Animal Crossing

aka: Animal Crossing: Population - Growing!
Moby ID: 7256

Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 84% (based on 65 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 96 ratings with 7 reviews)

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


The Good
Well, the game is certainly interesting near the start of the game. Except for an excruciatingly long question sequence in the start of the game where you basically give a few simple answers that could have just been answered by a menu, you will immediately be interested in the seemingly massive world of Animal Crossing. There seems to be so much to see, get, visit, and earn.

The Bad
After a few days, it gets old, and you lose interest. Who thinks it's fun to just run around, delivering different crap to lame looking animal-things?? Conversations will seem to go on forever, wasting time with pointless and amazingly lame jokes rather than just getting right down to business. Maybe you think it's great to wander around a small town, digging up random crap like dinosaur bones, and going through a long and painful process to identify them, but I don't. The features that this game has with other stuff like the gameboy advance is frankly window dressing. The "island" is not really any different than anything else except the fruit looks different, and the you have a beach house that you can store stuff you can't fit in your other house. Like I said before, conversations go on far too long. They will seem interesting in the beginning, but after a while, you just get sick of hearing the same pointless and idiotic dialogue time after time. The items you can get in this game are all, except for a few exceptions, just ornaments. They don't do anything, unlike the sims, where an item is actually USEFUL. Also, your character is too generic. No stats at all, unlike the sims, makes you feel like you have the same guy you started with 3 days ago.

The Bottom Line
I can't say I'd recommend it unless you have bought every other game, and are bored with those.

GameCube · by James Kirk (150) · 2004

Great sim game even your wife or girlfriend will love!

The Good
There are so many things that continue to surprise me about this game. First of all it is one of the only games my wife and kids and I have ever been able to compete in. For a month now I come home from work to hear about what new piece of furniture or other item she has collected for her house. We have started a second town and some of our friends now come over just to play this game. I can see us all playing this game off and on for the next year. Just to see the seasons change. Instead of watching a New Years Eve celebration on TV our family was watching the countdown and fireworks.

The Bad
Sometimes my dinner is late because someone is playing this game :)

The Bottom Line
It is a real time life sim. There are no set goals. You basically develop your own. You move into a new town. Get a loan to buy a house. Work to buy a bigger house and collect lots of cool stuff for it. If you want the "Full Effect" be prepared to spend money. If you have a gameboy advance you can connect it to your gamecube and get a special Island location to travel to. And you can trade islands with your friends. And you can keep an eye on your island residents using the GBA. Also you can collect Animal Crossing trading cards. These card have special codes to give you special items in the game. With an E-Reader you can scan the cards directly into your gamecube. You can also get secret codes and information directly from Nintendo's website. What a major marketing marvel. I have never spent this much money just to play one game. But compared to the amount of time my family has played it then it is a bargain.

GameCube · by gametrader (208) · 2003

The most adult game on gamecube?

The Good
The fact that you basically live. You have a house, you decorate it how you want, you dress how you want, you offend people how you want, you plant flowers where you want. The sheer amount of things that there are to do, boggles the mind. Fishing, shopping, designing clothes, running errands, collecting furniture, the list goes on. Everyday is different, something will always be happening in your town, even when you are not there. There are special events every month, and you'll even get a present on your birthday :)

The Bad
Erm, nowt to be honest, not saying its perfect, but theres nothing about it I don't like

The Bottom Line
This game looks childish, but is very adult. Having said that, children can play it but there are jokes in it, sexual references etc. which adults will be laughing at. This is probably Nintendo at its finest, doing something original, and not really broadcasting it. Unfortunately the fact that its only available in NTSC format (unless you live in australia, the only place you can get a PAL one I believe) means you'll have to import it if you live in Europe, but it is worth it. Buy it! BUY IT NOW!!!!

GameCube · by Tracer__ (11) · 2003

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

The only game where chores, shopping, and debt are made fun!

The Good
Animal Crossing has a lot of depth to it, the variety of furniture, neighbors, fish, insects, fossils, paintings, etc goes on forever. As stupid as I feel saying it, you really start to become "attached" to the neighbors in your town and feel a little sad when someone leaves your town (I miss you Alfonso!). The game operates on the real world's time which is also entertaining since you have to wait until a certain time for the shop to open, the events to start, etc. This can easily be gotten around by adjusting your system clock, but what fun is that. : P

The Bad
This game is a mere port/translation of a Nintendo 64 game released in Japan...and it shows. The graphics aren't terrible, but a little improvement would of been nice. Also once you go through a few townspeople coming and going, you notice that there are certain "personalities" which are ascribed to several characters and that there really is no difference between a bear and a frog other than their appearance. Finally, when visiting another friend's town you cant see your friend there. You can just run around their town and talk to their townspeople. I would have appreciated something like LAN play to be able to run around each other's towns together.

The Bottom Line
There are some things that I just don't understand, among them are quantum physics, Hollywood Squares, and why pulling weeds, selling fruit, and finding Cobb's hankerchief for him is so much fun. Animal Crossing takes the most "un-fun" concepts of life and makes them crazily addictive. This game is a fun game which children, teenagers, and adults, males and females, gamers and game-ophobes all can enjoy.

GameCube · by Jon Collins (24) · 2004

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 just kind of live your life, in a video game...

The Bad
I wouldn't buy'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

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Jeanne, chirinea, Alsy, Jacob Gens, Wizo, brentplz, nyccrg, Tim Janssen, Joakim Kihlman, Xoleras, Patrick Bregger, RhYnoECfnW, shphhd, Sciere, beetle120, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy), Big John WV, eradix.