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:
The Switch console comes with one pair of Joy Cons. These are attached to the Switch in portable mode, and detached when playing on a TV. Some games support multiplayer modes with each player only needing one Joy-Con half to play. This offers a much more affordable way to accommodate more players.
Autism affects the way people communicate and experience the world around them. It is a spectrum of developmental conditions, including Asperger’s Syndrome. Many autistic people play games to have fun, relax, connect with others and build skills. This is a list of games we have put together with some of Autistica’s Autistica Play
Ambassadors, to highlight games that have been enjoyed by autistic people.Autistica
is the UK’s national autism research charity. It focuses on giving autistic people the opportunity to live long, happy, healthy lives. It does this by funding research, shaping policy and working with autistic people to understand their needs.Cognitive Pressure:
Some autistic people may take time to process information and could feel pressured by time limits. Games like A Short Hike
let you progress at your own speed, without being on the clock. Other games, like Townscaper
or Stardew Valley
, help here by not making game tasks time-limited or requiring quick reactions. Then there are games, including Rocket League
and Eagle Island
, that let you adjust the overall speed of play.Difficulty Settings:
Autistic people may prefer to tailor their experience based on how they are feeling. Some days they may want more of a challenge than others. Adjust how hard the game is. Some games like Subnautica
or Bad North
let you set the overall difficulty. Others, like Mario Kart
or The Last of Us Part II
let you adjust specific aspects of difficulty. Then there are games like Marvel’s Spider-Man
or Immortals Fenyx Rising
, that allow you to adjust the difficulty as you play.Sense of Control:
The real world can be an overwhelming place with constant change and unpredictable situations. Games like Viva Pinata
or The Sims
let you play in a world where you control the variables. Other games, like Mini Metro
or Mini Motorways
offer a chance to work with systems and see how changes impact outcomes. Then there are games that magnify this, like Factorio
or Planet Coaster
, by letting you create interconnect systems and tweak for the desired result.
As Autistica helpfully highlights, every autistic person is different. While many autistic people are able to learn, live and work independently, some have learning differences or co-occurring health conditions that require specialist support. Finding a game that can be a positive experience can therefore take some time and investigation.
In a world of technology, it’s easy to become disconnected or forgetful of the people we live with and the places we live in. Video games can be a part of this dislocation as screen time diminishes engagement with the real world. But they can also offer ways to reconnect with those around us and find a fresh (helpfully disruptive) perspective on our neighbourhoods.
This list has been created with the help of Cormac Russell
, Managing Director of Nurture Development. For 25 years Cormac has helped communities, agencies and governments solve urban and rural development problems not by focusing on the deficiencies of neighbourhoods, towns, villages but by understanding that people, their families and communities, have unique competencies in building community. As Cormac puts it. “Communities can’t know what they need from outside sources until they know what they have themselves internally. And we get this the wrong way round.”
The video games here offer a range of experiences that reshape and challenge our thinking in this direction:
Reimagine Space: Games like Eco and Terra Nil underline our relationship with the land. Not that we need to minimise harm, but that we need to understand our presence and impact so we can balance benefits ecologically.
Reimagine Community: Games like One Hour One Life invite us to contribute to a community for the benefit of future players. Others, like Pilgrims, invite us to understand the interrelated needs of a small community and then use their existing resources to meet these needs. Then there are games like Thousand Threads and Fable that shine a light on inter-related tensions in groups, where helping one person may negatively impact another.
Community Memory: Games like Heaven’s Vault, Treasures of the Aegean and Deep Time Walk illustrate the power of community memory and tradition, and how these things are lost (and recovered) through language.
Community Planning: Games like Mini Metro, Townscaper or Conduct Together put us in the role of planning transportation and provision as opposed to experts. Then there are games like Buildings Have Feelings Too, that disrupt the usual remote dispassionate planning of the lived environment by giving voice to it. Or games like Everything, that invite us to physically inhabit space in a massive range of bodies – from pollen to mountains, antelope to power pylons.
Another interesting voice on the intersection between play and place is Benjamin Stokes. His book, Locally Played, encourages us to “collaborate in the creation, deployment, and study of playful ways to build local connection and restore a critical sense of vitality and even possibility to our civic lives.”
Games use the spaces they create to tell stories. Some games do this by locking you in a key moment where the time of day doesn't change. Other games let you explore and revisit places at different times of day.
These day-night cycles invite players to explore at different times not only to find different things to do but to see how different locations change visually and audibly at different times of day.
Some games, like The Long Dark
, do this to offer a different environmental challenge at night, when the sun is in and the cold wind really affects your character. Other games offer more unusual ways to tie in-game light levels to the real world, like Unmaze
that uses your smartphone's camera to determine how much light there is in the game.
Eggplant: The Secret Lives of Games
, is a podcast that offers a candid conversation with game creators that dives deep into the art, craft, and process of making games. It's an amazing insight into the mind of people who understand and highlight how game/play mechanics can do unexpected, magical and surprising things.
This is the list of games they have picked as their Game of the Year 2018-2021. These awards also include board games, escape rooms and game-like TV series. We have included video games here, where we have them on the database. (And in many cases have added video games to the database after listening to the show.)
It's hosted by:
Nick Suttner, an independent game writer/designer/consultant, who has worked on games like Celeste, Bloodroots, and Carto.
Andy Nealen, a game creator and scholar, artist and music maker, architect and structural engineer, and professor of cinematic arts and computer science at USC.
Sarah Elmaleh, actor, consultant and event organizer with a passion for collaborative creation - both as a seasoned performer and as an advocate for best practices in the games industry.
Zach Gage, who makes deep games that are easy to get into, like Really Bad Chess and SpellTower.
Douglas Wilson, who is a co-owner of Die Gute Fabrik, a games studio based in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has worked on Johann Sebastian Joust, Sportsfriends, and Mutazione.
Laura E. Hall, is an an artist, writer, puzzle-maker, immersive environment and narrative designer focusing on the playful intersections of arts, culture, and technology, especially in gaming.
The team is usually joined by Laura E. Hall for the game of the year episodes. She is an artist, writer, puzzle-maker, immersive environment and narrative designer who focuses on the playful intersections of arts, culture, and technology, especially in gaming.
Online games are often about immediate communication either spoken or typed in the heat of battle or survival. There are some online games that encourage communication much more like writing a letter to someone.
These games offer players the chance to write a note and then place it in the game world for others to discover. They can also, of course, also read messages and notes from other players.
With a little guidance it can be a lovely way to introduce children to the skill of letter writing, as well as engaging with other players online without the usual bad language (although that can happen here too).
Games like Subnautica
, offer the ability to leave time capsules for others, that include a handful items, a short text message and a screenshot. Similarly, games like, Dark Souls
and Demons Souls
enable you to leave messages for other players to help them with tips. In Nier Automata
you find the bodies of other fallen players that have a customized message left on them when they met their end.
Other games weave the letters and messages into the gameplay. Kind Words
, for example, is a game all about responding to letters that other people have sent. The Things We Lost In The Flood
, builds its play around the ability to send and find messages in bottles. In Animal Crossing New Horizons
on the 3DS you can also put messages in bottles for other players to find.
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.
Fidget spinners burst into the hands of children a number of years ago. While that initial trend subsided, the interest and enjoyment of tactile objects to fiddle with are very much with us.
Fidget toys are like the yo-yo or Rubik's cube but without the focus on skill. The enjoyment comes from doing something that isn't learning or achieving anything. It's no surprise that there are a number of video games that have picked up on this style of play.
Some games, like The Longing
, Animal Crossing
and Adopt Me
, simple slow down the need to progress, so all you do is check-in, fiddle around with the game world and then leave. Then there are other games, like Townscaper
and Pok Pok Playroom
, that let you craft your own structures but with none of the usual video game emphasis on score and winning. Other games, like Everything
, offer a huge world to poke and prod without getting embroiled with progression.
Even games that do offer a strong sense of story and development often include post-game play or side-quest distractions that are simply there for you to spend time fiddling with rather than winning or losing. Games like A Short Hike
, Alba A Wildlife Adventure
or even No Man's Sky
Are you a dog person or a cat person? If you're the latter there are loads of amazing video games featuring your feline friends. (If you're the former, there's also lots of dog games too, but that's another list).
Whether it's the super realism of games like Stray, a passing visitor in a game like Gravity Rush, or a whole community of anthropomorphized puss-in-clothing from Night in the Woods, cats get everywhere in the games we play.
With the final episode of Neighbours signalling the end of road for the soap opera many of us grew up with, you are likely missing the healing properties of a good cuppa. Whatever life threw at the residents of Ramsay Street, nothing was too traumatic not to be soothed with a good strong cup of tea.
These games fill that void by letting you brew your own beverages for all sorts of reasons. They are refreshing, anti-oxidising and a chance to catch up on the local gossip. Whether it's tea, coffee, beer or even wine you are serving up, they let you get away to a happy place of fantasy and escape -- just like that good old soap.
Cottagecore is an online term celebrating an idealised rural life. Although games are usually considered to be hard, harsh and technological, many of them play to this aesthetic that is sentimental about traditional skills and crafts such as foraging, baking, and pottery.
Games sometimes use these rural pursuits as play mechanics, like Stardew Valley
, Potion Craft
and Fantasy Life. Others use Cottagecore as a guide to how they look and feel, like Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
, The Stillness of the Wind
However it plays out in the game, Cottagecore aims to satisfy a desire for aspirational nostalgia and an escape from stress or trauma. The New York Times described it as a reaction to hustle culture and the advent of personal branding. The Guardian called it a "visual and lifestyle movement designed to fetishize the wholesome purity of the outdoors."
These games emphasize simplicity and the slow pace of pastoral life as an escape from the modern world in favour of the bucolic. Unsurprisingly this has become more popular on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic. In some ways the resurgence of retro games could be seen in a similar light, although here the sentimental nostalgia is for virtual entertainment rather than rural lifestyle.
There are many reasons, stages of life and circumstances that can leave us feeling isolated and lonely. 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.
The games on this page are part of the Better Health: Every Mind Matters Loneliness
campaign, to help protect and improve the nation’s mental health and wellbeing. There are lots of practical tips and advice on the Every Mind Matters website. It's part of National Loneliness Awareness Week, aims to reduce feelings of isolation by getting people to talk with friends or family safely online.
Co-operative: Some of the games are good ways to connect and play co-operatively online (like Feather, Overcooked 2, Ibb and Obb, Skylanders Children of Light).
Competitive: With some practice there are easy and fun online competitive games (like Tricky Towers, Videoball)
Asynchronous: Other games are a way to connect and play without being online at the same time (like Horizon Chase Turbo, Worms, Words With Friends, Wargroove, Animal Crossing).
Community: Then there are games that connect you with a wider player community in a gentle non-invasive way (like The First Tree, Journey, Lost Words, The Endless Forrest).
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.
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
, 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 & 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
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 Super 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
In this series, we are learning how different aspects of video games work by playing games that offer an easy introduction to this one concept. This is designed for people new to gaming, and aims to identify games with the least barriers. In this entry we are looking at big budget 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.
For new players these can be overwhelming as they combine a number of genres like Strategy games
, Shooting games
, Adventure games
, Role Play games
. Still, they are a good way to see how these different elements combine in a large and ambitious experience.