Basic Game Info
|Moving to a new town, looking for a better life...that's pretty much all that Animal Crossing is about. You create a character during the train ride over, talking to a very friendly little critter, and once you arrive (in the town you named on the way over), you begin your life in this real-time simulation game that anticipates Farmville and the Sims more than traditional console games.
But what is your life in Animal Crossing? Well, it consists of such things as running errands for folks, collecting fossils, building up your furniture and clothing collection, designing clothes and hats, gardening and landscaping, visiting with various people, collecting shells from the beach, harvesting fruit, shaking trees for money and items, banging on rocks with shovels to find the one rock that hides tons of money...you name it, it's probably in Animal Crossing! (You can even visit other people's towns using their Memory Cards.)
Animal Crossing is both a great escape from real life and a way to live an ideal life...its strategy does not lie in how quickly you complete the game, but how completely you play the game!
- Tom Nook (storekeeper and realtor)
- Officers Copper and Booker (daily town goings-on, lost and found)
- Pelly, Phyllis, and Pete (post office staff)
- Blathers (museum curator)
- Joan (turnip seller)
- Mr. Resetti (appears only when you reset the game without saving)
- K.K. Slider (musician and source of all your songs)
- Gracie (fashion maven who gifts you special shirts)
- Saharah (carpet seller who gifts you special carpets for helping her)
- Redd ("black market"-style seller who sells rare items at a high cost)
- Wendell (wallpaper seller who gifts you special wallpaper in return for fish)
- Katrina (fortune teller)
Why I Like the Game So Much
I've enjoyed Animal Crossing many times over for several reasons:
- It's a real-time simulation game in which you keep up not only with your own character, but with the town in which your character lives--part Sims, part Farmville, in essence (except there's nothing to harvest or plant)
- It teaches a few life skills along the way, such as paying down a house's debt and saving your money for things you really want versus impulse purchases
- There's not a rigid "level-up" scale in the game (thankfully); as you go along in the game, making money in various ways, you pay off the house Tom Nook the shopkeeper provides for you, and when you've paid off the first loan, you can choose to make your house bigger, and bigger, and bigger yet.
- You can interact meaningfully with all the little animal characters in the game
- It's more free-form and life-based--the goals are simply to be completed, rather than having to be completed a certain way in a certain time frame
- There are plenty of fun little Easter eggs to find within the game; you can proceed quite at your own pace, and develop your house and your town as you choose
- Emphasis on the rhythms and humor of daily life (like Saturday evening jam sessions with K.K. Slider, or running funny errands for townsfolk)
Personal Tips and Tricks
- There are many, MANY ways to make money in this game. You can collect shells along the beach, shake trees (for money and items), harvest and sell fruit, run errands for neighbors, sell white turnips, hit rocks with your shovel and come across a hidden treasure trove, fish and sell your catch, grow flowers and red turnips, catch bugs and sell them, and even dumpster-dive for items to sell back to Tom Nook. He's pretty much THE way you make money in this game.
- You can become a member of the HRA (Happy Room Academy) to get prizes for how well you've designed your house. But this is not absolutely necessary, especially if you want to design your place the way YOU want. Animal Crossing is cool like that!
- Make sure you buy a shovel, a fishing pole, and a net as soon as you can after starting the game. These are key to your ability to making money and collecting items. You can catch bugs with the net, catch fish with the pole, and dig up fossils, find money, and plant things with your shovel.
- Really make it a point to ask neighbors whether they need favors done. If you do favors for neighbors in a timely fashion, you will be rewarded, either with money or with an item you can either keep or sell. You wouldn't believe how much cool stuff you can rack up just by doing this.