Animal Crossing Provides A Relaxing Environment During A Stressful Time

Christmas is my favorite time of year, but it tends to be one of the most stressful times of year for me.

Between financial struggles, finals at University, and the long ride between college and home, there are various things that all ball together and create a chain reaction of stressful events.

Of course, relationships and friendships all help to lessen the stress, but I remember one game that used to tune me in and calm me down during pressured times.

Animal Crossing is a relaxing game. Either of its iterations will be able to provide a relaxing and interesting world to players.

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It offers a small, homey town with a house and friendly animals to talk to. The music, the characters and the environment are all cheery and uplifting.

Maybe it is just that, Animal Crossing provides a happy and cheerful environment to play through. No enemies or stressful events (except for the bees) to be found anywhere on the island.

It provides a second home experience.

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Though someone may abandon the game for years, the town that players spend so much time in, is still there. Albeit, villagers may leave or relocate, and weeds will certainly destroy the grass but that familiar house, the stores, the animals, they will be there.

Animal Crossing provides a familiarity, a consistence that allows players a place to return when life becomes unfamiliar or inconsistent.

I think that is what makes it so relaxing.

I always have my town to go back to. I can check in on villagers whenever I want, I don’t have to play everyday but I have that choice.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is another experience to enjoy now, and on mobile. Now I am not confined to my 3DS to play, but I have my town with me wherever I go.

I can always quickly open up the app and pop-in to check on how the animals in the game are doing.

I can always shake a few trees or catch a fish.

With the Christmas event underway in the game, I am finding myself more and more relaxed as Nintendo promises snow to come to the game.

Pocket Camp, though a mobile app, has carved a special place in my heart and I will keep it as long as it is available for me to return to.

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Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Review

Outside the village players are used to playing in in Animal Crossing, mobile gamer’s are now going to get a taste of the camping life with the recent release of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

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Pocket Camp has been out for two weeks now and having played for this long, this gamer can say that it is a true Animal Crossing title worthy of the series.

Despite its blatantly obvious in-app purchase model, the game can be enjoyed and experienced by everyone, regardless of premium currencies. As far as I can tell, all items in the game except for speed boosts are available with in-game currency.

Luckily, even the premium currency (leaf tickets) are easily obtained by completing quests.

The current holiday event gives out over 100 leaf tickets alone.

Gameplay

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp plays identically to previous titles in the series, with a few changes.

Players familiar with the world will feel at home while running around the new world shaking trees for fruit, fishing, or catching bugs, but old and new players will also love the new camp aspect.

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Whereas AC: New Leaf introduced the ability to customize the town with things like swings and lampposts, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is what probably inspired Pocket Camp the most.

The main idea is the game is to build an appealing campsite for visiting villagers to stay in while they’re on vacation at the various islands surrounding the camp.

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Players have the ability to craft furniture and amenities, new large-scale building projects that level-up villagers of that type (ex. Cute, Cool, Sporty, Natural). Furniture can be placed in the campsite, some of which is required to invite specific villagers to stay in the camp.

Players are also given an RV to customize and decorate. The inside can be decorated the same was as the camp, whereas the RV can be customized with paints and designs on the outside.

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Upgrades to the amount of space or adding rooms to the RV works the same way as previous iterations, with loans being taken out for the work. Players will then have to pay off the loans with the in-game currency, bells.

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One of the main features of the game is the requests system. When talking to villagers, whether they are visiting or permanently living in the campsite, they will present requests, which essentially are fetch quests for items around the various areas in the game.

Unfortunately, new players will likely run out of storage fairly fast as there are more items on the map then pocket space to put them in. Requests become a little mundane after a while when you realize you’re missing one Tiger Butterfly and there are none on the map.

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Luckily, the game still has familiar features such as the clothing shop and a very small version of Nook’s Cranny among other new features.

The game is sadly plagued with timers, some taking upwards of 48 hours to complete, but with several other activities to do, it never feels like you run out of things to do.

Graphics

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a good looking game, or at least as good looking as an Animal Crossing game can look on mobile devices. The graphics are on-par or even better than Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Pocket Camp’s predecessor.

All the assets are nearly identical to past renditions of the titular series, the fish look fishy, the tree’s look tree-y, the villagers retain their cuteness, and for some, weirdness.

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The game perfectly retains the cute art style that Animal Crossing is known for, and some items are probably straight out of previous iterations of the series.

Sound

Music in Animal Crossing is chill and relaxing, like a mini-zen garden but with sound.

Pocket Camp manages to maintain that relaxing musical quality with songs changing across the various areas of the game, as well as the time of day. (yes, there are day and night cycles).

Summary

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp was thought to be just a town-builder with Animal Crossing slapped on the label but it turned out to be much more.

Pocket Camp is a full-fledged Animal Crossing title, worth of bearing the name of the series, and not just as a mobile game.

With frequent updates being promised by Nintendo and DeNA, players will likely enjoy the game for years to come with more features likely to appear over time.

Overall, the game gets a perfect score from Consumer Friendly. Though it has flaws it is a genuinely enjoyable Animal Crossing title with a lot of fun packed into a small package.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is available for download on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

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