Those in Australia have already got their hands on Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, but for the rest of the world, it's locked away until the game is released. Despite that, the game's features are, mostly, already known, given how much of the game is based on Animal Crossing's previous ventures on consoles. We've put together everything we know about the game, and everything we expect to see given our experience (and expertise) in Animal Crossing.
When is Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp releasing?
November 22! That's this Wednesday. It's already been available in Australia for a few weeks, but it will be available in the UK - and around the world - on November 22.
What platform is it on?
Android and iOS phones, so anyone running a Windows phone (or other platform) won't have access. It's releasing on both simultaneously. Full version details, and more specific phone requirements, will be released at launch, but we already know that some older Apple mobile devices won't work. It also means it's not the Nintendo Switch version of Animal Crossing people have been asking for.
What is it?
It's a free to play real-time life simulator, to give it a not terribly specific genre name. More accurately, it's a game about building up a camp, and building a relationship with its regulars by building furniture and amenities, giving them gifts that they request, and chatting away.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is the first time Animal Crossing will be coming to a non-Nintendo platform, and while this version isn't quite as feature-filled as the last game in the series, it appears to be the same but somewhat diluted. The key factor is that the game takes place in real-time, so trees take real-life days to grow, fish that only come out at night will only appear late in the day, and so on. That's why the game fits a mobile device so well, because, on a phone, you're able to easily play for short bursts at the right time of day.
What do you do?
Other than speaking to the animals at your camp (as all of the computer characters are anthropomorphic animals), you can fish, mine, catch bugs, and collect fruit. They can then be sold or given to those at your camp for Bells (one of the in-game currencies) or crafting materials.
- 20 Nov 2017,12:03pm
Over time, you get to build up the camp with furniture and amenities that attract certain kinds of characters to your camp, improving it and your relationship with them. You're also able to visit friends' camps, as well as decorate your own camper van as a private space for your character. This customisation of your camp and van, plus the ability to socialise with characters, is the main draw of Animal Crossing! It's a simple and wholesome camping life.
In previous Animal Crossing games, some bugs and fish were only available in certain seasons, but players in Australia are reporting that that's not the case for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. We've not been able to confirm this ourselves, but it implies that seasons are less important in this version of Animal Crossing.
While we haven't been able to play the game ourselves, players in Australia have managed to put together most of how the game works! It appears much of the game is based on a three-hour cycle, according to chubert1 on reddit. Every three hours, villages will move, quests can reset, and the quarry's prize resets. The marketplace's items then change every 6 hours. They also claim that the most important thing to use Leaf Tickets, the paid currency, on is crafting slots, which allow you to craft more items at any one time.
How can I customise my character?
Customisation is actually better than ever. Previous Animal Crossing games were limited, primarily in race, where you had to tan your character by standing outside in summer for hours (real-life hours) to changed skin colour. There's now options, and while there's not a huge array of options, it's better than it has ever been before.
What's that about in-game currencies?
Bells have always been the traditional currency in Animal Crossing, but Animal crossing: Pocket Camp is introducing Leaf Tickets as a brand new currency. These can be thought of as the gateway between the game and spending real-life money through microtransactions. With Leaf Tickets, you can buy special items,like furniture or tools, or speed up construction of furniture or amenities. Leaf Tickets can be bought with real money, through microtransactions, or earned in-game through completing specific objectives.
Do you have to pay?
It doesn't look that way: like many other free to play games, Leaf Tickets seem to be for very specific special items and speeding up the process only, making the game progress faster or giving you some extra cosmetic options. We'll find out quite how lenient the game is in awarding Leaf Tickets when it releases worldwide. Those in Australia with access to the game are reporting that, early on, it's pretty generous in providing Leaf Tickets without requiring real-money purchases.
What events will there be?
Going off previous Animal Crossing games, there will be a strong focus on time-limited events at certain times throughout the year. In other Animal Crossing titles, events like Christmas, New Year, the Solstices, and more would be celebrated in-game, and given the improved ability to update the game on mobile as opposed to consoles, it's likely we'll see a lot of these events.
The first of those is, almost certainly, a Christmas event, a month after launch. If it emulates what happens in older Animal Crossing games, there's likely to be special items to buy, and snowman building events where you will be rewarded for making a snowman with the perfect head-to-body ratio. That is speculation, though, and it may not have the same events other Animal Crossing games.
Do I have to know anything about Animal Crossing?
Not at all. Many of the characters are returning from previous titles, and some of the shop vendors can be easily recognised from other games, but there's no required knowledge. As an introduction to some of the characters:
- Tom Nook - The owner of a chain of general stores, and the man to pay for house upgrades in regular Animal Crossing games. Here, he's acting as the place to spend your leaf tickets.
- Timmy and Tommy Nook - Tom Nook's children run their own store, and in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, you'll be able to spend bells with them.
- Able Sisters - The Able Sisters are a recurring pair of characters who make their own clothes for you to buy and wear!
- Cyrus - Reese and Cyrus used to run Re-Tail, a shop similar to Timmy and Tommy's store, but in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Cyrus will craft items and build amenities for you.
- K.K. Slider - Animal Crossing's resident musician, K.K. Slider plays acoustic tracks, he's the dog in the image above.
Where can I download Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp?
Through the relevant app store! On iOS, that will be through the official Apple App Store, although links aren't up for that yet. The Australian page, however, is up for you to take a look at what the page will be like. On Android, you'll have to go through the Google Play Store for it, where the page is already live.