Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp first is already Nintendo’s best mobile game
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp first is already Nintendo’s best mobile game:- Even before it makes its official worldwide launch, the eagerly awaited Animal Crossing mobile game feels like it’s going to be a smashing success.
Nintendo famously redefined caution with its approach to mobile, waiting for what seemed like forever before taking the plunge. And while Super Mario Run was a misstep in several ways, the company has gotten better with each successive release, which is why Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has been on the wishlist of many gamers for some time now.
Well, that and the fact that Animal Crossing is a perfect franchise to make the jump to phones and tablets. That matters.
Though the game isn’t making its official debut worldwide until late November, it’s already live in soft launch in some markets. One of those countries in Australia, and since we just so happen to have access to an Australian App Store account, we were able to spend some time with Pocket Camp without worrying about delayed gratification.
As seen in this week’s Nintendo Direct, the narrative that drives the mobile game is that you are in charge of a campsite and tasked with making it the best possible destination for various Animal Crossing characters. That means balancing your personal style tastes (natural, sporty, cute, etc.) with the desires of your potential guests, who are, as you might expect, animals.
To convince them to stay, you’ll need to make friends with them by gathering fruit, catching fish and trapping bugs. Trading these to the characters increases your friendship levels with them and also earns you crafting materials to make the items that convince them to check out your camp.
The animals ask for increasing types and amounts of items as you progress, and they only have new tasks for you every few hours. It’s an interesting way of limiting gameplay sessions without resorting to a strict energy system like many mobile games do.
As well, there’s also a huge customization element to Pocket Camp since you can make your avatar, camper and campsite look exactly how you want. New items pop up in a marketplace on a rotating basis, and you have plenty of ways to earn both regular and premium currency — the latter used for speeding up task completion.
What isn’t as easy to gauge this early on is the social aspect, though it’s apparent in almost every phase of the game that you can make friends and help each other out. One area, the Shovelstrike Quarry, explicitly rewards teamwork unless you decide to spend premium currency to go it alone. Nintendo has already promised ongoing content updates and events, and it will be interesting to see how many of these emphasize the social component.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is permeated by the cute and accessible franchise style in everything from the visuals to the soundtrack, and this might be its greatest strength of all. As one colleague noted, Fire Emblem Heroes is a good mobile game but serves a specific niche audience. Pocket Camp should end up casting a much wider net.
It’s important to note that with the game still in soft launch, it could receive any number of tweaks and changes before late November. But since it feels like a winner already, we’re thinking Nintendo won’t alter all that much and plenty of people will flock to it this holiday season.