Animal Crossing (Series)

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Platforms: GameCube, Nintendo 2DS/3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Wii

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Released: December 2001, updated in 2016. Added to this library 4 months ago, last updated 10 weeks ago.

Overview

You live on a small island teeming with life. Insects, fish, trees, vegetation and fossils are represented with cute cartoon visuals. Rather than the scale or grandeur of other game worlds, it’s the interconnected minutiae of this diorama that makes it fascinating. This interconnection comprises not only how you impact the world, but how you relate to the other inhabitants and how the island changes with real-world time. Along with special events such as the Christmas and Easter festivals, you need to play in different seasons and times of day to collect particular insects and fish.

This is a controllable fantasy escape, but one that’s still intimately connected to the ticking of the real-world clock. It’s a place to visit for short bursts each day over the course of a full year.

You can play Animal Crossing on a variety of systems, each game follows the same basic format but has developed over the years:

  • Animal Crossing is played on Nintendo Gamecube.
  • Animal Crossing: Wild World is played on Nintendo DS.
  • Animal Crossing: City Folk is played on Nintendo Wii
  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf is played on Nintendo 3DS
  • Animal Crossing: New Hozizons is played on Nintendo Switch.
Spin off games that offer a reduced experience in the Animal Crossing world:
  • Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is played on Nintendo 3DS.
  • Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival is played on Nintendo Wii U.
  • Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is played on iOS or Android.

 
This game is good if you want to step up and help out, play popular blockbuster games, build resilience, create something for visitors, connect with grandparents, escape life's storms for a while, dip your toe into online games, hide and seek, find hope, inhabit another world or farm your own plot of land.

Commitment

Duration: It takes between half an hour and 45 minutes to play a round of this game. After the initial getting started on your island that may take around 10-15 hours, Animal Crossing is a game you play for around 30 minutes a day.
 
Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 8 players online. Animal Crossing New Horizons on a single system lets you have up to 4 people work together on one island but only the main person can build and progress. You can play with 8 people on one island online but again only the main person can progress things. Still, this is a lot of silly fun to run around together, bop people, send letters and suchlike. It's also a chance to trade items with players from their islands. You can specify certain people as Best Friends who can then collaborate more easily with you when you visit and send you things in the mail.

Costs

Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.

Animal Crossing New Horizons will include in-game purchases in the future according to the ESRB rating.

In Animal Crossing New Horizons you can only have one island for each copy of the game, meaning that for two people to play in a family you really need two Switches and two copies of the game. One workaround is if you have a digital copy of the game and two Switches you can use them with different users with separate saves and islands. However, you can't visit each other's islands if you are using the same digital game.

As suggested by Washington Post, "If you want to play with a friend and experience the game at its best, you need at least two copies of the game and two systems."

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp on smartphone and tablet is free-to-start and offers in-game purchases with a chance of getting rare items.

You will need Nintendo Online to play online with Nintendo Switch.

Ratings

Animal Crossing New Horizons is rated PEGI 3.

Animal Crossing New Horizons is rated ESRB EVERYONE with comic mischief. Some bugs can sting players, causing them to become dizzy and collapse. Players can bonk characters on the head and/or push them into holes. One character is seen with mucus dripping from his nose; the dialogue also contains comical references (e.g., “Whoever smelt it dealt it.”).

User-Generated Content: This game includes content created by other players, such as maps, outfits and items, that are not reflected in the game rating.

Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Accessibility

System settings: Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games. The Wii has a few helpful settings, like disable rumble, but you have to use gesture controls for most games and the system menu... read more.


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Animal Crossing is in These Lists

In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to Animal Crossing in the following lists:

Inhabit Another World

Whether it’s a simple puzzle grid, a battlefield or a universe of planets to visit, all games create virtual spaces in which to play. Some of these are simply the background to a campaign - the game’s unfolding drama, missions or challenge. But others invite you to invest in the worlds they create, move in, tend to and inhabit in fantastical ways.

The games in this section invite you to spend time in spaces that have a sense of place, life and character. Worlds that hold history and lore in their landscapes, flora, fauna and inhabitants; environments that respond to your presence and invite you to restore them to their former glory.
 

Big Budget Popular Games

These games are big, brash and popular. They have big budgets which means the visual and interactive quality is particularly high. They also have strong and wide ranging player communities.
 

Find Calm From The Storm

These games offer ways to consciously step outside the day's stresses and pressures to create space for self-care. This may be to distract yourself with calming unpressured tasks or to visit a world that is tranquil and relaxing or maybe just spend time reflecting on your emotions in a safe space.
 

Hope Through Play

Games that embed a sense of hope by playing them. Sometimes a hopeful story, sometimes a hopeful interaction, and sometimes just an uplifting aesthetic to spend time in. These are games that leave you with an uplifted spirit, maybe not immediately (like Horizon Zero Dawn) but by the time you have finished them.

There is something innocent and childlike in play, and video games each have a slice of that in different ways. Sometimes simple and sometimes complex, games can help us return to the hope we had as children, or call us on to the wisdom and perspective of older years.
 

Be A Good Neighbour

In this list, provided by the LTN (Love Thy Nerd) editors, we bring together video games that have the potential to offer more than entertainment. It starts with 12 with a challenge us to be a good neighbour, and follows with others added over time. LTN exists to be the love of Jesus to nerds and nerd culture, you can read more about them on their website.

"What if video games have more to offer than just an exciting diversion into a digital battlefield, fantasy war, or alien invasion? While these types of games are certainly the loudest and most financially successful, there are a growing number of games asking important questions about life, the human condition, and even God."

"Our list is not 'Christian' games, but rather a list of games that pose important spiritual questions to those who play them. These are games that provide us with the opportunity to consider what a truly 'spiritual' life looks like by encouraging us to have empathy for the suffering, love for our neighbours and our enemies, and an imagination vivid enough to contemplate a better world."

Journey's understated yet deep mythology, lack of guidance and mysterious ways it brings players together will have players thinking about the course of their own lives. Dropsy is, on the surface, a silly point-and-click adventure game about a creepy but misunderstood clown, dig deeper and you’ll see this a game that challenges players to love everyone, even their enemies. Kentucky Route Zero is at its core, about rediscovery, of adventure-game mechanics and modernist aesthetics, of a more spiritual outlook on the physical world.

Gris is a platformer about the stages of grief that highlights the indelible impact of our most sacred relationships. That Dragon, Cancer is a game where Ryan and Amy Green share their grief and their hope by drawing us not only into their lives but into the common grace of the Christian faith. Myst, one of the best selling titles of all time, is a puzzle game about the beauty and mystery of creation. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a game about the spiritual impact our most precious relationships have on us. Wandersong is a game about transforming the world with music. Heroism isn’t measured in bulk or recognition but in the melodic tones of compassion and kindness. The Last Guardian confronts us with our own self-centeredness and challenges us to give rather than merely take.

Pyre is a game about mercy that deconstructs player’s perceptions of winning and losing, encouraging them to see and meet the needs of those who are oppressed. My Child Lebensborn is a game that challenges players to care for a child born into a fascist regime--this is a game about the power of empathy. Celeste strikes at the centre of what it means to be a person in all of our messy humanity a wonderful reminder that even when we fall, we are lifted up again through redemptive love, forgiveness, and grace—both for ourselves and for one another.
 

Build Personal Resilience

Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. As much as resilience involves "bouncing back" from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth.

Games, by design, present players with adversity and much of the joy of gaming comes from taking on and overcoming unnecessary obstacles. Whether you’re saving the universe from an alien invasion or tending crops in your animal community, playing games mimics the process of resilience.

Image 163 This list of games that can help foster various forms of psychological resilience is compiled with the expert help of Take This. They aim to decrease the stigma, and increase the support for, mental health in the game enthusiast community and inside the game industry. They encourage a game community that welcomes and supports people experiencing mental health challenges, and that recognizes the humanity and mental health of game creators.

The Portal series tell a narrative that you are going to fail. You’re told to give up, but if you ignore this barrage of discouragement you can use it as a way to strengthen your resolve and complete the puzzles even if you have failed twenty times in the process. The Stanley Parable is all about trying again. You can try and re-try your decision making, reaching a variety of different endings.

Dark Souls is a hallmark for a punishing challenge that require resilience. You journey through elaborate lands to adventure, explore, and take heed lest they encounter a battle with a boss or enemy. Celeste is the story of Madeline and the enemies she overcomes while climbing Celeste Mountain. The game specifically calls out that Madeline has anxiety, and the challenges she faces in the environment reflect her own internal struggles and triumphs. Cuphead challenges players to battle relentless bosses in combat-heavy play. Cartoonish and playful, it balances challenging players to grow in skill and offers plenty of entertaining environments and aesthetics to keep you playing.

In Kingdom Hearts you meet many characters that need help - and many boss battles feel almost insurmountable. With help from friends like Donald and Goofy, the player character Sora overcomes the darkness to save his friends and bring hope back to the world. Death Squared is a co-op puzzle game where one player’s mistake makes everyone else lose. You learn cooperative resilience in trying again admits humorous judgments from the unseen “hosts” of the game.

In Animal Crossing you get help from the animal neighbours. You learn to lean on this social and environmental resilience to persevere at building social connections with computer villagers and friends online. Stardew Valley’s farming is about growing and maintaining a homestead. Interweaving the busy work are relationships with the other villagers, many of whom are social models for resilience in their storylines.
 

Ease Loneliness With Intergenerational Games

There are many reasons, stages of life and circumstances that can leave us feeling isolated and lonely (and of course at the moment this is intensified with the virus lockdown). Being unable to be in the same place as loved ones. Not understanding the modern world. Barriers of mobility or impairments. Social anxiety and other mental health issues.

Video games are one way that we can reconnect with each other, without needing to be in the same place. Finding games to play online with grandparents and carers is not only a good way to keep in touch but a lot of fun.

Image 171 The games on this page are part of the PLAY&TALK Weekend, which has launched in time for National Loneliness Awareness Week, aims to reduce feelings of isolation by getting people to talk with friends or family safely online. Backed by over 30 companies in the games industry, the Play&Talk weekend hopes to initiate 10,000 extra conversations across the UK through the power of games.
All the games have been select to be easy to play for new gamers and many of them have been used in a broad range of cultural settings, being incorporated into Cathedral services, arts festivals, well-being retreats and educational contexts.
 

First Steps Into Online Video Games

One of the most exciting aspects of modern video games is playing with other people online. It's a big step from playing something like Mario Kart with family and friends in the same room to going online to play with people you don't know.

The games in this list offer small steps to go from local play to online play. Some games, like Roblox are designed for young players with lots of special safety settings. Other games, like Sky, are designed to lead players into co-operating with each other with in-game purchases you give away, and interactions that start limited and expand as you gain experience. Then there are co-operative games like Ibb and Obb where you work together and communicate with gestures on the screen.

You can use Family Settings and Parental Controls on your system to limit how your child interacts with other players online. As well as finding the right games to get them started, it's also important that you play with them and keep game screens in shared family spaces so you can see what they are doing.
 

Hide and Seek

Some forms of play are timeless. Running around with a stick pretending to be in the army. Chasing each other in games of tag. And, of course, hide and seek. The games in this list offer digital ways to play hide and seek with a variety of different twists.

Hide In A Crowd: There are games like Spy Party, Thief Town, Hidden in Plain Sight and Buissons, that let you play as a range of characters and then challenge another player to find you amongst a computer-controlled crowd, from what way you move and interact. The Fruit game in Game and Wario on Wii U has the same mechanics, with one person trying to steal fruit without the other players working out who they are. Wii Party offers hiding in its Spot the Sneak mode where one player has a secret advantage in the mini-games that the other players have to spot. Another great example is Wii U Party, Lost and Found Square mode. One player stands in a crowd of identical people and uses the Wii U gamepad to look around and describe their location to other players, who use the TV to explore and find them. At the end, you see a map of where the players had run.

Prop Hunt: There are games with "Prop Hunt" modes where you can change into the items in the world to hide. Fortnite has a great Prop Hunt mode, as does Minecraft. Then there are games like Witch It designed around this idea of transforming into normal items and hiding in a game world.

Separate Screens: There games like Mario Chase and Luigi's Ghosthouse in Nintendoland, or Pac-Man Vs where one person has their own screen while the others team up to hunt for them use the main TV screen. Or games you play online where everyone has their own screen and try to hide from a particular character like in Secret Neighbor. Screencheat is a twist on this, where you share the same screen and try to shoot each other, but your characters are invisible.

Hidden Objects: Or there are hidden object games where the computer hides things that you have to find, like Hidden Folks and Hidden Through Time. There's a hidden object mode in Mario Odyssey where you hunt online player's hidden balloons. A twist on this is Here Kitty where one person hides a phone that then makes cat noises until the seeker has found it.

Open World Hiding: You can use pretty much any open-world game to make your own hiding fun. You can hide in Minecraft (having turned nameplates off), sneak around on public transport in or simply count to 10 while visitors hide in Animal Crossing New Horizons.
 

Tend and Befriend

Video games are usually thought to be about fighting, shooting and adrenaline. As regular readers will know, there are video games about everything. Recently I've been noticing games that combine the stewardship of the land and the nurturing of resources.

These games, like Animal Crossing, present an "ambience of bucolic" and a "reassuring mix of the pastoral and the industrial," wrote Simon Parkin recently. They offer an escape to simpler times, that provides meaningful work along with the possibility of also working at friendships.

The games collected in this list each offer the chance to escape and absorb yourself tending to a plot of land and nurturing often surprisingly moving relationships. Whether you are diligently cleaning someone's empty flat as in Sunset, setting up a farm after retiring from your adventures in Littlewood, reconnecting with grown-up children in The Stillness of The Wind, nurturing a musical garden in Mutazione, establishing a coffee shop in Coffee Talk or even eeking out provisions while you care for children in This War Of Mine all these games have something to tend to and people to get to know while you do it.
 

Create An Attraction

Many games let you create your own items, object or levels. But some are specifically designed for you to do this in order to attract characters and visitor to your creation in the game.

Whether it's the perfect garden in Viva Pinata, the ideal visitor island in Animal Crossing or the most thrilling ride in Planet Coaster, these games are fun because they combine creativity and management.

Then there are games where your attractions are more understated. The ideal home and live to keep your Sims happy. Or maybe create something that doesn't impact the environment negatively like in Eco.

Whatever you create, as well as attract characters in the game, the creations you make are ideal to share with other people (parents and carers maybe) to show them what you've been doing.
 
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