On our very conveniently timed podcast this week, we at least mentioned the upcoming Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem games. Nintendo had teased them a while back, between the releases of Miitomo and Pokemon Go. Miitomo was fun for a while and Pokemon Go was something we discussed in-depth. I’d gone so far as to claim that AR is a more viable interest than VR. And now, I want to elaborate on that. At least, I want to elaborate on Animal Crossing Mobile.
As someone who’s played Animal Crossing: New Leaf for a few hundred hours, you can take a guess as to how excited I am for Amiibo cards to be functional in a now three-year-old game. I may not have sounded so excited on the podcast, but I really am. Genuinely, I’m looking forward to it. And think, finally you can (in theory) customize your town’s villagers.
Playing Animal Crossing, and such a good installment in the series at that, on the 3DS is a bit cumbersome. Don’t get me wrong, I gladly will and have toted around my 3DS just to play New Leaf. What I dislike is, first of all, being almost unable to connect to any other players ingame while on the go. Public wifi hotspots don’t even work with the 3DS because most often they require going through a sign-in page. While it’s possible to get it to work, it’s almost a moot point.
And then there’s friend codes. While greatly improved over what the Wii had, it’s still a long series of characters you have to type into your 3DS through the dedicated Friends tab. I’ll give Nintendo this, though: the fact that we’re able to add nearby friends is great.
So right off the bat, I’d love to see more of a connected community than we had in New Leaf. Sure, there was a Streetpass feature that populated a little plaza just north of Main Street. Maybe instead we’d be able to add our friends’ houses into our town. That way, though villagers are a really big part of Animal Crossing, there’s a sense of being able to interact with others ingame.
And now, I present to you what I really want to see in Nintendo’s mobile Animal Crossing game.
First of all, fully editable town building and public works project placements, more space for patterns, and more options for customizing clothes. Give us the option to design pants! Paths! Dedicated design spaces for wallpapers, clothes, and outdoor patterns, or at least more storage slots to put them all in. Second, a nice blend of villagers and “real people” in our own towns. In New Leaf, the only way to have other players in town was to share 3DS systems. Give us an option to move into someone else’s town. Maybe you like the look of it or maybe you’ve got a couple siblings that wanna share yours. Each player gets their own house and inventory, they just share a hometown. In addition, give us more options for decorating our homes, too. Happy Home Designer was a great start! Being able to place things on the ceiling was great.
Maybe instead of having a “Main Street” in game, it would correspond to real-world points of interest. Similar to Pokestops, but… more abundant.
I think the final thing I really want to see is people unabashedly loving Animal Crossing. Pokemon Go was a good starting point for that because it was on something everyone’s got in common: a smartphone. Even now, in my months-in-advance hype for something we don’t even have details for, I’m excited to show Animal Crossing off to other people.
And I think that no matter what direction Nintendo chooses to go in with AC Mobile, it’ll live up to that sense of friendship and joy that Animal Crossing so elegantly conveys. After all, Animal Crossing is a game people play that helps them calm down and cheer up. The fact that it’s coming to mobile phones at some point kinda makes my world a little bit brighter.
All images are my own in-game screenshots from Animal Crossing: New Leaf.