you can expect to find something to do even if you only play it a couple of times a week. The adorable visuals matched with the soundtrack leave players wanting to come back and hang out with their villagers whenever they can and I can’t wait to see how the series evolves in the future.