Nintendo could well have pulled off a masterstroke in releasing a new Animal Crossing for mobile devices.
In Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, you are a youngster who has inexplicably been left in charge of a campsite (rather than moving into the traditional village), with your main goal to make friends and invite them to stay at the site.
The series’ second instalment , 2005’s Wild World, was a pillar of many a childhood and rocketed the franchise to fame on the Nintendo DS. I was as excited as anyone to return to the franchise when I found out they were making a mobile version of the series.
Admittedly, Pocket Camp might not live up to longtime fans’ hopes, but it is a solid way to spend some time. Graphically it’s faithful to the older games, and if anything it is enhanced on mobile. Many of the memorable characters are still in there, giving players a real nostalgia kick.
In terms of play style, there are a lot of differences to older iterations. Friendships with other animals are easily and quickly improved by completing requests, which are often just fetching collectables in return for rewards. A crafting element has been added and Cyrus the alpaca is more than willing to make you furniture – for a price. More furniture blueprints are unlocked as you level up.
Other than that, it’s business as usual for the game. Fishing, butterfly catching, tree-shaking, it’s mostly all here. Although die-hard fossil and art collectors will be disappointed.
It’s a tough ask to live up to the older games in the series, especially on a mobile platform rather than consoles or handheld, but Nintendo have done a superb job with Pocket Camp. Being a free game aside from the optional purchase of Leaf Tickets, (a currency that allows the player to progress faster) you really don’t have an excuse not to give it a go.