Why is Animal Crossing so popular?

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer is finally being released for Europe on the 2nd of October. This is the first of the series’ attempt at a spin-off and are using the Ambiio’s in a new card format. Selling them in random packs is a genius way of making even more money from the Ambiio craze.

I personally love the series ever since I picked up Animal Crossing Wild World. I have put around 250 hours in to New Leaf, which to some people is nothing. It’s a typical Nintendo game, bright, colourful and cutesy characters. Like many Nintendo games they are great fun to play; however, when you compare it to other simulation games there isn’t actually that much to do. Most of the days I go to my town, it’s just to do daily chores, make sure no one I like is leaving, check the shops and then try to annoy Moose as much as possible so he gets the hint he’s not wanted around these parts.

As the game works in real time, it gives a sense that this is a living and breathing village, where life continues without you. Which is fairly unique as it relies on the patience of the player to wait a week for a special event instead of speeding through virtual days, then again I’m sure we’ve all taken the initiative to mess with internal clocks. Real time also allows the game to spread its content, giving the illusion there is lots to do when there’s not. The villagers have learnt about a lack of things to do as now they come to me saying there’s nothing in the town happening for a while. Maybe the next step for the series would be allowing players to create their own events and items. There is a nice steady flow of content for the first couple of months, but then it doesn’t offer much after. Besides, a week in you’ve heard everything villagers have to say, but yet they still get annoyed if you don’t speak to them, ok I get it Whitney you don’t like people spreading rumours. Real time can’t work for all simulation games, as it would make for the slow tedious starts to be even more so, harvest moon would take serious time investment.

The simplicity of the game makes it relaxing. Your town offers you a stress free life as opposed to the harsh reality. The only debt you have to worry about is to a tanuki and unless Pom Poko is true you have nothing to fear. Anyway the ridiculous prices shops will give you for bugs and fish, they could easily catch themselves, makes money no object. The supply and demand of the village is interesting to say the least. In your village you can do whatever you please, with every activity being relaxing. Though don’t most simulation games give you this? I would assume running a theme park has a lot more to it than what Roller-coaster Tycoon leads us to believe. So again maybe it’s the lack of content, as the saying goes more is less. In Animal Crossing there isn’t so much going on you have to constantly worry about doing certain things, life is simple.

It’s easy to pick up and very addictive to play to the point you get annoyed that you’ve finished doing your chores and want tomorrow to come so you can play the game more. The game naturally suits the hand held devices more, as it’s a game to play on the train or when you have an hour to kill. It would surprise you at first how addictive it is as most days you go on it and get into a virtual routine. Then villagers sometimes leaving when you don’t play makes people fear the chance of not playing the game every day, I still wish Lobo would come back.

Cute animals. To be honest that’s half of the sale instantly, who wants to converse with humans in the Sims when you can become best friends with a lion. Most people are animal lovers, so it comes to no surprise that a game involving them does well. Then again Nintendogs followed a similar logic and soon people realised that having an actual dog is better.

Animal Crossing is just one of those games that is great fun to play and extremely addictive, but doesn’t always appeal to everyone straight away. When you look back at the game you’re left with the question: how have I spent so many hours playing this?

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