This week Nintendo released it’s latest in mobile app gaming and one I’ve been after for a long time. When I heard Nintendo were joining the Mobile gaming space, Animal Crossing was the series I was most excited for. Its passive and easy going nature perfectly suits phone format and those with a busy lifestyle. So, did Nintendo deliver or is this Amiibo Festival 2?
Gameplay-wise this game does a fantastic job of turning the positive features of Animal Crossing into a mobile game. The game allows you to craft items to place in your player camp and invite new Animals to join. Your house is now a campervan which you can, of course, get a loan to upgrade (not from Tom Nook this time). The game gives you various tasks to complete to invite more campers into your happy camp and the more campers you have the more your level goes up. The game is repetitive but repetitive in the way Animal Crossing has always been, playing Animal Crossing for a new experience around every corner is a very silly idea the whole games premise is that it’s a simulation game you can head back to and attend to when you’re free and being a mobile experience this definitely works. The online features of the game, which includes being able to visit your friend’s Camps and buy various items off them that they are offering, are nice however a small step down from the full multiplayer of the console games, but then this is a mobile release.
The games biggest gripes for me are in loading times and errors. During launch week I’ve had a multitude of random errors pop up and connection errors as well as loading screens taking an eternity to get through sometimes. I’m hoping these are just teething troubles but they do end up being frustrating and upsetting.
Obviously, the game does have Microtransactions as a way to generate money but they’re fairly priced and what you do spend money on (Leaf tickets) can also be easily acquired in the game so that’s not actually a huge issue. As a free-to-play game, this is an acceptable system and one I have no gripe with. You use Leaf Tickets to decrease the time Items take to make, enter certain mini places, buy upgrades for your character and in general just speed through the game if you don’t want to wait. Considering the type of game Pocket Camp is, this is heavily optional.
Animal Crossing Pocket Camp also comes with the promise of more updates and seasonal events which should keep the game running fresh. The game has actually overtaken Miitomo in terms of what I play it for (Mobile slice of life fun) and feels like the game that they should have released instead of Miitomo. Miitomo, whilst fun, was an odd game released at a time in which the gaming community had lost a lot of faith in Nintendo. Had Animal Crossing Pocket Camp been launched at that time it might have helped with Nintendo’s public image.
Ultimately, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp is a fun time-wasting experience that has already burned through several hours of my life. I hope the game continues to be a fun and positive experience and I also hope Nintendo is able to iron out the technical issues the game has been facing. Animal Crossing Pocket Camp is a wonderful return to the series after two very dodgy Animal Crossing releases in the past few years. Ultimately I will give the game a 7.8/10, for the moment, based purely on the fact that once the connection issues are ironed out this game is an easy 8/10 recommendation.
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