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Classic of the Month: Animal Crossing – Let’s Go to the City (2008)

Wednesday, 4. March, 2020
Presented by Syntia Sitko

To pay off a constantly re-growing mountain of debt without a real job, in a small village surrounded by nosy, sometimes rather awkward neighbours doesn‘t sound exciting. What sounds like a bad joke at first though is one of the most beautiful games to me.

„Animal Crossing“ was released for Nintendo Gamecube in 2001 for the European market. It is based on “Dôbutsu no Mori“ (Animal Forest) for the N64 which was exclusively released in Japan. Various titles followed the first “Animal Crossing“, among them “Wild World“ (2005), “Let‘s Go to the City“ (2008), “New Leaf“ (2013) as well as some spin- offs. In March 2020 “Animal Crossing: New Horizons“ will be published for Nintendo Switch. The games are partly different, however the game principle always stays the same.
In the beginning you are dropped off into a small world or specifically village with your own character. Tom Nook, a bubbly but also see- mingly a little sleepy racoon dog, is already waiting for you and imme- diately palms you off a house. Henceforth you are to pay him back, of course without haste and at your own discretion. What happens next? Nobody really knows. The game doesn‘t have an extensive storyline that need‘s to be followed. There is no must in “Animal Crossing“.
And this is one of the reasons why this game is so incredibly charming.

My first game of the series was “Wild World“ which I was playing on Nintendo DS. Oddly I can‘t remember the day I got it even though it has been of great importance for me then and still is today. However, the fact that I was hooked from day one is indubitable because I was playing it unexceptionally on a daily basis for a long period of time.

There were always new things to discover: have a little chat with the villagers, do some unwinding fishing in the river, plant and water pretty flowers, visit Blather‘s Museum or simply take a stroll down the beach. Although “Animal Crossing“ happens in real-time and there‘s a day and night cycle as well as the seasons, I always managed to get absolutely lost in the game. It is peaceful, naive, comfortable, cute and entertaining at the same time and until today my sweet spot to take a break from the hectic world outside. This place was sacred to me as a child and was ready to be brought to any place.

Today, every time I pick it up or simply hear the sweet music that used to accompany me every day, I become tiny Synti again, who sits at the kitchen window in Poland at 7 o‘clock in the morning watching the fields shrouded in mist while playing
“Animal Crossing“.
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