Ever since Nintendo decided to join the mobile gaming industry in 2015, their apps have risen to the top-downloaded charts on the App Store and Google Play. With Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Nintendo was back in the top ten again, with the game being downloaded over a whopping 15 million within the first week. We decided to see what all the fuss is about and started our own camp.
The Animal Crossing franchise is known for its charming simplicity: in earlier games you move to a charming little town where you can live out a quiet, relaxed life collecting fruit, planting flowers, catch bugs and fish. Granted, you owe a business-orientated raccoon named Tom Nook a whole load of money as he sells you a house whether you like it or not. But unlike real life, the debt is yours to pay off whenever you want. You can buy furniture and clothing and decorate both your house and your character to your heart's desire. Anthropomorphic animals move in and out of your town, and by pawning off whichever treasures (or just everyday items) you find about town will make them befriend you. Ultimately, they will give you a photo of themselves as the highest award for winning their friendship just by giving them stuff. Easy, right? Of course, the game is packed with lovable characters, (social) events, more than enough stuff to collect, and is the perfect, relaxing environment to escape from the stress of day to day life. This simple yet charming game structure has won the hearts of many, and with Pocket Camp Nintendo hopes to do just that once more.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp builds on the same tried and tested structure, yet simpler to accommodate the platform; instead of a whole town, you now have nothing more than a quaint little campsite. You can still collect furniture, but decorating a barren field with sofas and beds does seem slightly strange.
Instead of a house, you now have a mobile home: a rad camper is now yours to pay off. Instead of a slightly greedy raccoon, there are now three Italian (don't ask) penguin siblings you are in debt to. They can expand and paint your camper - for a price of course. You can buy furniture and redecorate your camper, but we found ourselves not overly compelled to do so - whereas, in previous Animal Crossing instalments, you may spend some time hosting animals in your home, nothing really interesting happens in your camper except your own lonely self, lounging around in it.
You can visit little islands and beaches around your campsite, with little being the keyword here - there isn't much to see or explore. On each of these islands and beaches you can either catch bugs or go fishing. Both bug catching and fishing is a breeze - simply tap on the animal you wish to catch and tap the screen when the word "TAP!" appears. It could not be any simpler, and missing out is rare. You can also collect different fruit and seashells.