Animal Crossing

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a game by Nintendo
Platform: GameCube
Editor Rating: 9/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 4 votes
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See also: Simulator Games, Animal Crossing Games, Crafting Games
Animal Crossing
Animal Crossing
Animal Crossing

Here we are with the life simulator the shook the genre by its very foundations. Released on Gamecube in 2001, Animal Crossing was the unexpected hit of the century. Bolstered by its cutesy graphics, transcending experiences, and limitless possibility. The game was simply lauded by critics globally for being one of the most immersive simulators developed.

Animal Crossing exploded into a lucrative franchise, with each game being as good as the next. It all had to start somewhere, though. The Gamecube release took what already made its original Nintendo 64 version great, enhancing it for a newer generation of consoles - and this is the point where it took off. Let's go back and see what made Tom Nook and his friends world famous.

Nook and Crannies

It would be a strange idea to involve a thick plot around a life simulator. Basically, something telling you what to do and how to do it even though the mechanics are bent towards open-ended gameplay. The issue with games like Animal Crossing: Wild World asks if it is intuitive enough for those who really enjoy their time spent building towns - and basically, living life.

But yes, Animal Crossing has set the standard for the genre - and really, there's nothing quite like it today. The aura of the game is zen-like, allowing players to purchase their initial house from local shyster Tom Nook - and build-up their livelihood at their own pace. You'll spend time doing menial tasks in the local, collecting in-game currency to create your dream home, and further develop your fantasy town.

On the surface, the whole concept seems mundane. But the confidence that Animal Crossing is delivered in sets the game apart from most simulators. The graphics are beautiful enough to enjoy alone. There's an essence of competitiveness about building the best town. And the tasks are diverse enough to always find something different to do.

Animal Crossing is packaged perfectly into one of the most relaxing, immersive social simulators ever developed. The winning feat is how adaptable it is to any player's style - whether it's an intensive task management interest or something to sit and listen to the waters for hours on end. Every element of the game simply works without a prop from the developers.

The Godfather of all Social Simulators

Animal Crossing is one of those rare games that border on perfection. Apart from the fact, you will eventually hit limits in what you can do - there really isn't much wrong with it. The game sets a precedent for past social simulators - and those to come. If Second Life had launched like this, perhaps it wouldn't have had such a turbulent time with its release and growth.

9

It's a pretty agreed feat now that when someone mentions life simulators - the conversation instantly refers to Animal Crossing. Even when you've spent long periods away from it, people can always find comfort in returning to the towns they have loving spent hours constructing. This is the simulator all future developments should aspire to.

Pros:

  • Open-ended gameplay that suits nearly every playing style
  • Immersive environments and characters that encourage hours of playtime
  • Building and task mechanics are user-friendly and fun

Cons:

  • The game will become a bit boring after several hours of repeating similar tasks

Download Animal Crossing

GameCube

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Nintendo's second-half lineup for 2002 reads like a laundry list of gaming's biggest and most beloved franchises. But amidst these massively anticipated games--which include the likes of Super Mario Sunshine and Metroid Prime--lies a relative unknown that could easily turn out to be one of the surprise hits of the year: Nintendo's quirky new life sim, Animal Crossing.

As the game begins, you find yourself on a train headed for a small forest village that you'll soon be calling home. Once you arrive and get settled in your new digs, you're free to do pretty much whatever you want, whenever you want. This is what makes Animal Crossing so unique--the only real objective in the game is to live life as you see fit. With literally dozens of things to do at any given time, you'll never find yourself feeling bored or restless. But don't expect any puzzles to master or huge bosses to slay, 'cause you won't find 'em here. The point with Animal Crossing was to keep things simple and fun. "The gaming industry has a trend of creating really big action games that are too difficult for a lot of people," says AC producer Takashi Tezuka. "We wanted to make a game that was accessible to all players, even those who weren't hardcore gamers." Up to four people can participate in any one village (each person occupies one of the four available houses), so your friends and family can get in on the action as well. This is where the "communication" aspect of the game kicks in. You can even take things a step further by taking your memory card to a friend's place and having your character "visit" their village (no two villages are alike). There, you can meet new characters, trade items, or even nab some of the local rarities which aren't available back home. And since everything takes place in real time, if you play at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20, that's the time it'll be in the game as well. Day turns to night, seasons change, holiday events take place and so on. You'll want to check back often to see what's going on, else you might miss out on something big.

We could go on and on about all the cool and unique aspects of AC, but half the fun is finding them out for yourself. Needless to say, if you're up for something fresh and different, this is one GC game you won't want to miss.

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GameCube Screenshots

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