The first time I ever laid eyes on Animal Crossing, our childhood nanny Vanessa was playing it on Nintendo GameCube, and my eyes weren’t sure what they were seeing. It was cutesy, with sweet music, vaguely Japanese-esque, with little animal characters who hovered near tiny houses and talked like Charlie Brown’s parents.
“What is that?” my siblings and I each asked in turn.
It was Animal Crossing, a game where you make friends with animal neighbors living in a village, pay off a loan to expand your little house by catching fish and gathering fruit, check the store every day to find little items to decorate that house, trade with your neighbors, take a boat to a secret island…
…oh, and you can never die, and the very worst thing that can happen to you is getting stung by bees.
I was hooked. We all were. I went out and bought a GameCube the next day.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but that was about…sixteen years ago.
Animal Crossing has had many iterations, and I have played all of them. The original on GameCube, Wild World on the DS, City Folk on the Wii (my least favorite), New Leaf (my most favorite) & Happy Home Designer on the 3DS, the sort of weird mini game version for the WiiU, and Pocket Camp on my phone.
Animal Crossing is in real time. So if it’s 7pm when you’re playing, it’s 7pm in the game. If it’s Christmas Eve when you’re playing…it’s Christmas Eve in the game. What the characters say to you and what special things can happen totally depend on the time that you play. I put over five years into Animal Crossing New Leaf on the 3DS. It’s such a relaxing, pleasant world. It’s never a game that makes you feel stressed out. (Unless you let a big fish worth 25,000 bells get away. That’ll make you mad every time!)
Nintendo recently announced that they’ll release a full Animal Crossing game for the Switch in 2019. I wonder how they can make this truly amazing game even better. And of course, I’ll need to get it. It’s my secret hope that C creates a character this time, even though I’ve never been able to talk him into it! Part of the fun of AC is playing with friends and seeing their towns!
There are so many other games that I love, and I always find myself wishing I had more time to play! It’s probably a good thing that I don’t. But man, when I’m an old lady, I’m gonna play video games like crazy!