Animal Crossing during the Pandemic

The month and a half of quarantine has been rough, but I’ve been trying to keep busy by talking walks, starting puzzles and even re learning pilates.  Of course, I’ve continued to be an occasional gamer and lately, everyone’s got the Animal Crossing franchise on their mind given the latest release, Animal Crossing: New Horizons.  As I can’t afford an Nintendo Switch at this time, I’ve decided to go the Iphone game route to revisit Animal Crossing:Pocket camp. It’s a  premise where your character has a campground and needs to construct furniture that will appeal to various visitors. These visitors have different preferences for certain aesthetics such as “sporty” or “cool” that use up various amounts of wood, thread, or other materials to make. There’s also various challenges where the player can win materials, items, or tickets than can be spent on clothing, material, and fortune cookies that have prizes inside. The main currency used in this world is called “bells” but  players can also gain material by leveling up . This is done by giving the various animal characters  their requests for fish, fruit or insects that can be found in various areas. It’s essentially a game about navigating a very complex sort of barter system within a rural community.

Despite the sound of it,  it’s quite fun to encounter various different cartoon animals and give them gifts at a time where social distancing is the norm. It’s also fun to walk around the island, looking at what other friends (other real life players) are wearing or seeing what they have to sell. The bright colors and tropical designs are a good distraction from our stubborn  wishy washy Midwestern Spring weather.  Sure, it’s not a substitute for a nice day at the farmer’s market or even a zoom call with long distance friends, but it’s a thing that can keep you busy for an hour or two.



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