Sunday, 26 November 2017

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp: First Impressions & Gameplay

You may have recently seen that a few days ago Nintendo released their brand new social simulation mobile game Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp that is free to play for IOS and Android devices. As someone who loves Animal Crossing from having played it back in the old GameCube days to Wild World to still frequently playing both New Leaf & Happy Home Designer. After seeing the trailer for it last month, I was incredibly excited to embark on a new adventure with Pocket Camp and to see what it has to offer.
Now I'm usually not one for playing many mobile games, Pokemon Go was about as far as I've gone, unless it's a game series that I hold dear I usually don't bother with them but since Animal Crossing is such a huge favourite of mine, I was highly anticipating it's release.


The game begins with the iconic K.K. Slider who welcomes you and asks you a question. Originally I started panicking as I thought this was the classic style of AC where the answers determined your appearance and I don't usually enjoy the unpredictability of the outcome. I admit in the past I have read up on answers to get my character appearance of choice haha. But fortunately I didn't have to do so with this game so that was a positive factor for me from the get go.

As far as I know, the answer to his question doesn't determine any outcomes of importance either.


Character Customisation

After speaking to K.K. you then move onto the next section which is the character customisation, something that was introduced in Happy Home Designer which I was thrilled about and again continue to be with Pocket Camp as I like to be given the choice of how I want my character to look. This section determines gender, hair style, eye style, eye and hair colour and skin tone. The other great feature is that you can amend these later on if you wish when playing the game too.

Arriving at the Campsite

After creating your character, there is a loading screen where you arrive in your camper to the brand new campsite albeit a rather empty one. It is also here where you are greeted by Isabelle, a well loved character from New Leaf, who introduces herself, asks you to give your name and goes through the gameplay tutorials and mechanics for you. What I found with the tutorials was that they were really straight forward and explained the game in a clear way by not being too overwhelming with instructions, which is beneficial to all ages. Also the controls are basically to just tap everything too.

Picking your camps theme and beginning animal requests

After your introduction, Isabelle then begins to explain the games' mechanics. You set a theme for your campsite out of the choices. I went for natural because that was the one that jumped out the most to me, but again this doesn't have much of an impact on your gameplay. It means that the animals in the game with the 'natural' trait you will build quicker relationships with compared to others but I've found it doesn't effect the gameplay or the relationships in the game in a significant way and can easily be altered by building amenities. I also found myself attracting more 'cute' characters to my campsite unintentionally anyway, so it has a lot of free rein.

After deciding the theme, we are told that by fulfilling requests from the animals in the game, we get rewarded with craft materials and money. These requests are usually to do with gathering an item or two such as fish, insects, shells or fruit. The craft materials are then used to create items to display in your campsite. You can also collect craft materials and money by levelling up your friendship with animals too by fulfilling request as well.

Specific items are required to collect in order to have particular animals 'live' at your campsite. I like the idea of this as you can pick and choose which characters you'd like to 'live' at your campsite and interact with. Up to 8 can stay there and the little cat icon on the main screen is where you can click on it to see who you have in your camp and remove any animals if you wish.

 Meeting Goldie and completing her requests

Right, so we've got the first task to do which is visit the new location on the map. Again, really straight forward as all you need to do is tap the screen, which is the main way to interact making this game much more easy going than other AC games, if that is even possible as it is already an easy going series to begin with!

We visit the new location to meet one of the animals, Goldie. As she is a 'natural' character, she was the first character I met but for the other traits, I think it varies who you meet first. Anyway she wants me to collect an apple, so I visit the tree and give it a shake, pick up the apple and bring it to her. In turn I raise relationship level with her and rewarded with an item and money.

Animals usually have 3 requests to fulfil within a 3 hour rotation before it changes to another set of animals and requests and there is usually a couple of animals in different locations that have requests to keep you a little busy.

One feature I particularly enjoy for it's sheer adorableness is the occasional completed request screen that has a cute animation such as the one below with my character enjoying fresh fruit. As I've been playing I've noticed many more you can come across such as enjoying some grilled fish, being in a band and painting to name but a few.

 Returning back to campsite & learning about crafting items with Cyrus & Reese

After helping out Goldie, I head back to my campsite and get introduced to Cyrus and Reese, who are originally from New Leaf, they own a craft workshop where you can request them to build the furniture items for your campsite and the amenities.

As previously mentioned, the furniture items are usually needed to meet the requirements of an animal to live at your campsite and the amenities have different traits which are used to boost relationships with the animals of the same trait (e.g. natural, cute, sporty & cool).

Some items take longer to craft than others which is one factor I don't particularly like in this game. At first they start at 3 minutes tops. But as you meet more animals, some of their items can take 8 hours and some amenities take around 11 hours. So if you are impatient like I am, this is a struggle. But you can always close the game and come back to it later once it is ready as it continues to be built whether you have the game loaded or not.

After the item has been crafted it tells you on the bottom of the screen. We are then shown how to add and remove furniture and how to arrange it to your preference. This gives a nod to the other AC games but for me personally a bigger nod to Happy Home Designer.

Inviting animals to your campsite

Once you have placed everything how you wanted. We have then fulfilled the requirements to invite Goldie to stay at the campsite. We invite her along and happy days! Our first animal at the camp! After this Isabelle will give you a starter pack of items and you unlock new locations and animals.

First Impressions

Overall I am absolutely adoring this game so far! I can see this very quickly becoming my latest gaming addiction from already previously loving the AC series. I've already begun finding myself dipping in and out of the game every couple of hours or so. Which I think is the best way to get the most enjoyment out of it as the game is much smaller in comparison to previous titles and it works on a 3 hour rotation, so that applies to animals, requests and the Market Shop, where it alternates the clothing stalls & items from Nook's stall too. I love the character creation and decorating the campsite. I also think it is a good taster into what the previous AC titles are like for those who have never played it before too.

I thoroughly enjoy this as an avid AC player and I think even if you haven't played the series prior to this and enjoy simulation games, you would really enjoy it for it's laid back nature, super easy gameplay, cute characters, funny dialogue, vibrant locations and relaxing soundtrack.

I'm going to be doing a mini series about this Animal Crossing Pocket Camp game as I am very enthusiastic about this game and there is still quite a bit of ground to cover that I haven't in this post as I wanted to show the first initial gameplay for you all first. I think there will be more to discuss with the release of future updates too, so I can't wait for all that! So keep your eyes peeled for more posts on this coming your way very soon! 

Have you played Animal Crossing Pocket Camp yet? Let me know your thoughts below :)

Feel free to add my character ID: 1390 4684 087

Thanks for reading! 

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