Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Review (iOS)
A friend of mine told me that Kylie needed to check out this new mobile game. So we gave it a shot.
Now, here’s our review: (from a 4 year old and Parent perspective)
What’s the game about?
Well, if you’ve ever played the other Animal Crossing games, this game is pretty similar to that. The basic premise is that you are human surrounded by talking animals, just like the other Animal Crossing games. The difference this time is that you don’t have a “house”, you have a “campground”.
The play structure of the previous games lends itself pretty well to the mobile stage, as these “quests” are usually able to be completed in bite-size chunks. These little quests are pretty light-hearted and simple, like collecting fish or fruit for someone at the camp site. Over time you build and customize your camp site. You can also invite people to join your camp. Every little gaming session rewards the user with at least some progress to their ultimate goal of building the best campsite possible.
The gameplay is simple and intuitive. To walk, just tap on the ground or make a gesture on the screen for your avatar to follow. To catch a fish, tap near the fish to cast your line, tap again when it tells you to in order to hook the fish. Profit. Click to build your couch, click on the area to place it. Easy. Everything works pretty well.
Like I said before, every little quest seems like a small victory with its own little reward as you progress. This is one of the things this game gets very right I think. You’re always moving forward doing quests for one reason or another moving toward your ultimate goal of the best campsite ever. However, I’m not sure how long this it continues like this, as I’ve not reached the end game.
Unfortunately, for some reason there are long pauses as you move between different areas. This is a problem in a mobile game when you just want to play for a few minutes at a time. Sometimes you feel like the majority of your play session was just moving around… which isn’t fun. It really breaks up the gameplay and I could tell Kylie got bored of waiting as we moved between areas.
Of course these exist. It seems every game nowdays has to work micro-transactions into it somehow. However, as long as people continue to buy it, they will continue to exist.
The microtransactions are the usual suspects. Speeding up building, etc. However, in our short play time, we haven’t had to buy anything.
However, I have heard that there are some areas where this can be annoying, such as mining. This requires using premium currency or bugging your friends for help. This is reminiscent of the Farmville days on Facebook where you would spam people. It worked back then, because people didn’t know any better. However, now it’s simply too annoying to exist anymore.
One of the most beloved aspects of the Animal Crossing series is the ability so send gifts or notes to other players. However, this doesn’t exist for some reason, and I really don’t understand why. In fact, the whole social side of the game is pretty weak. While you can see the campsites of your friends and exchange some items, that’s kind of where the social interaction ends.
I hope that this aspect of the game will be improved upon in future versions, otherwise the shelf life of this game won’t be very long.
“What do you think?”
“This game is cute. I like fishing, it’s easy.”
“What else do you like?”
“I can make my campsite cute.”
“What do you not like?”
(I discussed this above. It does feel like the game needs a little time to load every time to change areas, and I don’t really understand why)
Make no mistake, this game isn’t really “educational”. However, it is fun and child friendly. It may also have a side effect of your child wanting to learn how to read or improve their reading level to play more of the game.
This game is probably too difficult for a 4 year old to play by themselves. However, I can see it keeping Kylie’s attention for long periods of time if she was sitting with me somewhere and I could read the captions to her. For example, it would help keep her occupied when we’re sitting in an airport or waiting to be seated for dinner out or something.
Also, from what I can tell while microtransactions are definitely present, they don’t feel particularly restrictive to progress, at least not yet. There always seems to be something else to do.
It’s a well made game and there are good bones here.
However, it needs a little more optimizing with updates to increase social interaction between other players to really demonstrate its true value, if it wants to stick around.
See ya next time! – vietaliana