For the last month or so, playing Animal Crossing: Wild World on my Nintendo DS has been a daily activity for me.
I’d heard all about its precedessor on the GameCube, and was suitably intrigued. Basically you live a fairly mundane life, in a small village, surrounded by eccentric animals, who are deeply obsessed with fishing, insects, fossils, and furniture.
That sounds like a terrible idea for a game, but that’s rather missing the point. Animal Crossing is a strange parallel life rather than a game. You play it because surprise and delight are always just around the next corner. Perhaps the best way to illustrate my point is a few examples:
- The sky takes up the top screen of the DS. You can see clouds glide past and the constellations at night. A few weeks into the game, you suddenly see a meteor. Blink and you miss it. It’s such a surprise that I half wondered if I had really seen it
- On New Year’s Eve, a large clock appears in front of the town hall counting down till New Year. If you have your DS on at midnight, you get to join in the celebrations and watch a fireworks display. The next morning everyone you see wishes you Happy New Year
- Animals arrange parties for inconvenient times, and are offended if you don’t turn up. Even more worrying is the fact that you start to feel a little guilty about this
Those are just three examples of the hundreds of clever devices this game uses. If the above description intrigues you even slightly, you should seriously consider buying this game.