So Nintendo gave us all an early holiday surprise when they released Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp yesterday. As soon as I read the news, I downloaded it so fast it wasn’t even funny. I told myself to wait to start it because I knew there would be a decent chunk of tutorial, but my Animal Crossing-loving, ever-impatient self couldn’t take it, so I dove in and let me just tell you: my love of Animal Crossing isn’t relegated exclusively to handhelds or consoles.
I played it. A lot. I explored it. A lot. I avoided any microtransactions.
Good for me. Let’s see how long that lasts.
The game is as adorable as ever and looks so super clear it makes me yearn like crazy for a proper Animal Crossing entry on the Switch. I don’t have a Switch just yet, but I find myself wanting one more and more. For some reason, even though I can play this on my phone, now I want a Switch even more.
I never said it would make sense.
I created my character, I chose my campsite, and I immediately started going from place to place, leveling up my friendship with the different creatures and thinking, HOLY GOOD GOSH DO I LOVE ANIMAL CROSSING.
I’ve also recently started playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf again, and playing two Animal Crossings at the same time frightens me a little. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be sucked into an adorable vortex and Tom Nook will be narrating the experience telling me I still owe him money even though I paid him off ages ago.
I loved going from campsite to campsite, and I found the controls for fishing and catching bugs to be simple and intuitive. The movement can be tricky at times, getting hung up on things between you and where you want to go, but moving navigating them isn’t so bad.
My only real beef so far is the frequency and duration of the loading times.
I hope they lessen them in a future patch.
Each time I was turning something in, the game loaded. Each time I claimed something, it loaded. Each time I went to my mailbox, it loaded. And these aren’t insignificant load times, either. I played for a couple of hours and it drained almost half my fully charged battery. I don’t know how I would play this on the go (I can’t hold my Animal Crossing and will always overindulge) without draining my battery from all the tree shaking and bug catching.
Right now my campsite is a complete mishmash of items and I need to invest a bit of time to get things looking pretty. I’ve got five lovely creatures that have been invited to my camp, but seeing Goldie again made me so happy. She lived in my town for a good chunk of time in New Leaf, but when I put the game down over a year ago, at some point during my hiatus, she moved and I was video game heartbroken. I just loved her. Seeing her again in Pocket Camp made me smile so hard my cheeks hurt.
I mean just look at her! She’s such a good girl. What a pupper.
I can’t wait to play more of the game and to continue to unlock new and fun things. I don’t know how long this will hold my attention (between the loading screens and my desperately wanting to avoid buying leaf tickets), but I foresee a lot of phone gaming in my future. I usually try to stay off my phone as much as possible, but I see that’s going to be a futile exercise for a while.
If you have played Pocket Camp, what do you think so far? If you haven’t downloaded it, do you think you will?
Also, please add me if you’d like! I’d love to gather all our digital representations together for Animal Crossing mirth! Cheers, fellow campers!