Attention, smartphone-owning Nintendo fans: The long-awaited Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has finally arrived.
Following several launch delays earlier this year, the Japanese gaming giant released Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp for iOS and Android on November 21, a day earlier than its planned November 22 launch.
The game requires an internet connection to run, and the servers are a bit bogged down, so don’t be surprised to receive the occasional connection error or slowdown if you’re an early adopter.
Nintendo’s newest mobile game offers a different take on the regular versions of the popular life-simulation game found on its traditional platforms, hence the term Pocket Camp in the title. In keeping with the series, the game runs in real time according to your local time, so you see day and night, as well as seasonal changes.
In the mobile version of Animal Crossing you take on the role of the manager of a campsite. To get started, choose your manager’s physical appearance, then decorate the campsite however you like and interact with visiting animals as you set about building a community.
“Your campsite can be anything you like,” Nintendo proclaims on its website, “from a traditional space that celebrates nature to a flashy fun house with concerts and rides. It’s all up to you!”
You don’t have to stick around the campsite the whole time, either. Hop in your camper and take a ride to the beach, the forest, or someplace else to collect stuff as you look around. If you sell some of what you find in exchange for Bells, you can spend them at the Market Place on other items like furniture and clothes. Help others on your travels and you’ll earn Bells and craft materials in return.
The game lets you craft lots of different items for your campsite and camper. While some are just for decoration, others are required to get animals to visit. You’ll need Bells, and in some cases Leaf Tickets — another of the game’s currencies — before you can set about crafting.
You can earn Leaf Tickets, but to get your hands on them more quickly, you’ll have to hand over some real-world money to Nintendo.
Animal Crossing has built up a loyal following over the years. The original version launched for the Nintendo 64 in Japan in 2001. After that it went global, with updated versions landing on the company’s newer consoles and handheld gaming devices over the years.
Update: Adds information about Pocket Camp’s early launch.