The console and handheld Animal Crossing games are rather leisurely affairs. You settle into a town at your own pace. People move in and ask you for favors, to play games or spend time with them. You can gradually decorate a home and neighborhood to your liking. There are festivals to celebrate. It is rather low key. However, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp started out as more demanding. Animals always want something and won’t come stay at your campground unless you fulfilled their material needs. Fortunately, some minor changes are making things feel a little more familiar.
One alteration is the way in which you interact with characters at the campground. When Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp first launched, ones actually visiting you could still be rather demanding. More often than not, they would be requesting certain items in exchange for a reward. More recently, the critters are more likely to freely offer a gift or engage in a friendship-boosting conversation instead. When you arrive at your campground, the game tells you which residents would like to talk and give you presents or bells. I feel like this change makes it seem like the people who are staying at your site are more friendly with you. There isn’t that constant demand for items that you see from animals in the wild.
The regular addition of new villagers us another boon. While not everyone may be there yet, some might have reached the point where there isn’t this perpetual need to please everyone because there are so few options out there. Since launch, Ava, Avery, Boots, Drake, Goose, June, Marshal, Mitzi, Sprinkle, Static and Vesta have been added to Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. There are 55 characters total, and we’ve seen the Rustic theme added. As the options increase, we get the luxury to be more picky and only spend time with the people we really like. It’s welcoming.
The inclusion of gardening is another activity that encourages patience. Every campground received a small garden in a recent Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp update. Part of this is to provide another method of crafting items for all those folks who like to stuff their spaces with pretty items. Which is absolutely appreciated, because having more customization options is lovely. But it also provides an opportunity to be patient and thoughtful, just as we would in a normal Animal Crossing game.
We start with only two varieties of flowers, pansies and tulips. We can only buy two colors of each. The rest need to be cross-bred. This means trial and error. You have to constantly experiment with the plants you have, gradually working toward the rarest blooms. For example, combining the red and orange tulips gives you the yellow tulips. Which you can then use to get the white, pink, and black tulips. Once you have the pink tulips, you can get purple. Finally, purple can be mixed with other colors to get blue. There’s a progression that feels rewarding and soothing, as there is no real pressure to get these special varieties unless you really want to grow your own little meadow.
There are still plenty of ways in which Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp feels like it is attempting to suck up all your time and force you to capitulate to the hoards of visiting creatures. Quite a bit can involve going through tasks people may consider tedious in the name of satisfying needs and earning crafting materials necessary to dig even deeper into this time-stealing put. But the population increase, improvements in regards to critters at your campground and the garden are steps in the right direction. While it may never feel like true Animal Crossing, the little things may make it a bit more pleasant.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is available for Android and Apple iOS devices.