When I heard we’d have a chance to test drive Animal Crossing: City Folk, I was excited. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Animal Crossing series and there are a lot of people who really enjoyed the previous titles. I had heard it was sort of like a simplified version of The Sims, which I was crazy about, so we sat down as a family and dove right in.
The basis of the game is you arrive in a town full of animal characters, make friends, and settle into daily life. Your first tasks are designed to familiarize yourself with how things work and to purchase your own home (complete with mortgage, of course). You get a part time job to help things along, but are quickly left to your own destiny. The game is completely open-ended and progresses in real time. When it is morning, it’s morning in the game. If you play at night it’s, wait for it… nighttime in the game! What’s also fun is the seasons in the game reflect those in real life as well, complete with changing leaves in fall and snow in winter.
Your daily activities are up to you, but they don’t vary all that much. They center largely around acquiring things you can sell for “bells”, which are the game’s currency, so that you can buy stuff. This stuff includes such things as outfits for your character and items for your home. Once you pay off that mortgage, you can add onto your home, making more room for more stuff. Not all that different than how we tend to live our own lives, huh?
There are several ways to acquire items that you can sell for money, I mean bells, in the game. You can fish, catch bugs, shake the dickens out of trees so they give up their fruit, or rip flowers out of your neighbors’ lawns under the cover of darkness, or in broad daylight (just because animals can talk doesn’t mean they’re smart). As for occupying your free time, you can talk to your animal friends, visit various attractions around town, or plant your own flowers, that you then have to water or they die. Special events occur once in a while and on real holidays which are always interesting. You can also dig for fossils, which for some reason feels more like digging up the remains of your animal neighbors’ victims, but maybe that’s just me.
But this game is called Animal Crossing: City Folk , so I was pumped to find I could just hop the bus to the city. Expecting a bustling metropolis of activity and excitement, I was sorely disappointed to find it’s just a town square with stores where you can (get this) buy more stuff! I realized then this game’s sole purpose appears to be promoting capitalism and materialism.
So as our character took the long ride home back to his lonely home, filled with material goods meant to fill some void in his virtual life, our son turns to me and says, “I’m bored”. So we searched for a more traditional form of entertainment with more wholesome values, dug through our stash of board games, and bust open Monopoly.
Suggested Retail Price: $49.99
Website for More Details: Amazon