The Animal Crossing video game series is a series of communication simulation games, exclusively for Nintendo consoles. All games in the series are non-linear, in the sense that they have a somewhat set beginning, but no middle or end. The Player takes the role of a human in a village of animals. The series is non-violent, and rated 'E' for Everyone by the ESRB (3+ by PEGI). The player may take on tasks from villagers, pay off their mortgage, garden, fish, catch bugs, and more.
Objectives of the game
As an open-ended life simulation, the Animal Crossing series does not have a set objective - as such, after an introductory sequence at the beginning of the games, players are free to do as they like. The only "objective" in the game, if any, is to pay off the mortgage placed upon the player's house. But, like most things within the game, this is entirely optional, and does not incur any consequences other than having less space to store items. The Player will eventually become Mayor once they create their town and now being to cover the land with Public Works Projects, being the only two more objectives that have been added.
In every town in the Animal Crossing, the village itself is entirely composed of a population of animals (excluding the Player, who is the only human being in the whole series along with other Players). Villagers serve as interactable characters, who are assigned personalities and traits, and this affects the way they communicate with you and among themselves. Villagers are capable of speech (despite being animals), and live in their own domains within the villages. Villagers, in the later games, are also capable of playing games, such as hide and seek, and most often than not, they will usually ask you to perform tasks for them (which ranges from delivering presents to sending a message to another human player), which can incur a reward if executed in the set time. Villagers are also anthropomorphic, and as such, they are able to walk in a humanoid state, and can also wear clothes. Villagers move in and out regularly due to certain factors (eg. because you have exchanged animals with another village over Wi-Fi, or simply because they aren't satisfied with their current life). It is also said that they enjoy receiving letters, and if sent a gift, they will usually send one back.
Although the earlier games offered little or no service in terms of customization, more recent games feature the ability to not only customize your own clothes, but also wallpaper, flooring, and even paintings. It is also possible to decorate the ground in-game with your own patterns. The term 'customization' can also include the variety of items and furniture available to collect, allowing the user, in a sense, to "customize" their houses and themes.
Despite being an open-ended game, Animal Crossing does provide some activities to pass the time and help 'complete' certain aspects of the gameplay (such as completing the bug exhibit within the town museum). Some of these said activities include bug-catching, fossil-hunting, and even item-collecting (the latter an objective to complete the player's catalog). Players can also interact in games of hide-and-seek with villagers, participate in festivals and town events, and generally do as they like within the game.
|Boxart||English language titles||Original titles||System release||Release date(s)||Notes|
|Animal Forest||Dōbutsu no Mori||Nintendo 64||2001||The first game of the series.|
|Animal Forest +||Dōbutsu no Mori +||Nintendo GameCube||2001||A remake of the original.|
|Animal Crossing||N/A||Nintendo GameCube||2002|
|First released in English.|
|Animal Forest e+||Dōbutsu no Mori e+||Nintendo GameCube||2003||Enhanced version of Animal Crossing.|
|Animal Forest iQue||Dōbutsu no Mori iQue||Nintendo GameCube||2006||A Chinese-only port of Animal Forest + with glitch fixes. Only on iQue.|
|Animal Crossing: Wild World||N/A||Nintendo DS||2005|
|First released worldwide, first on a handheld, first game to let the player customize their hair.|
|First game to include the City and pro designs.|
|Animal Crossing: New Leaf (NA, EU)|
Animal Crossing: Jump Out (JP)
|Tobidase Dōbutsu no Mori||Nintendo 3DS||2012|
First game where the player is the Mayor, also a larger range of clothing. It's also the first game in the series where the player can swim.