Animal Crossing

aka: Animal Crossing: Population - Growing!
Moby ID: 7256
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Description official descriptions

Animal Crossing is an enhanced rerelease of Dōbutsu no Mori +, designed specifically for Western audiences. As such, it replaces all Japanese cultural references and celebrations with ones that would be more familiar to the American, European, and Australian audiences it was released for. This includes such holidays as a Harvest Festival in November, April Fool's Day, and Mother's Day and Father's Day. New items and events were also added.

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Credits (GameCube version)

101 People (99 developers, 2 thanks) · View all

Producer
Director
Character Animation
Character Design
Screen Design
Interior Design
Field Design
Effect Design
Event Design
Design Support
Sound Director
Field BGM
Indoor BGM
Event BGM
Sound Effects Programming
Sound Support
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 84% (based on 65 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 98 ratings with 7 reviews)

Strangely Addictive

The Good
Gameplay-The gameplay is very addictive and has you coming back for more all the time. A really cool feature is that of a real-time clock. As in if you decide to play at 4PM in real life, it is 4PM in the game. Even the days are the same as in real life, with seasons and such and holidays. Basically you live in a village of animals and can do stuff for them, become friends, and such. You can go fishing or catch bugs to collect or make money off of. Design shirts, collect furniture. You can even play classic NES games. This is truely one fun and simple and VERY addictive game.

Graphics:Very simplistic, but charming at the same time. Nothing real special, but there are tons of different furniture and other objects. Overall good.

Sound:Nothing too special. You can make your own town theme that plays every hour in the game. But mainly just some basic sound effects and some cutesy simple music.

Replayability:Almost infinite, you will at least have to play a year to see all the different seasons to get all the different bugs and fish. See all the holidays and such. While sometimes becoming a bit like a chore, still very fun and such.

The Bad
To me after awhile it seemed a bit like I HAD to play the game(since every day weeds grow in and lower your towns value a tiny bit, and after a long while villagers might move out). Also it does get quite repetitive at times.

The Bottom Line
Quirky, Strange, Fun, and Addictive.

GameCube · by Vessol (53) · 2006

A unique game that can captivate the female audience (without being "girly")

The Good
Hello. My name is Legion, and I got my girlfriend addicted to Animal Crossing.

As a result, I've seen the game from a couple of different perspectives. I am the "hardcore" (so to speak) gamer, and student game programmer, while she is the casual gamer that enjoys video games in the evenings.

I tend to describe Animal Crossing to people as, "it's like The Sims, except with talking animals that you don't have to tell to go take a leak". Though crude, it gets the point across, especially to anyone that has played The Sims. This is an open-ended game, less about achieving any goals, and more about community building through interpersonal relationships (i.e. helping the town to flourish by corresponding with your neighbors). And to the delight to most players, Animal Crossing lacks the kind of character micromanagement involved in The Sims (that's where that "leak" part comes in).

Unlike in The Sims, your character is not autonomous - you control every movement. Thankfully, the mundane tasks of things like eating and sleeping are omitted. Instead, you talk to the animals of the town, perform errand boy tasks for them, and do other such things to earn money and goodies for your house - including upgrades to the house itself. There are tons of items and decorations to earn, and creating a nice, matching interior to your home can take a long time.

Game industry analysts have long said that for games to capture the attention of the largely untapped female market, games that focus on typically female approaches like communication and cooperation are needed. Animal Crossing is one such game. While cutesy, the game is not overtly "girly" (something which has hamstrung many past attempts to lure females into gaming). Players achieve success through working with their peers, as well as collecting items. The game is never threatening to the player - there is no way of "dying" or failing in such an overt manner. No tasks are actually difficult - most just take time.

Animal Crossing is full of nice touches. The game "syncs" to the GameCube's internal clock - so the date in the game is the actual date, and the time of day in the game reflects the time of day at your small slice of the Earth. Special events happen on certain days. There are also ways to trade items with people over the Internet (trade in an item for a "code", and swap codes with your trade partner - the game itself has no networking facilities, though). Hooking a Game Boy Advance up to the Cube opens up a bonus island to visit.

Animal Crossing is best played by more than one person. Up to 4 people can create characters in the same town. Players can leave each other letters, post on the town message board, send each other gifts, and other little things. For a while, it was a nice little game for myself and my girlfriend,

The Bad
Animal Crossing won't necessarily cause "real gamers" to wince. On the contrary, many may find it a nice change of pace, as I did. The game was a nice way to relax after a long day. However, after not too long, one may find the tasks tedious. There really isn't much to do, just a few things to do over and over again. One can only catch so many fish, write so many letters, find and buy/sell so many items, etc., before the whole experience gets a little stale. Your enjoyment of the game is directly related to how long the game's activities can hold your attention. If you're like my girlfriend, you may never tire of interacting with the town's residents, and there are always old locals moving out and new faces taking their place.

The game's "clock sync" can be a problem for people that always play at a certain time of day, especially if it's late at night. The town's store closes after a certain hour, which could create a problem. Also, most characters go to sleep at night. There is a way around this: you can alter your GameCube's internal clock. However, it would be nice if the game's options allowed you to set a "time offset" (like +5 hours, etc), or a "random time" function. While playing the game "in sync" adds a lot to the experience, concessions should be made for those where that is not possible.

A Game Boy Advance with an e-Reader is needed to have access to EVERYTHING. The GBA link opens up the island mentioned earlier, while an e-Reader allows you to use cards that you can buy at most game stores, which lets you unlock new characters and items and other such goodies. This is nice for people that have that gear, but those that don't miss out. These extras aren't necessary, but they're nice (especially after many hours of play, when things start to get old). I won't blame anyone for being unhappy if they miss out on them due to not owning a GBA/e-Reader.

The Bottom Line
Animal Crossing is a quirky "Sim-style" game with Nintendo's fingerprints all over it: cutesy graphics, interesting and unique gameplay (at least for a while), and simple play control. Open-ended and noncompetitive, Animal Crossing is not your typical game. Female gamers, as well as male gamers open to the less violent side of video gaming, may find this game to be a breath of fresh air.

GameCube · by *Legion* (136) · 2003

A great game, but you should probably rent it...

The Good
Pretty much everything.

Graphics- Could have been a little better, but they were good for a game of this size.

Gameplay- I don't know why, but it's fun to play...Maybe it's the challenge of paying off debts, getting jobs and doing them, and just having a good time (which isn't all that hard)

Challenge- Not too great...you just kind of live your life, in a video game...

The Bad
I wouldn't buy it...it's just too repetitive. Each and every day, you wake up, get your mail, and wander around town, that's pretty much it. Nothing special to do, except certain days, and that only lasts a few minutes.

The Bottom Line
A good game, at first. You probably shouldn't buy it, though, because nothing new happens, really. A new person moves in, a visitor comes. You talk to them for five minutes and it's done. Just too repetitive.

GameCube · by Paul Brown (16) · 2002

[ View all 7 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
I always thought this game was a bit sinister Pseudo_Intellectual (66248) Jan 9, 2009
Animal Crossing Pioneer Joshua J. Slone (4666) Jun 26, 2007

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The GameCube version of Animal Crossing appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Don Resetti

If the player resets a certain number of times, Mr Resetti's older brother Don Resetti will appear to lecture the player instead of Mr Resetti. This only happens once.

Fake Reset

If the player resets a certain number of times, Mr Resetti will pretend to delete their town in an attempt to scare them.

K.K. Slider's name

Among the ensemble of animals that populate Animal Crossing there is a dog who welcomes the player on their first play session and gives guitar concerts every Saturday night by the Train Station. The Dalmatian is called Totakeke (or K.K. Slider), an obvious pun to Kasumi Totaka, the game's sound director.

Loading time

With its small size due to being a slight enhancement on the N64 original, Animal Crossing completely loads into memory soon after you start the system. Thus the only load time in the game is when using the memory card or linking with the Game Boy Advance. Once loaded, the game can even be fully played if you remove the disc from the system.

Promotional copy

In early August 2002 Nintendo ran a contest where teams of two told in 50 words or less why they should get free copies of the game. 125 teams of these so-called Animal Crossing Pioneers got copies a month earlier than the general release. This helped to create a big buzz about the game on the Internet, and is also where the "Promotional Copy" disc scan on this site came from.

Tom Nook

The name of your first employer on Animal Crossing, a raccoon named Tom Nook, is a pun on the Japanese word for raccoon, "tanuuki". Fans of Super Mario Bros. 3 might remember the Tanooki suit that resembled a raccoon. Tom Nook clearly owns all the supply lines in town. He owns the only general goods store, controls all real estate, and is the only one who gives out loans. This has led many gamers to dub him as somewhat of a slum lord and a loan shark.

Awards

  • GameSpy
    • 2002 – Should Have Been Online Award (GameCube)
  • The Strong National Museum of Play
    • 2021 – Introduced into the World Video Game Hall of Fame


Info also contributed by JPaterson, ~~, Joshua J. Slone, Jiguryo, Matt Neuteboom and Thomas Dowding.

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Related Games

Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Released 2012 on Nintendo 3DS
Animal Crossing: Wild World
Released 2005 on Nintendo DS, 2015 on Wii U
Animal Crossing: City Folk
Released 2008 on Wii
Animal Crossing Clock
Released 2009 on Nintendo DSi
Animal Football
Released 2003 on PlayStation, 2006 on PlayStation 2
JumpStart Animal Adventures
Released 2002 on Windows, Macintosh
Animal Rivals
Released 2017 on Windows, Xbox One, 2018 on Nintendo Switch
Animal Magic
Released 1983 on Commodore 64, VIC-20

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  • MobyGames ID: 7256
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by JPaterson.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Juan Pablo Bouquet, Patrick Bregger, Deleted, FatherJack, Harmony♡, Deleted, SoMuchChaotix.

Game added September 21, 2002. Last modified January 17, 2024.