- Name: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
- Developer: Nintendo
- Genre: Simulation
- Price: Free, with IAPs
- Installed size: 333 mb
- Best played in short-medium sessions
- Connection issues & minor bugs experienced
- Playable Offline: No
What is Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is the latest entry in Nintendo’s Animal Crossing franchise of virtual village simulation games. Players in Pocket Camp are tasked decorating a campsite by crafting different pieces of furniture and decorations. They obtain materials by doing tasks for the characters they encounter in the game. Tasks are as simple as giving a character an apple that you can get by shaking a tree. As a reward you get bells (basic currency), crafting materials, and your relationship with that character improves. If your relationship is high enough and you have the right decorations, that character can be invited to visit your camp.
Players will meet characters in the game’s four primary locations. Players can also gather fruit, fish, collect bugs, and pick up seashells at these locations. Beyond these activities, players can visit the market and buy new items to help customize their characters and upgrade or customize their camper.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a game that feels hollow. While there is definitely the potential for a good game here, it’s hampered by an extremely simple gameplay cycle. In Pocket Camp players will visit a character, befriend that character by completing simple tasks, build furniture to attract that character to their camp, and then repeat that cycle with the next character. There’s no increase in difficulty, there’s no increase in rewards, and there’s no real incentive to keep playing the game beyond leveling up and unlocking more stuff to craft. While previous Animal Crossing games had a sense of discovery, Pocket Camp feels like a grind.
While the game does feel hollow, it’s not all bad. This is a game that still has a lot of the charm present in previous Animal Crossing games. The characters you encounter are all cute, there’s plenty of randomly funny dialog, and the series’ art style translates well to mobile. While it doesn’t quite have the robust social features or variety of decorations of a game like Home Street, Pocket Camp does sport a wide variety of decorations and more social features than most Nintendo games.
If you go into this game anticipating the same Animal Crossing experience you’ve come to expect from the series’ portable and console entries, you will be disappointed. There is no doubt that Pocket Camp is Animal Crossing stripped down to the basics. That being said, if you’re looking for a mobile game that captures the aesthetics of Animal Crossing and simplifies the experience while maintaining the charm of the various animals you encounter, Pocket Camp delivers.