Of all their Nintendo 3DS projects, Marvelous Entertainment have two games that they’ve announced publicly. The first is a new Harvest Moon, on which no information is presently available, other than that it’s in the works. The other is Animal Resort.
Conceptually, Animal Resort is somewhat similar to Harvest Moon. You inherit a zoo from your grandfather and must restore it to its former glory. At first, you only have access to a lone elephant, but as you get further into the game, you can adopt lions, giraffes, camels and more. Animal Resort contains more than 100 animals.
Success in Animal Resort seems to be measured by how well you can take care of and communicate with your animals. You do this in an almost Tamagotchi-like fashion by feeding them, snapping pictures with an ingame camera and so on.
If you keep them happy and train them well, visitors to your zoo will be able to elicit a response from them in the form of special tricks. The touchscreen on the 3DS displays how your visitors feel about your exhibits. Screenshots indicate reactions ranging from an indifferent “I’m hungry” to an enthusiastic “That’s so cool!” or your typical “Cuuuuuuute!”
The touchscreen is also how you interact with the game. Options on the touchscreen such as “Animal Bender” (some sort of training minigame?) and “Mail Box” haven’t been detailed yet, but they’re presumably part of Animal Resort’s management aspect. There’s also a “Diary” function, which, we assume, lets you keep track of your progress.
Other icons on the touchscreen indicate that the 3DS’s motion-sensor and gyroscope are put to good use as well. In Animal Resort, you move the 3DS around in order to control the camera with which you take pictures of the animals.
One last point of interest. Animal Resort is being published Marvelous, but Famitsu list AQ Interactive as a developer on the game as well. AQ own localization publisher, Xseed. Earlier in the year, they absorbed three of their subsidiaries — Artoon (Flingsmash), Cavia (Nier) and Feelplus (Lost Odyssey) — so a team whose work you’re familiar with could very well be working on Animal Resort.
No release date has been announced for Animal Resort yet, but it’s sometime in Spring 2011, which means it’s a launch title or close to the 3DS launch. You can check out more screenshots at the Famitsu link above.