Animal Crossing Takes the Gaming World By Storm

Jasmine Fernandez, Editor-In-Chief

Five years after New Leaf and 16 years after the series’ inception in 2001, Nintendo released the newest installment of Animal Crossing – this time as a free-to-play mobile game. Overall, fans of the series have responded with excitement at the prospect at a new chapter in the Animal Crossing universe, sharing friend codes and gameplay screenshots over social media.


While the game’s premise is reminiscent of previous titles in the franchise, Pocket Camp places players in charge of their own campsite. Minor recurring characters also include the Able Sisters, Tom Nook, his nephews Timmy and Tommy, Kicks, Labelle, Cyrus, Reese and Isabelle.


A longtime fan of the series, Angel Puertas, 11, expresses his initial impression of the game.


“I like the simplicity of it but how customizable it is,” Puertas said. “For example, the clothes of your character, your car, your relationship with certain people that you want. I do experience nostalgia.”


However, critics of the game, such as Slate Magazine’s Eleanor Cummins claims Pocket Camp is a “capitalistic perversion” of the original series. The app focuses particularly on the bartering aspects of the game, drawing mixed feelings from fans as they have to complete tasks to level up and progress in their campsites. While the criticisms seem generally lighthearted, this has spiked controversy within the fanbase –  and whether or not such an analysis is overkill.


An avid player of the app, Edward Haro, 11, sees Pocket Camp as a game and nothing more.


“I think those who think that [the game is corrupt] are taking the game too seriously and need to enjoy it for what it is,” Haro said. “I don’t think the creators even had that in mind.”


Other fans have noted the significance of Nintendo’s dabbling in apps for handheld devices. Jumpstarted by the craze over Pokemon Go in the summer of 2016, the Japanese company has expressed increased interest in developing apps that might be more available to those without Nintendo consoles. Additional titles under Nintendo licensing have included 2016’s Miitomo and Super Mario Run, Pokemon Go and Pocket Camp marking that, yes, these apps are popular.


Agreeing with the notion that the mobile platform opens more opportunities for game developers, junior Angelene Leija suspects apps will lead to a shift in the aim of entertainment companies.


“With introducing Pokemon Go, I believe the new trend going on is interacting with the community around you instead of staying in the house with Hot Cheeto dust on your fingers and you eyes strained from playing Call of Duty for five hours straight,” Leija said. “With apps like Pocket Camp, you can interact with people around the world just like the console games – but on mobile it’s much easier to use since more people are on their phones throughout the day.”

Other games within the series include Animal Crossing, Wild World, City Folk and New Leaf. Although released on Nov. 21, Australia released a soft-release on Oct. 30. The app is available on iTunes and Google Play.