Animal Crossing

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Animal Crossing
Animal Crossing Logo.png
The Animal Crossing series logo.
Genre(s)Community simulation
Creator(s)Katsuya Eguchi[1][2][3]
Platform(s)Nintendo 64, iQue Player, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch
Platform(s) of originNintendo 64
Year of inception2001
First releaseAnimal Crossing
April 14, 2001
Latest releaseAnimal Crossing: Pocket Camp
October 25, 2017
Spin-offsHappy Home Designer
Amiibo Festival
Pocket Camp

Animal Crossing[4] is a community simulation video game series developed and published by Nintendo, in which the human player lives in a village inhabited by anthropomorphic animals, carrying out various activities including fishing, bug catching, fossil hunting, etc. The series is notable for its open-ended gameplay and extensive use of the game systems' internal clock and calendar to simulate real passage of time.

Four Animal Crossing games have been released worldwide, one each for the Nintendo 64 (enhanced and reissued for the GameCube), Nintendo DS, Wii, and the Nintendo 3DS. A fifth game, for the Nintendo Switch, is scheduled for a 2019 release. The series has been both critically and commercially successful and has sold over 30 million units worldwide. Three spin-off games have also been released: Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (for Nintendo 3DS), Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp (for mobile phones), and Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival (for Wii U).


In all of the Animal Crossing games, the player assumes the role of a human character who moves into a rural village populated with anthropomorphic animals and lives there indefinitely. Gameplay is open-ended: players have no defined objectives, but are instead encouraged to spend their time in the village performing any number of activities, which include collecting items, planting plants or other items, and socializing with the village's residents. All Animal Crossing games are played in real time, utilizing the system's internal clock and calendar. Thus, passage of time in the game world reflects that in reality, as well as the current season and time of day. Some in-game events, such as holidays or the growth of a tree, occur at certain times or require some duration of time to have passed.[5]

Timeline of release years
2001Animal Crossing
2005Wild World
2008City Folk
2012New Leaf
2015Happy Home Designer
amiibo Festival
2016New Leaf - Welcome amiibo
2017Pocket Camp
2019Animal Crossing (Nintendo Switch)

One notable feature of the Animal Crossing series is the high level of customization available, some of which affects the outcome of the game.[6] The player character is both named and gendered by the real life player at the start of the game, and their appearance can be modified by buying or designing custom clothes and accessories or changing the hairstyle (introduced in Wild World). The player's house can also be furnished, decorated, and later expanded: the player can purchase and collect furniture and place it anywhere in the house, as well as change both the wallpaper and floor designs. While its terrain, building locations, and initial residents are randomly generated when the game is first begun (except in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, in which the player decides between four given towns), the village's name and anthem, as well as some of the residents' catchphrases, are also determined by the player.[6]

Collecting items is a major facet of Animal Crossing: the player can explore the village and gather objects, including fruit from trees, seashells, and discarded items. Nearly all objects can be sold for Bells, the in-game currency. Players collect objects to obtain more Bells, which can then be used to buy furniture and clothing, purchase home expansions, invest in stocks, and play games. A number of specialized tools are available for other activities such as fishing and insect collecting. Special items, such as fossils and paintings, may be donated to the village museum. The player can choose to socialize with the other animal residents by engaging in conversation, sending and receiving letters, bartering, or playing hide-and-seek. Residents may move in or out of the village depending on the player's actions.

All installments of Animal Crossing allow some form of communication between players, both offline and online. A single village can house up to four human players, though only one can be exploring the village at any given time.[5] The players can interact via written messages through the village post office or bulletin board. The GameCube iteration allowed players to travel to other villages by trading memory cards written with the game data,[6] but all subsequent installments allow players to travel and interact online via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, although City Folk also allows the DS Suitcase to travel to others' towns.[7][8]


Main series[edit]

Animal Crossing (2001)[edit]

Animal Crossing (どうぶつの森, lit. Animal Forest) originally released only in Japan for the Nintendo 64 in 2001. It was enhanced and released on the GameCube the same year.[9] This version was localized and released in North America on September 15, 2002, Australia on October 17, 2003, and Europe on September 24, 2004.[10] An extended version titled "Dōbutsu no Mori e+" was released on June 27, 2003 in Japan.[11] The game was released in China in 2006 for iQue Player.[12]

Animal Crossing: Wild World (2005)[edit]

Animal Crossing: Wild World (おいでよ どうぶつの森, lit. Come to Animal Forest) was released for the Nintendo DS in Japan on November 23, 2005, North America on December 5, 2005, Australia on December 8, 2005, and Europe on March 31, 2006.[13] It was the first game in the series to use Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The game was later re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console on October 13, 2016, although its wi-fi multiplayer feature are unavailable due to the discontinuation of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.

Animal Crossing: City Folk (2008)[edit]

Animal Crossing: City Folk (街へ行こうよ どうぶつの森, lit. Let's Go to the City: Animal Forest; known in Europe and Oceania as Animal Crossing: Let's Go to the City) was released for the Wii in North America on November 16, 2008, Japan on November 20, 2008, Australia on December 4, 2008, and Europe on December 5, 2008.[14] It was later released in South Korea in 2010.[15] It was the first Wii game to utilize the Wii Speak, an accessory that allows players to talk to each other during online play.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf (2012)[edit]

Animal Crossing: New Leaf (とびだせ どうぶつの森, lit. Jump Out Animal Forest) was announced at E3 2010.[16] It was released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan on November 8, 2012, North America on June 9, 2013, Europe on June 14, 2013, and Australia on June 15, 2013.[17] For the first time in the series, players are appointed to the role of Mayor.[18] In November 2016, a new update was released along with "Welcome Amiibo" in North America and Europe, adding several new locations, items and activities.[19]

Untitled Animal Crossing game (2019)[edit]

A game in the series for the Nintendo Switch was announced in a Nintendo Direct on September 13, 2018. It will be released sometime in 2019.[20]

Spin-off games[edit]

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (2015)[edit]

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is a community simulation game for the Nintendo 3DS and the first spin-off of the Animal Crossing series. It was released in Japan on July 30, 2015,[21] North America on September 25, 2015,[22] Europe on October 2, 2015,[23] and Australia on October 3, 2015.[23] The game revolves around designing houses for villagers based on their requests. By scanning amiibo cards, players can unlock the ability to design special characters' houses.[24] The game has a score of 66 out of 100 on Metacritic, which signifies "mixed or average reviews".[22]

Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival (2015)[edit]

Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival is a party game for the Wii U released in November 2015 that heavily utilizes Amiibo. It was met with unfavorable reviews from critics.[25]

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp (2017)[edit]

In April 2016, Nintendo announced that an Animal Crossing mobile game, later named as Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, would be released as a part of their mobile game lineup.[26] The game was soft launched in Australia in October 2017, and released worldwide on November 21, 2017.


Reception and legacy[edit]

Aggregate review scores
As of September 5, 2014.
Game Metacritic
Animal Crossing 87[28]
Animal Crossing: Wild World 86[29]
Animal Crossing: City Folk 73[30]
Animal Crossing: New Leaf 88[31]

The Animal Crossing games have garnered positive response.[6][7][8] The four main series games are among the best-selling video games for their respective consoles. Animal Crossing has sold 2.32 million copies;[32][33] Wild World 11.75 million;[34] City Folk 3.38 million;[35] New Leaf 11.59 million,[36] and Happy Home Designer 3.04 million.[37] amiibo Festival was a critical and commercial failure; in Japan it has only sold 26,325 copies.[25][38] In total, the Animal Crossing franchise has sold over 30 million units.

Female demographic[edit]

Former president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata noted that 56% of people who pre-ordered Animal Crossing: New Leaf were female, with many of them purchasing a Nintendo 3DS specifically for the game. He found the game's success with adult women between the ages of 19 to 24 to be particularly noteworthy.[39][40][41]

Other media[edit]

Villager as he appears in the crossover fighting game, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

An anime film adaptation of Wild World, titled Dōbutsu no Mori, was released in Japan on December 16, 2006. The film was produced by OLM, Inc. and distributed by Toho. Dōbutsu no Mori earned ¥1.8 billion (approximately $19.2 million) in the box office.[42]

The 2008 Wii game Super Smash Bros. Brawl features elements from Wild World. Most prominent is a stage based on the animal village, called "Smashville," which changes its scenery in accordance with the Wii system clock[43] and features a number of songs remixed or extracted from the original game.[44] Mr. Resetti and a pitfall seed, which appear in all Animal Crossing games, are available as an Assist Trophy and an item respectively.[45][46] Brawl also features 24 collectible trophies based on Animal Crossing characters and items.[47]

Wii Music features two playable songs from Animal Crossing.[48]

The minigame "Animal Crossing: Sweet Day" in Nintendo Land is based on the Animal Crossing game series. The objective of the game is for the Wii Remote players (1-4), to gather large amounts of candy scattered around the area and store them in their head without getting caught by the Gatekeepers, who are controlled using the two Wii U GamePad analog sticks.[49]

A playable character called "Villager" represents the Animal Crossing series as a fighter in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The character has both male and female forms, which are selected when choosing the character. His or her moves include the ability to catch other players in a net and firing Lloid the gyroid as a missile.[50] Additionally, Isabelle from New Leaf appears as an Assist Trophy,[51] and later appeared as a standalone fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.[52] Two new Animal Crossing stages appear in the games: "Town & City" from City Folk in the Wii U version, and "Tortimer Island" from New Leaf in the 3DS version.[53] "Smashville" from Brawl returns in the Wii U version.[54]

Villager and Isabelle are playable characters in Mario Kart 8 via downloadable content, along with a racetrack based on Animal Crossing.[55]. The two racers, along with the Animal Crossing track, were also included in the Nintendo Switch version of the game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. In June 2015, Isabelle and Mr. Resetti-themed cosmetics were added as costumes options for the player's "Palico" companion in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.[56]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ Stephen Totilo (June 8, 2013). "No Retro Games in Future Animal Crossings—With One Possible Exception". Retrieved February 22, 2016.
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  4. ^ Known in Japan as Dōbutsu no Mori (どうぶつの森, lit. Animal Forest)
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External links[edit]