What is Animal Crossing and why should I care about it?

Animal Crossing
Animal Crossing (Image credit: Nintendo)

Up until recently, I didn't know anything about the Animal Crossing series. As much as I tried, I couldn't figure out why so many people absolutely loved this game and spent hundreds if not thousands of hours playing it. But then, with the hype surrounding the upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons game for Nintendo Switch, I decided to educate myself by playing past entries in the series. I discovered several things about Animal Crossing, including why we should all care about it.

Animal Crossing (Image credit: Nintendo)

Unlike most other video games out there, Animal Crossing is very chill. It's a life simulator that allows you to do whatever you want with your day. You can plant a garden, go bug hunting, dig up some fossils, or grab your pole and go fishing. If you are feeling social, you can strengthen your bonds with your adorable animal friends. Plus, you can customize your character and participate in seasonal or holiday activities during certain times of the year. If that isn't enough, Animal Crossing: New Horizons takes the whole "make it your own island" to the next level by letting players customize everything from house placement down to the very roads you walk on.

You won't find any violence, combat, or plot of any kind. In fact, the thing that most resembles a plot is the fact that you find your way to a new location and end up getting a loan from Tom Nook, who's basically a rich raccoon. Your main goal is to build a house and repay your loan to Tom. Once that's done, you can make tons of upgrades to your home, which will each result in you needing to repay additional loans to Tom. Other than that, you get to decide what you do with your time in Animal Crossing.

So, why should I care about it?

Animal Crossing is considered one of the most wholesome games out there. This is evidenced by the sweet nature of the community and their incredible enthusiasm for the games. There isn't a care in this digital world. The characters are sweet and you can actually go out and enjoy nature or build the house of your dreams, even if you might not be able to do so in real life. If that's not enough, your animal friends provide someone to talk to in this time of social distancing. In a world of unease, Animal Crossing is just the relaxing escape we need, whether we're dealing with issues on a personal or global scale.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.