Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

I was pretty intrigued when I found out that there was going to be an Animal Crossing game for smartphones. At the time, it had been a fair few years since the last proper instalment and I imagined that I could get quite addicted to this game… and for a while, I was.

While other Animal Crossing games start with you getting a new house and then working to build it up, this one focuses on you getting your own campsite. You can decorate it however you like, with various different bits of furniture and by doing things for different villagers and buying furniture and items that they like, you can persuade them to stay at your camp. You also get your own camper van, which you can customise as much as you like.

Something I like about this game is that you have a friendship meter with all the different villagers you meet and it levels up the more you do for them. This makes it easy to see how good your relationship with them is and I wish that this feature was in earlier (and later) instalments in the series.

Mostly, the tasks that you do for the villagers involve catching them a certain fish or giving them a certain item. Annoyingly, you can only really do so much at a time, as after you’ve caught so many fish, they stop appearing – the same goes for bugs, fruit and shells on the beach. Whereas in the earlier games in the series, you can kind of do these things endlessly, you definitely run out of things to do here – this, of course, is done in an attempt to get you to spend money.

As well as using them to woo villagers, the resources you gather are then used to make furniture and buy improvements for your campsite or camper van. An element of urgency is then added when they do limited time events. For example, you could find Poké Balls laying around the different areas of the map at one point and they could be used to craft special Pokémon items. You can also buy fortune cookies to obtain rare items and these are limited time only too, but are also luck based and even more strongly geared towards making you spend money. Unfortunately, this game does not feature a museum to fill up like the earlier ones do.

There was a time when I was playing this every single day. It was fun to catch the fish, build the relationships and do what I could to entice as many villagers as possible. The problem was, that after a while, I realised how formulaic it was. I got the resources I could, I did what I could for the villagers and then repeated the whole process again and again. After it started to feel that way, I found myself playing less and less and now that the next console game in the series has been released, I don’t imagine I will ever return to it. Still, it was fun while it lasted and maybe some people will find it fun for longer than I did – particularly if they are willing to spend money.

Score: 8/10

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