Nintendo of America just announced that Animal Crossing’s mobile debut, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, is set for official release on November 22.
I saw the news break on their official Twitter and, much like thousands who have already voiced their excitement, I’m incredibly impatient to get my hands on the first new Animal Crossing title in 5 years – the last title being New Leaf on the 3DS.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) November 20, 2017
It’s also a special event for me because it’s the first time I will be playing an entry in the life simulator series since the original DS title, Animal Crossing: Wild World.
The reason I skipped out on the 3DS version is simple – I’ve never owned a 3DS. I’ve been playing games almost exclusively on the PS4 and never returned to the land of Nintendo since owning a DS, for one reason or another.
Below are my 3 wishes for Pocket Camp that would make the game a joy to play, while keeping the inherent limitations of mobile in mind.
Pocket Casino Camp
My biggest wish, the one that sets the tone for all others, is that Pocket Camp not be a portal to incessant and arbitrary spending via microtransactions.
Yes, this will be a free to play title. And yes, microtransactions are a necessary evil in order to fund the game’s development and further enhance it with additional features down the line.
But it would absolutely kill me, and I’m sure many others, if the game’s enjoyment was entirely hamstrung by the amount of money a player is willing to throw at the screen.
After talking with someone on Twitter, it appears that the game is not aggressive with microtransactions at the moment. The game has been available for Australians and the APK has been floating around the internet.
A certain level of stonewalled progression is fine because it is what facilitates spending, but stifling progression to the point where it becomes essential to enjoying the game at a decent clip will be the death of the game.
And I say this from the point of view of a traditional gamer as I’m sure aggressive monetization tactics are incredibly effective at increasing revenue in the mobile games industry.
This wish can be summed up into one simple statement – let the players play.
Nintendo Charm Intact
The one thing that remains firm in my mind after all these years since playing Animal Crossing on the DS is its inherent charm.
To this day I remember the innocent world of Animal Crossing oozing its way into the heart of my brain and taking me to a place of zen.
Looking back, it was almost akin to a meditative trance achieved through mindfulness.
And it was all achieved, in my opinion, through a coalescence of atmosphere, music and sounds, and visuals.
If I can hop into Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp on November 22nd and achieve even an ounce of this, I will be golden.
Animal Crossing has always been the video game equivalent of kicking back after a long day of work with cold, tasty beer, and I’m truly on the edge on my seat to see if this mobile game will have the same sort of experience.
There’s just nothing like chopping trees, fishing, decorating, and hanging out with cute animal neighbors while enveloped in Animal Crossing’s unique sort of charm.
Content for (Real Time) Days
My last wish for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is simply the inclusion of a healthy amount of content.
I know this is a mobile game and that I shouldn’t ever expect the amount of content to match a main release – I just want a realistic amount of emulation.
Luckily, the Nintendo Direct for this game has already quelled my fears for this wish as, surprisingly, this looks to be an actual video game as opposed to a glorified meter filler.
It truly does look to offer an Animal Crossing lite experience which makes the upcoming official release all the more exciting.
But it doesn’t stop at the initial release.
I’d like to see this release handled competently in the long term, with regular updates and events.
I have a feeling that this could very well happen but the way that Pokemon GO was handled forces me to temper my expectations.
Releasing regular content updates would be in Nintendo’s best interests to move the franchise forward and create mindshare growth, namely due to the fact that Animal Crossing Switch is bound to release in either 2018 or 2019.
And what better way to bolster the launch of the next mainline release than to entice prospective players with a quality mobile game?
The amount of mobile users is absolutely staggering compared to that of video game consoles. In May of this year it was announced that there are over 2 billion monthly active Android users.
My wishes, overall, are very tempered. And this is mainly because I understand that there are going to be sacrifices made when transitioning an existing IP to mobile phones.
But if Nintendo can manage to emulate even a slice of the series’ core, I truly do believe that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will be one of the best mobile games on the market.