The long-awaited mobile version of Animal Crossing, nicknamed Pocket Camp, is set to hit our iPhones and Android mobiles in November 2017. Here's all you need to know about Nintendo's Animal Crossing mobile game, including story details, gameplay info and more.
Nintendo's Animal Crossing first hit Western shores 15 years ago, giving us one of the most relaxing and engrossing open world gaming experiences of all time. Since then the series has appeared on several consoles and in portable form thanks to Nintendo's DS and 3DS consoles.
However, it's the upcoming mobile phone version, set to launch on Android and iOS at the end of 2017, that we're really interested in. Animal Crossing Pocket Camp will allow you to build, in Nintendo's own words, the 'best campsite ever' - and of course, invite your real-life chums around to visit.
Here's our complete guide to Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, including leaks, rumours and official news from Nintendo.
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Animal Crossing Pocket Camp: What is Animal Crossing?
Animal Crossing is about as casual a game as you'll ever play. The idea is dead simple: you're a boy or girl living in a town populated by all kinds of animals, who live together in peace and harmony. You're free to do what you like in the open world environment, from farming and fishing to furnishing your house and exploring the environment for hidden secrets.
The joy of Animal Crossing is that time in the game actually passes in real time. Play at night and the game world will be dark, while seasons also reflect the time of year. Your animal buddies will even celebrate your birthday and Christmas, if you find time to load up the game on those dates.
Animal Crossing has previously appeared on a range of Nintendo consoles, including the GameCube, Wii, Wii U, DS and 3DS. Now it's making the transition to mobile, so everyone not lucky enough to own a Nintendo box can get involved.
Animal Crossing Pocket Camp: What do we know about the iOS and Android version of the game?
Animal Crossing Pocket Camp was announced for iPhone and Android waaaaaay back in April 2016, yet we've had to wait a year and a half for the series to finally come to our trusty smartphones.
We know that it will be a freemium game, meaning it's free to download and play on both iPhone and Android. There will of course be in-app purchases, which hopefully won't be essential to enjoying the game. These are likely to be for players who want to unlock new items in the game as quickly as possible, or upgrade to special bonus items that otherwise aren't available.
Gameplay is quite similar to other Animal Crossing games, with an open-world environment to explore and anthropomorphic characters to befriend. You're a new campsite manager, tasked with building the best outdoor holiday destination around. To do so you'll have to craft furniture, by gathering required items - either by finding them yourself or trading with the other characters.
By building up friendship levels, you can attract the animal residents of Pocket Camp to come visit your site. You can also go fishing, shop for new clothes, redesign your camper van and basically spend your entire day messing around in the virtual world.
You can also visit the campsites of your friends, by sharing your game IDs with one another. That's another Animal Crossing staple that has been carried across to mobile.
Check out the official gameplay trailer below to see Pocket Camp in action.
Animal Crossing Pocket Camp: When is the iOS/Android version being released?
The exact release date of Animal Crossing Pocket Camp on iOS and Android is not yet known, but the game should appear on the App Store and Google Play Store at the same time.
Originally the mobile version of Animal Crossing was due to be released before Fire Emblem Heroes, but the game was subsequently delayed. Quite seriously, in fact. Nintendo first announced that the game would be released 'some time this fiscal year', which had us all worried that we'd be waiting until early 2018 to jump into the franchise on our phones.
Thankfully, Nintendo has now announced that Pocket Camp will be released at the 'end of November 2017'.
The reason for this delay was that Nintendo wanted to concentrate on Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem instead. Or at least, that's the official line. Here's hoping there aren't any issues that have to be resolved with the game before its official launch.
You will be able to download Animal Crossing Pocket Camp to your smartphone or tablet for free, although there will be in-app purchases, as there were on Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes.