Did you miss the Animal Crossing Mobile Direct tonight? No worries – we’ve got you covered.
The roughly 15-minute presentation was dedicated to the fourth mobile Nintendo title created in partnership with DeNA, a Shibuya-based e-commerce and mobile services conglomerate. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is preceded by Miitomo, Super Mario Run, and Fire Emblem Heroes.
There’s a lot to take in here, so let’s start with the highlights. Pocket Camp seems to take inspiration most closely from New Leaf, but instead of acting as Mayor of your Village, you’re managing a Campsite. Gameplay elements will be super familiar to anyone who’s played an Animal Crossing title before. You’ll run errands for villagers, fish, catch bugs, and more with the eventual goal of furnishing and building up your site.
Obtaining fish, bugs, and other mainstay collectibles will occur in a few distinct locations. In Breezy Hollow, you can harvest a variety of fruits from trees. In Sunburst Island, the main attraction is bug-catching. Saltwater Shores features coral pick-ups and fishing. It appears that you’ll have better luck in your collect-a-thons if you have special items, like the Throw Net, which can be found in the wild or bought with the use of Leaf Tickets (more on those later). There also seems to be a timer on several fruit trees, meaning that you may have to wait a few hours before another harvest.
The main way to obtain furniture and decorations for your campsite is through collecting crafting materials. These can be gained through running favors for animals you meet as you explore, another mainstay of the franchise. Once you have crafting materials, you can call the blue poodle Cyrus on your in-game cell phone, who (after a period of time) will craft the furniture for you.
Cyrus can also craft Amenities, which can be likened to Public Works Projects in New Leaf. They’re major pieces, like swimming pools, that can take days in real-time to build.
There’s also a dedicated Marketplace, which includes Nookling Global (selling premium furniture items that can’t be crafted), Able Sisters To-Go (clothing and accessories), and Kicks (shoes). The stock will rotate just like in the console versions of Animal Crossing. Animal Crossing afficianos will probably recognize most of the furniture featured in the video as common pieces in New Leaf, like the stripe series.
Players can also fully customize the exterior and interior of their camper, which they used to travel between locations. (Of course, you’ll need to take out a loan to pay for all of those fancy upgrades.) They can also choose their skin, hair, and eye color, something sorely lacking in the console versions.
There’s other neat little things that sell the game as a fully-fledged Animal Crossing title: it features 3D graphics and a real-time day/night and seasonal cycle. Nintendo promises that seasonal events will occur throughout the year, with players having the opportunity to gain special items and outfits. In the video, they showed off some hints of the Christmas special event, with all the appropriate aplomb.
So far, it seems pretty close to the console iterations. But lest you forget it’s a mobile title, there are two major things to mention: social play and Leaf Tickets.
You’ll sometimes see visiting Campsite Managers as you explore the world of Pocket Camp, though it’s unclear if these are just illusory, static avatars or if the game will allow you to encounter strange players in the wilderness. One certainty is that you can share your unique player ID with friends, who will then be able to visit your Campsite. You can visit their Campsites, too, and leave them Kudos if you think they were particularly interesting or inspiring.
Leaf Tickets are a form of currency (separate from Bells) that can be purchased with real money or obtained through gameplay. Leaf Tickets can be used to craft furniture you don’t have the materials for, to speed up Cyrus’ crafting, or to purchase premium items like the Throw Net.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is set to release in late November 2017.