With the recent release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Animal Crossing’s popularity has suddenly skyrocketed. The recently released Animal Crossing mobile app known as Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has also recently gained popularity. Twitter is overflowing with praise and references to the new Animal Crossing while memes about Animal Crossing run rampant on Instagram and Facebook. In a time of chaos and confusion, many have turned to Animal Crossing as a laid back alternative to other social distancing activities.
There are countless things to love about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but among the most common appears to be its nostalgia factor. Since its start in 2001, there have been few releases from the franchise. Due to its target market at the time of its first release, many old friends of Animal Crossing are college age and older now. This also seems to be the age group that New Horizons and Pocket Camp are most popular with. Young adults are often intimidated and confused by “adulting” or the facts of life they’ve recently learned. This makes Animal Crossing the perfect getaway from real life issues- it reminds them of their childhood, when they first played the game.Read More »
Animal Crossing also uses a soft, almost pastel, color palette that can be described as child-like. Besides the nostalgia it brings, it’s easy on the eyes, unlike other video games with bright colors or intense visuals of things like death and gore. Accompanying its pleasant color story, is a calming soundtrack. Comparable to that of meditation apps, the music puts players in no rush to get anything done, but to focus on enjoying themselves.
Along the same vein, the game does not have a list of set objectives- just one loose one- to pay off your mortgage. Even this, however, is optional. The only negative of not completing it is having less space to store adorable items your character may procure throughout the game. Players also have the option of becoming mayor and starting public works projects, but this is optional as well. All of this leaves the pace and intensity of the game up to its player. If they want to focus on completing activities, socializing, or whatever else they may find, it has no negative effect on their game. The game also has no time limits or timers for these optional objectives, which eliminates some of the stress that other games may incur.
You can also “make friends” with your animal neighbors and fellow villagers on the island. If digital friends aren’t your jive, it’s also an option to invite real life friends to your island and play with them. This opens up the opportunity to play in multiplayer mode. Friends can harvest plants, pick up resources on the ground, catch fish, and visit shops together. Friends are also able to shop/ sell, visit other residents on the island, and talk to animal residents on each other’s islands. Best friends are able to do all of this and more, including striking stones or wood, digging, and plant trees.
Whether you’re looking for an escape, or just something more slow paced than real life, Animal Crossing might be the relaxing game for you. A multitude of new friends and adorable activities await!