Animal Crossing Pocket Camp – Nintendo’s latest foray into the mobile market – went live this morning.
In a pleasant surprise for fans of the worlds fluffiest community simulator, the game released early despite its previously announced November 22 launch date. Until today, Pocket Camp was only available to Australian players, after a soft-launch into their market following it’s October 25th announcement.
With over 1.3 million copies sold in the United States alone, Animal Crossing New Leaf cemented the cute and cuddly series as a Nintendo mainstay. Animal Crossing Pocket Camp continues the tradition of collecting neighbors, hoarding items, and customizing living spaces, all for free and within the confines of your smart device.
Animal Crossing Pocket Camp thoroughly captures the look and feel of it’s full-game predecessors, with a heavy emphasis on customizing your own gameplay experience and sharing the results with other players. In lieu of a full town to manage, players are given a small campsite in which they can collect, craft, and organize furniture.
Players also start off with an RV camper – a fitting addition for the game’s new mobile spin – through which they can visit other players campsites and explore the in-game world. Much like the house decorating mechanics from New Leaf, the camper is your home-away-from-home, a space to curate your favorite crafts and finds. The customizable nature of everything in Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, from your character to your campsite, makes it arguably the closest thing we’ve seen to a full-blown Nintendo title released on mobile devices yet.
While free-to-play, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp does utilize in-game microtransactions through Leaf Tickets, which are used to generally hasten the time it takes to craft objects. Luckily, it seems the game is somewhat generous in regards to collecting everything you need to progress at a normal pace, if you’re patient.
Considering the runaway success of Fire Emblem Heroes orb system – estimated to net the game’s developers nearly $100,000 every single day – it’s easy to see how a mobile Animal Crossing installment might serve as a similarly lucrative prospect for Nintendo. As of now, it is possible to purchase Leaf Tickets with real money, though accruing in-game currency through menial tasks like helping your animal friends catch bugs is fairly easy. Befriending and interacting with other players will also net you Leaf Tickets, as well as the items needed to craft furniture. As of launch, 20 Leaf Tickets will run players $0.99, with the larger offers (1200 Leaf Tickets) costing as much as $39.99.
Just one early observation I’ve made, a warning to any future campers: the game does chew through a phone battery like Isabelle chews through shoes. But really, who’s gonna stop her?