Animal Crossing is one of my favorite game series. I love it because it’s charming, relaxing, laid back, and can be played endlessly as there’s really no beginning or end/complex story line, which may sound unappealing to some but I find it to be wonderful and freeing, giving players the ability really make the town their own.
I had never played an Animal Crossing game until I bought New Leaf, and instantly fell in love. It’s a series that began all the way back in 2001. Somehow, I never heard much about it, probably because I wasn’t seriously into gaming aside from the Pokemon titles until a couple years ago. In AC New Leaf, you become the mayor of a town full of Animal characters. As the mayor, you have many duties such as keeping up with maintaining the environment (pulling weeds, watering/planting flowers, disposing of any garbage found), doing tasks requested by the villagers which may include things like getting them a certain type of fruit, fish, bug, or piece of furniture. You also get to do public works projects which are different features you can fund to be put into your town like water fountains, bridges, windmills, and many others. Another responsibility as mayor is enacting town ordinances.
As the mayor you get to have your own house and expand it by paying off home loans from a character named Tom Nook. To do this you can sell fruit, fish, sea shells, fossils, and any items you acquire throughout the game. That’s another amazing aspect, there are SO many different items, wallpapers/flooring and furniture that can be used to decorate one’s home. Another task is bringing fish, fossils, bugs, and pieces of art to the town museum run by an owl named Blathers.
There’s endless possibilities to make the town and your home into whatever theme or style you want. It’s the most laid back game I’ve ever played, and the music is very relaxing. I often find myself playing to relieve anxiety and stress, which from what I’ve read many others experience mental health benefits from playing.
After falling in love with New Leaf I discovered there was another AC available for the DS previously released called Wild World. I’ve been playing around with that one and it’s a lot of fun as well. The new AC game (titled New Horizons) for the Nintendo Switch was announced last week at E3. It’s not being released until March 20th, 2020 but I believe it’s definitely worth the wait. The trailer/gameplay looks wonderful and I’m looking forward to playing when it’s released. It happens to be coming out on International Happiness Day, not sure if that was intended or not but it certainly fits as Animal Crossing brings happiness to many. 🙂