The announcement we’ve all been waiting for is finally here: Nintendo’s beloved Animal Crossing franchise is coming to mobile devices in the form of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and it’s coming sooner than we thought.

Announced just a few days ago in an Animal Crossing Mobile Direct on October 25thPocket Camp is due for release in ‘Late November’ 2017, and is promised to emulate the traditional Animal Crossing experience on smart devices everywhere. It will be a free game available on both iOS and Android, with microtransaction elements available in the in-game store, though the use of real money is looking to be unnecessary if you dedicate enough time and patience to the game.

The premise of the game is this: you move onto a campsite and take on the role of campsite manager, being responsible for the design, management and success of your campsite. You can customise your own trailer (both its interior and exterior!), build furniture and amenities with the help of Cyrus for your campers to enjoy from the materials you collect, and are ultimately responsible for fulfilling your animal friends’ requests, raising your friendship levels with them, drawing them to your camp and creating a fun and exciting environment for everyone to play in.

Whilst camp management is at the heart of the game, don’t let that put you off: many of your favourite activities are also included! You can go bug-hunting, fishing, mining or travelling, and even hang out with K. K. Slider and listen to his tunes or hang out on your campsite with all your favourite villagers, so don’t be discouraged! There is plenty for you to do and take part in in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

Image: Animal Crossing Mobile Direct 25/10/17 (Nintendo UK)

As campsite manager, you have the option to craft a huge variety of different pieces of furniture and amenities. The crafting materials in the game (such as wood, fruit and cotton) can be acquired in various different ways. You can check out local recreation spots such as Breezy Hollow and Sunburst Island, help out your animal friends in need to gain materials as rewards, or else be awarded them for your everyday gameplay efforts; or, if you’re struggling, you can use the in-game Leaf Tickets to exchange for the materials you need.

Leaf Tickets are awarded for just playing the game and taking part in activities, such as through levelling up your character and completing daily and long-term quests (which can also reward you with Bells and other bonus items, too!). They can also be used for more than just effort and time-saving; you can use them to acquire throw nets for fishing, honey for bug catching, or even as payment to enter Shovelstrike Quarry to mine for rare minerals and gems.

Additional Leaf Tickets can be purchased with real money if you’re willing to give your sou- I mean, your cash- to everyone’s favourite business raccoon, Tom Nook; he looks way too happy to be taking our real, hard-earned money, but I suppose anything is better than giving out Bells for bugs and junk like shells…!

Image: Animal Crossing Mobile Direct 25/10/17 (Nintendo UK)

Amenities are some of the more significant construction projects that will appear in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Think New Leaf‘s Public Works Projects, but even more powerful and taking even longer to build (I’m talking days, maybe weeks, depending on Cyrus’ schedule – though I’ve heard you can bribe him with Leaf Tickets to work faster, both on amenities and furniture…!). Amenities are features which can not only form a centrepiece for your camp, but also provide you with beneficial gameplay effects.

A pool set, for example, can increase the maximum friendship level of ‘sporty’ animals to 20, and will increase the friendship levels of the animals who attend the pool’s unveiling party by five. These kinds of changes could be monumental in securing your favourite animals’ custom at your camp and making them keep coming back again and again!

Image: Animal Crossing Mobile Direct 25/10/17 (Nintendo UK)

If you build an animal’s favourite kind of furniture or an amenity that they love, they will be much more likely to visit your campsite and hang out with you. Plus, if your friendship level is high enough, they’ll come back regularly and become a regular camper – so it’s worth making friends and doing your best to help out, as the rewards speak for themselves.

Goldie, for instance, is a huge fan of the Ranch Couch. You can craft one with just a few pieces of cotton, so if Goldie is an animal whom you’d love to see at your campsite, the best thing to do is to collect the materials you need and get Cyrus to craft one for you. Place it at your campsite, wait, and Goldie will no doubt appear to check your campsite out!

Image: Animal Crossing Mobile Direct 25/10/17 (Nintendo UK)

Many aspects of the game run on a timer, so like standard mobile games, you’ll have to wait for resources to replenish before you can acquire them again, or to be able to use certain services or perform certain actions. Veteran Animal Crossing players shouldn’t have too much of an issue with this, given the time-based nature of the entire franchise, but it’s still worth noting – and it’s also worth noting how real-time will affect the scenery in-game, such as light/darkness levels according to the time of day, and, presumably, seasonal weather. Plus, the animals who visit might change according to the time of day, too!

Some visible examples from the Mobile Direct footage include the following: the fruit trees at Breezy Hollow (they take three hours to grow new fruits, and only have a certain quantity of fruits to give at any one time, just like in the normal Animal Crossing titles); the amount of time it takes to craft a piece of furniture (one minute for the Swinging Bench, for instance); the presence of certain villagers at visitation spots (Rosie was set to move on from Saltwater Shores after two hours and 42 minutes); and also in-game events and the in-game shop, which run on rotation or only last for certain periods of time.

Image: Animal Crossing Mobile Direct 25/10/17 (Nintendo UK)

The game’s features stretch much further than just the basic gameplay, however. For a start, there is the in-game shop based in Market Place, which allows you to buy unique furniture and clothing items from familiar faces such as Timmy and Tommy Nook, the Able Sisters and Kicks, sell unwanted items and buy ones you do want, and also customise your trailer and make the place your own. Your inventory then becomes available at all times, and you can quickly customise your look and the appearance of your camp and trailer in just a few taps.

Speaking of customising your trailer, both the interior and exterior is customisable, with the exterior being refashioned by the new expert designers on the scene: OK Motors. This trio of birds, named Giovanni, Beppe and Carlo, can offer you the freshest designs around in exchange for a reasonable sum of Bells. Don’t worry, though, much like with Tom Nook’s house expansion bills in the main franchise games, you can secure a loan, so you don’t have to pay all of the money at once if you don’t want to. Just keep shaking those trees and flogging those bugs and fish, and you’ll have enough Bells to pay off your debt in no time.

Plus, in the vein of customisation, one of the most striking features of this game that stood out from the outset of the Mobile Direct (at least in my opinion!) was the ability to fully customise your character from the very beginning. You can choose your hairstyle and colour, skin colour, and even your eye colour from the get-go, and don’t have to pay your way to the look that suits you. This makes the game incredibly fun and heavily customisable, and makes it personal to you, too.

Image: Animal Crossing Mobile Direct 25/10/17 (Nintendo UK)

Finally, perhaps one of the most vital features of Animal Crossing has always been its multiplayer aspect – and in Pocket Camp, it appears in true fashion. You can find both your fellow campsite managers hanging out in your in-game world sometimes, and also your friends that you have personally traded player IDs with, and through these visitors you can buy and sell items such as fish, fruit and bugs, visit their campsites and have them visit yours, and also give ‘kudos’ if you like their work and think it looks spectacular.

Visiting a player’s campsite can open you up to new design ideas, can allow you to speak to new animals that you might not have encountered before, and also spy on what amazing furniture items and utilities you might be able to craft in future that you haven’t encountered yet. Don’t be afraid to be nosy – you might just find something that you love!

So, don’t be afraid to make some new friends and explore all of the multiplayer options that Pocket Camp has to offer! You might find something surprising, and even acquire those elusive items that you’ve been looking for for a long time. Plus, someone might buy the junk you’ve been trying to get rid of for ages for a stoking-hot price, so it’s always worth trying your luck with your Market Box.

Image: Animal Crossing Mobile Direct 25/10/17 (Nintendo UK)

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp therefore looks to be a natural time-sink and a game to look out for on mobile and smart devices in the coming months. It appears to capture the true Animal Crossing spirit and has something for everyone to enjoy. Will you be downloading it upon release? Will you dare to give Tom Nook your real, hard-earned money? Let us know down in the comments, and stay tuned here at Quillstreak for all the latest Animal Crossing news.

Georgina Howlett
20-year-old aspiring author and journalist, regularly found fleeing into the night in search of Pokémon. Soon starting my third year of an English Literature degree at Newcastle University. If I'm not writing I'm yelling at useless people on Overwatch and Splatoon 2. Nintendo Switch ID: 0203-3480-8054
http://www.twitter.com/howlettwrites

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