Game of the week: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Animal Crossing
(Image: © iMore)

Right off the bat let me say this, I have never played an Animal Crossing game before in my life, which means I went into Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp with fresh eyes. That's somewhat of a double-edged sword when reviewing games (especially Nintendo titles) because on the one hand, fresh eyes means you have as little bias as possible going into a game, but on the other, a franchise's history is part of it's identity which could cause a blind spot to why certain elements are included or not included. All this means to you, the reader, is you can perhaps choose to take my words with an ample serving of salt.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp wastes no time in showing you the fundamentals and within about 20 or so minutes, the game has you in the trenches except, in this case, the trenches are beautiful camps filled with whimsical animal characters.

Relax! Nothing bad is going to happen

Forced to describe Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp in one word I would choose the word relaxing. Unlike other Nintendo mobile titles, there's no super urgent time limits or battling enemies to claim victory, just camp building, conversations with animal friends, fishing, crafting, and harvesting fruit. The game takes a lackadaisical approach to its entire existence, making it the kind of game I want to play on a lazy Sunday afternoon when I'm binge-watching Netflix and eating junk food all day and wondering why I can't lose any weight. It's oddly satisfying to run around to the different campsites and talk to new characters, go fishing, or catch bugs knowing that nothing dramatic is going to happen.

Of course, the game does use the free-to-play model, meaning some of its relaxing nature is forced in through time-gating; however, it didn't seem to annoy me as much in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp because there's surprisingly lots to do. If you're waiting for an item to craft or the timer to reset on requests, you can easily explore the other campsites and collect resources as you wait. Heck, talk to the other animals visiting your campsite and you'll probably level up your friendship anyway. The game does an excellent job of always giving you an option to progress even when you're waiting around for timers to reset.

Nintendo polish

I have been continually impressed with Nintendo's mobile titles. I had often wondered if my view of the likes of Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem: Heroes were too biased because of my experience with the Mario and Fire Emblem franchises; however, having no previous experience with Animal Crossing, its mobile offer still shone through as enjoyable and unique.

I have come to realize that Nintendo has a sort of polish to its mobile game that I have come to expect from titles that come directly from the company. Whether they be mobile games or Nintendo Switch games, everything the company releases is more than enjoyable. I would highly suggest continuing to check out Nintendo's future titles ( or old titles if you haven't yet), after giving Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp a try!

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Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.