Time to pack up and drive off for some outdoorsy fun, because Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has finally been revealed! The long teased (and long craved) Animal Crossing mobile title received its own dedicated Direct, giving a full overview of what the game will bring to players all day, every day.
You won’t be moving into a town this time around, which means there’s no mayoring in sight. Instead, you’ll be managing a campground and living out of a van. Sure, that may sound like a downgrade, but the possibilities here are great. The core of the game is in developing your camp site to attract Villagers. Doing that’ll involve more than just Bells, though, as you’ll be tasked with crafting furniture via gathered materials.
Your camp site isn’t the best place to get those things though. You’ll be able to drive off in your camper to various locations where you might be a little more fortunate. Villagers will be hanging out there as well, with requests for players to fulfill. Once you do, by running tasks like delivering a fruit or insect they’re after, you’ll get both Bells and materials. These materials can be things like cotton or wood, which you’ll then bring to Cyrus who accepts your orders for furniture. These will be built in real time, similar to how days have to pass in a more traditional Animal Crossing.
Want something built but don’t have the materials or time to spare? Enter: Leaf Tickets. These can be used as a substitute for any missing materials or to speed up the building process. You’ll earn them for completing various tasks or just playing the game normally — and this is also where the game’s microtransactions come in. Leaf Tickets can be bought with real money and will definitely make things quicker and easier… but they sound unnecessary. As a daily Fire Emblem Heroes player, the amount of free Orbs (that game’s premium currency) I’ve received has been pretty dang good, so hopefully Nintendo keeps that as a standard here.
Once you’ve placed some furniture, you can chat with the Villagers you meet and see if they want to visit your site. They all have unique tastes and preferences, and how well you do with enticing them will show in a Friendship meter. Completionists and collectors, beware! That said, the idea of seeking out my favorite Villagers sounds like a lot of fun, and will encourage players like me to visit resource spots even when they’re not after anything in particular. After all, you never know who you’ll meet.
It may sound like materials are the name of the game, but don’t worry: Bells are still plenty important. It looks like Cyrus will require a fee for his services, but some other familiar faces will be around to empty your pockets as well. The likes of Timmy and Tommy, the Able Sisters and Kicks will offer their usual wares at a mobile marketplace with changing lineups of goods to check out and buy.
There’s a few new, helpful characters to meet as well. Since you’re living out of a camper, it’s going to take some mechanics to develop and expand your ride. OK Motors is the place to go, with three feathered friends on hand to improve your mobile home. Giovanni, Beppe and Carlo’s upgrades won’t be free though, working similarly to Tom Nook’s home expansions in previous games. Speaking of which, you can still decorate your mobile home as if it were situated in one spot, placing furniture inside and customizing the outside to your liking.
If you loved public works projects, it looks like Pocket Camp has something for you too. Via Cyrus you can request and fund bigger, more ambitious projects. This can add things like pools or playground equipment to your campsite to both personalize it and really please those Villagers. These will cost materials and Bells as well, and will generally take much longer to complete (a pool needing 72 real time hours, for example). The payoff should be worth it though, as these are how you can really make the place one-of-a-kind.
Once you feel you’re ready to really show it off, you can even share and invite your real friends to your in-game camp. By sharing a code (or likely via My Nintendo) you’ll be able to both visit and host other players via the internet. That means you’ll be able to spot their styles, maybe purchase some of their own goods and materials and become that much closer. Players will be just as customized as everything else.
It’s a lot to take in at once, but the game feels fairly light and breezy while also giving you plenty to focus on at a time. I’m extra excited to connect with my friends and start comparing camps, all while chasing down my favorite Villagers. Seasonal events and holidays will make a return, with all the special furniture to show for it, ensuring you’ll have reasons to play every day, all year ’round. I don’t see myself putting Fire Emblem Heroes down, but it’s going to have some definite competition once I move into Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp this November.
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