Nintendo’s “Animal Crossing” App Sets up Camp


Children, teens, and adults are all susceptible to the new mobile craze that is sweeping the globe: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. The game is adapted from its predecessors, following a similar story line: the player is immersed in a community of animals, which they can befriend. The player invests time and money into running errands and preparing their home to welcome the animals as guests.

Following the short-lived success from Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes, Nintendo released its third mobile game play app on Nov. 22. The app is a “freemium” game, so players can download the app and play the game without spending, but the tasks they are required to perform are facilitated when they spend real money on “Leaf Tickets.” This special currency can be used to buy items that will help the user make money, known as “Bells,” or speed up the delivery of an in-game purchase.


Since its first release for the Nintendo 64 in 2001, the Animal Crossing series has spread from Japan to the rest of the world, growing alongside four Nintendo consoles: the Nintendo 64, DS, Wii, and 3DS.  This success manifested itself in other forms including spin-off games, an anime film adaptation, and features elsewhere in the Nintendo universe.

The Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp app is different from the other games. Instead of owning a house in a town, the user owns a trailer on a campsite. To befriend animals and invite them to the campsite, players must complete small quests by bringing the animals specific items such as variations of insects and fruits. Fulfilling these requests levels up a friendship, but bringing an animal to the campsite could not be that easy: players also have to spend their hard-earned money on crafting special furniture items for the animals to interact with.

During its first week on the App Store, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp ranked #1 in free iPhone apps of all categories. According to SensorTower, the app was downloaded 15 million times during this period, but both rankings and downloads have fallen since then. SensorTower also estimates the revenue earned by the app at $5 million, a number that seems impressive, but is likely short of Nintendo’s goal. Forbes states that even though Nintendo only owns a share of Pokemon Go, it has earned the company over $150 million in profit.

“I had Animal Crossing on my DS and Wii, and although the app isn’t as much fun as the real deal, it is exactly what the app version should be,” said Kim Minier, a student at the university, “It is a free app and the original games weren’t free, so I believe that the gameplay for the app is more than enough for the price that it is… The good thing about the app is that you don’t need to purchase anything to level up, it’ll just help you level up faster.”

It is too soon to tell if the app will ever meet up to Nintendo’s standards, but for now, it appears to be satisfying fans of the original series. Learn more about the Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp app, try it out, and leave your thoughts in the comments below.