I wrote an article about Animal Crossing: Wild World a few months ago (https://theboar.org/2017/07/never-before-has-something-been-so-simple-and-yet-so-addictive/), in which I detailed how the game was my literal life until around the age of 11. So of course, when I heard that Nintendo were releasing a mobile game, I was over the moon at the prospect of re-living my youth.
Well, to be quite honest, I wish I hadn’t got quite as excited as I did. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is an empty shell of a once great game. And I think I have worked out why this is the case.
First of all, it was completely free to download. In theory, this sounds brilliant, but it’s really not. This market of games that offer in-app purchases, but are completely free to play, has generated a large number of games with a lot of restrictions. If I want to build anything on my campsite, it can take over three days. If I want an extra-funky pattern on my camper, that will cost you in the game’s premium currency. If I want to get any of these extras, I have to pay for them in micro-transactions. I haven’t yet spent any money on the game, probably because I already feel robbed by the brand (*throws shade*), but if I wanted to, its £3.99 here and there on virtual money or river nets… It’s just painful. I would much rather have paid for the game upfront, and not had to face constant stand-stills in the game where there is literally nothing to do.
Money aside, the game gets repetitive pretty quickly. Catch fish and bugs (of which there are about 20 different types in total, which is very unsurprising after a while), carry out a few tasks for visitors, level-up, and so the cycle continues. I’m now at Level 27, and I’m not in a better position than I was at Level 1.
I could play my DS for hours as a young’n and not get bored. This game I have barely picked up for longer than five minutes at a time
I also hate the fact you can’t move freely, like you could in Animal Crossing: Wild World. Everything is on a map – there’s a spot to fish, a spot to catch bugs, and a spot to pick fruit. That’s literally it. I could play my DS for hours as a young’n and not get bored. This game I have barely picked up for longer than five minutes at a time.
It may well be that it is not the games fault. Perhaps I am just too old to enjoy socialising with virtual sheep. Maybe I have too many adult commitments, like deadlines and taking out my bins, to enjoy the frivolity of shaking computer-generated trees. My experience with this game has made me feel a bit old, and has also made me realise there is probably a reason why I stopped playing it when I got to secondary school.
And, on a completely unrelated side-note, some of the activities with the villagers are just plain weird.