What is it about this game that has everyone hooked? A 3rd party perspective.
On March 20 my fiancé was eager to get started with Animal Crossing. In fact soooo many people were but why? I had only heard of it because of this release as if the previous version on the Wii was some stellar experience that needed an update.
But, I did what any fiancé would do and facilitated the purchase of both a Switch Lite and the game. Little did I know the world I just bought a ticket to.
She’s never really played games that much. We would play Skyrim side by side at the start of our relationship and Destiny online together. She played Assassins Creed: Origins because of her love for Egypt but nothing since.
My expectations were pretty low, I thought a few days, maybe a week and she would be over it. How wrong was I, 220 hours later?
No longer was I the main male in her life. Tom fucking Nook had taken over like some weird sugar daddy. Was I complaining? Actually, no (despite the profanity earlier). I could get on with almost anything.
Animal Crossing has tasked her with finding mostly lovable pet like ‘villagers’ homes on the best island possible. Mr Nook finances it and you repay interest free.
To decorate your island you need to find items and crafting ‘recipes’. These are mostly random because ‘how do they have so many things?!’ There is a shop so a lot can be bought.
You make money by collecting just about anything and selling it back to the island. Some things are worth more and the quickest way to get rich is to sell Turnips.
BUT you don’t just sell turnips. Oh no no no. Any ol’ amateur can sell a turnip, but on your island you are the Wolf of Animal Crossing and will conquer the turnip stock exchange. You will bathe in turnip funded riches.
For some however your island is not good enough to be rich so you must explore. Your friends may have good stocks (turnips), maybe a social media follower or even a stranger from the internet. Animal Crossing lets you explore other peoples islands, which is pretty cool.
Going to another Island instantly makes you a exterior and interior designer with years of experience, casting your opinion on others hard gamer hours. Its like going to use someone’s homework and commenting on their handwriting. Everyone’s island is different so you could do this all day. ‘Oooh I like that’, ‘I haven’t got that item’ and ‘there’s too many flowers’ are some of the things you’ll here.
If being a crafty stock market dealer isn’t your thing, maybe you could try tarantulas? fish? fruit? There are so many ways. Tarantulas maybe the most rage inducing as you try to master the run, swivel & catch technique (or set up a trap). However just like any other game, various profanities are shouted if that spider nabs you on the knee.
She’s at the point where villager choice is a thing, It seems that villagers pose you with a choice should they stay or should they go. The right answer depends on your affection for a villager. Nothing would make you happier seeing a villager wear a gift of clothing (this must be a rare chance they appreciate the free rent, food, clothes and friends) but some can rightfully fuck off because I want space for Raymond.
Villagers are like some weird and quite literal Farm Market with a whole host to select from and purchase in the form of Amiibo’s (or from other peoples islands). This absolutely impacts your island life as no one wants to talk to Isabelle everyday.
However all of this cannot be achieved in mere normal people time so what you gonna do? Become a god damn Doctor Who that’s what. Time travel is real and its a moral choice. Some do, some don’t, but who wants to wait till tomorrow, right? Some things like buying clothes, art or special vendors are on a daily refresh by Nintendo so you’re only half a Time Lord really.
All in all, I have so much respect for this game and its simple concept. I’ll never play but I’m glad she does. Her ups, downs and investment are what a good video game is all about. Cheers Tom.