Hey Cyberpunks! Meghan here!
For the last few years, I've been completely addicted to Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the Nintendo 3DS and now the creative masterminds at Nintendo have invaded my iPhone with the new Animal Crossing Pocket Camp and I'm in love!
If you’ve never played Animal Crossing, it's a cute little game where you're somehow declared mayor of a town that you've just arrived to. Like - What? That's not how this works. There's a system to these things...Anyways, as mayor, you keep the town looking nice by adding landmarks, completing various tasks for villagers and collecting fossils, bugs, and fish which you can sell for bells (the game's currency) or place in a museum for display.
Pocket Camp is similar to that except that you are a declared Campsite Manager and the villagers from past games are now campers on your campgrounds.
You get to do a lot of the same things in this miniature version of the game like catching fish and bugs, only now instead of selling them for bells, there's a priority on exchanging them for crafting materials that let you build furniture and amenities for the campsite.
This game has all the same loveable aspects of the past games with a ton of goals to complete and a world populated with adorable characters to engage with. You'll get addicted fast. Believe me.
In Pocket Camp, It’s all about pleasing your campers and leveling up your relationships with them, all while leveling up your own character to unlock all new campers to visit your site. Through leveling up you can also craft more furniture to decorate with and build more awesome amenities that not only look cool but are interactive. My campers keep turning my lights on and off - like, all day. I don't know what's happening. It's getting creepy.
You also get to see all of our favorite shop owners like the Able Sisters, Timmy, Tommy, and Kicks who rotate out merch-vans in the marketplace. This is such a cute alternative to the storefronts in New Leaf and fits the game's environment perfectly.
For me, Pocket Camp makes the fun of Animal Crossing more available to play! You don't have to carry another device with you, it's just on your phone and when you come across any downtime you can quickly check on your camp, complete some goals, and craft some furniture with just a few taps on the screen.
However, there are a few things that I feel have been over-simplified in Pocket Camp. Catching bugs and fish is just a way to get currency. There's no game-element that drives you to want to collect them all. The game does a good job of making you want to collect more, by giving you goals to collect 50 bugs or 100 fish but there's no longer the museum where you can display all the different items you've collected throughout your time playing.
Another big element that I miss is the custom designs! In past games, you were able to go to the Able Sisters and create customs designs which you could then use for clothes, wallpaper, flooring, art and other items you bought in the game. This was such a cool way to customize your world and I feel like it would be such an added bonus to Pocket Camp. I did read that clothes crafting is coming soon but we'll have to wait to see what customization elements this brings to the game.
Lastly, I wish there was some co-op play here like in New Leaf, where you could run around with your friends and interact with each other! Sure you can visit other player's campsites but you can't really engage with anyone in real-time or do anything more than viewing their site. One element they did add was the occasional random player or friend (After you've added their ID) who pops up around your campgrounds and acts as a sort of NPC, who you can buy items from that they've added to their market box - like apples, clothes, and pretty much anything else they choose to sell. This is neat but it could be so much more!
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a really fun game and even though there are a few elements that I wish were included, we're still in the early phases of the game's release and I'm sure Nintendo will be creating all kinds of incredible updates that will make this game grow and evolve over time! This is an almost free to play game, free to download and only costs if you choose to spend money to make things move quicker. I'm looking at this version of Animal Crossing as a condensed version of the bigger franchise that gives you the ability to have this adorable world at your fingertips all the time! Well at least as long as you have your phone, which is like always... right?
I'm already addicted and I'll be hooked for a while. Maybe forever. We'll see!
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🚀 -- Meghan