Animal Crossing turned 15 this week, and we're certainly feeling plenty of nostalgia for the series. What makes Animal Crossing such a successful franchise? We've put together some of the points that we think have propelled the series to being one of the most successful ever.
Animal Crossing would be nothing without it's loveable characters. From firm favourites like Kapp'n and KK Slider, to Isabelle your loyal secretary, there is never a dull moment with these crazy animals populating your town. Despite making you run errands which they are too lazy to do themselves (like asking for a fruit from a tree right next to them), the townspeople are an excellent source of entertainment. Some also drop valuable life advice out of the blue, catching you completely off guard.
Look out for: Kapp'ns songs as he drives you to the island, they are often interspersed with words of wisdom and… flirting?
It unfolds slowly
Animal Crossing takes its time to increase content. In New Leaf you must first prove yourself as a Mayor in order to build an approval rating and be able to unlock new tasks. It's a slow grind but its certainly rewarding. Whether taking part in Fishing Tourneys, raising your Happy Home Academy Score or completing your fish encyclopaedia, there is so much to do to keep you occupied. There are also no time limits, no villains (except maybe Redd), and no way to die so you can just take your time to explore all there is to offer.
Look out for: Different items can be found in different seasons, be sure to know what will be around at each time to complete your encyclopaedia!
There is a charm to Animal Crossing's escapism. The colourful, welcoming tone of the game somehow makes you forget the mundanity of adult life and gives you a bit of a break. Players have alluded the game to helping when stressed, anxious or just as a relaxing experience to dip in and out of when they feel like it. Checking on your town will soon become a part of your routine, even if it's just clearing the weeds and digging up fossils for the day. There is something very addictive and rewarding about knowing you have done your AC duties for the day, and this reels you in. Playing on a commute is an excellent idea, although you might get some funny looks from other people if you keep the sound on.
Look out for: Each morning go and get your coffee from Brewster, once you've been a few times he will offer you a part time job!
Although it may not seem it, Animal Crossing is an excellent way to make friends. Use your friend codes and StreetPass to visit other people's towns and take inspiration (and fruit). You can use this to keep in touch with friends all across the globe. Also visit others' homes using the dream suites and Happy Home Academy for all the interior inspiration you could ever want.
Look out for: Make friends in a different country and visit them to celebrate country exclusive holidays with them!
Whether you are using the Able Sisters' QR code machine, placing a new hybrid of flower, or adding new items to your home, the customisation possibilities allow for your town to really be your own. Putting ordinances in place mean you can decide the direction for your town, too, from making it a late night party town, to priding it on its beauty.
Look out for: When on social media, take a look at the Animal Crossing hashtag to find inspiration on customising your town. You will find oodles of QR codes, hints and tips to get your town really blossoming!
Who knows what the future holds for Animal Crossing? As the last game was four years ago we are hoping that there will be a new instalment soon. Will it be for NX or will it be a mobile venture? We will have to wait and see. One thing we know for sure is that the previous games will keep us going for now.
Let us know your favourite parts, tips and thoughts on Animal Crossing below!