Animal Crossing’s Internet Joy Injection

Sep 25, 2018 by

 Animal Crossing (2019)

Announcement of Animal Crossing (2019)

Nintendo operates in an odd, endearing space somewhere between embracing risk and betting it all on the familiar. Offering games and experiences that are sometimes blissful and other times need to get through some growing pains is a cycle we’re accustomed to by now. The recent Nintendo Direct was a display of that mix in action. Yet, giving players what they want is part of the deal, and the announcement of a new Animal Crossing game coming to Nintendo Switch next year earned wide cheers across the world, seeing as Animal Crossing, Tom Nook, and Isabelle were all in the top worldwide trends chart on Twitter after the news.

There’s no word yet just what form this new game will take, though the character of Isabelle, first introduced in Animal Crossing: New Leaf has become so popular and beloved that she’s the series’ mascot now. In the announcement, she makes references to Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, the series’ first mobile game, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Tom Nook, tanuki dealer in home loans and reminders to pay, also joined the video at the end to talk about giving people places to live. It seems that we’ll be back to building homes after adventures in camp, at least.

One reason the internet seemed to explode with joy in that moment was because of the flavor and spirit Animal Crossing represents. The games in the series are calm, peaceful, little adventures you can go play at your own pace. There are no battles, no intense pressure situations, and only mild forms of enjoyable competition. Go fishing, plant flowers, discover fossils to fill the town museum, pick and plant fruit, and most of all, make friends with the animals that live in or visit your town. Send them letters or gifts. They will do the same sometimes. Stroll around late at night and be stopped by one of your neighbors with a request and agree to go catch a shark for him. Talk to your bashful neighbor as she looks downward, going just over her comfort zone to ask you for a favor. Receive a surprise letter from an animal that was just thinking about you and something you did for her.

The best thing about Animal Crossing is that it’s about relationships. Amid all the calm adventure you can have charting your own path through the game’s options, it’s easy to feel affection for these digital friends inside the game. Although there are only so many distinct personality types in the games (and each of these is near-identical for animals of the same type, with some variations due to species), you will have your favorites. Some will strike you as cuter, more charming, funnier, or even remind you of people you know in your own life. A game series like this are helpful for anxious days or any time you want to enjoy an experience, get some things done, but with no pressure or expectation.

The Nintendo Switch is a great console and its success is a net positive. Yet there has been an Animal Crossing-sized hole in its lineup, leading to some of the sweetest fun memes you’ll ever see. That hole will thankfully close next year.

read more

Related Posts

Share This

Some Heartbreak is Inevitable

Dec 22, 2014 by

Animal Crossing: New Leaf screenthos, featuring my villager with Apple, a hamster.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf screenshot, featuring my mayor with Apple, a hamster.

After playing almost daily for 18 months, sometime around six weeks ago, I said what have unexpectedly become the last things said to my villagers. You see, I haven’t played Animal Crossing: New Leaf in a while and I know that some heartbreak is inevitable. It’s a strong word, but in a game so dependent upon relationships, those pixels find ways to embed themselves in you.

I’m not sure why the pause that became a much longer break. I really enjoy visiting and talking to all my villagers and fought to keep as few of them as possible from leaving town. Once in a while one would slip through my protective grasp, never to return. Most of my town is made up of original villagers from my starting group, or was – I’m not quite sure who remains now. I’ve nearly turned on the 3DS more than once to peek in there and find out whose farewell letter might be at this moment gathering dust in my yet unfinished house’s mailbox. Perhaps more than one? As I prepare to do that very thing, restore power to the vessel, the impartial device, and give myself over to the loss of power that even a mayor can’t retain. Villagers, I’m coming back. I wonder if I hope things will be the same.

read more