Animal Crossing: New Leaf feels like a lifetime ago now and recent spin-offs Happy Home Designer and amiibo Festival didn't really scratch our itch, but this unofficial Animal Crossing animated series should keep us entertained while we wait for the next proper instalment. As you can see it uses the characters, locations and worlds of Animal Crossing as the setting for an eerie audio drama with stop-motion animation.
It's the work of FamilyGamerTV and the Radio Theatre Workshop. As the episodes unfold a new visitor travels to Animal Crossing but he has no memory of boarding the train and no idea of his destination. We discover that this is a place where the townsfolk keep him prisoner and the mayor's assistant Isabelle knows more than she reveals. If you've seen the classic 1960s series The Prisoner, then you may have an idea about where this is going.
"I've always thought there's something of The Magic Roundabout to Animal Crossing" said series producer and occasional Nintendo Life contributor Andy Robertson. "It initially appears to be an innocent story for gamers but dwell on what's happening for longer and there's a darker undercurrent."
Once the story had been written and recorded the animation was created using Machinima techniques where Animal Crossing had to be played multiple times to get the characters, outfits and scenes captured correctly. "It's harder than you might think to ensure both continuity and staging in a game with only lose control of the characters," says Robertson.
The initial story will run for 10 episodes published over the coming weeks. You can watch two here, with more available on the Animal Crossing Noir playlist.
If the series is popular plans are afoot to extend the story, or perhaps take on other Nintendo games in similar fashion. How about a Splatoon romantic comedy or a Pokémon crime drama? Which shows and games would you combine?