A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
ANIMAL CROSSING: POCKET CAMP is a mobile simulation game set in the colorful world of Animal Crossing. In it, players create personal avatars and set up their own camps in various themed styles: cool, cute, sporty, or natural. Camps can be fancied up with amenities (tents, picnic tables, tree swings) and custom-crafted furniture ordered with Leaf Tickets, a currency earned by performing favors for Pocket Camp's sentient animal residents. Much like other Animal Crossing games, the focus is on collecting resources in order to build and customize your individual home base. A new "friend" mechanic allows you to raise your player level by befriending animals and leveling up those friendships. Players can also befriend other players, either by "friending" them upon meeting their avatar in-game, or by inviting them via username or Nintendo ID.
Is it any good?
While it's generally entertaining, like so many free-to-play mobile apps, this one builds in annoying limitations (in this case, timers) that prevent you from playing as long as you'd like. Still, while fans of the original Animal Crossing could be disappointed in the smaller scope of the app, new players are bound to be charmed by its friendly, upbeat vibe. Looking at the timer thing from a positive perspective, it allows you to play only as long as you'd probably want to in one sitting, anyway. The app's simple activities -- collecting bugs, fruit, and fish -- are fun for half an hour but could get tedious if done longer than that. Of course, in addition to collecting, you also get to craft things and play errand boy or girl to a range of bossy, materialistic animals. Crafting items and making friends are inextricably linked in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp; to befriend an animal, you have to fetch the animal whatever it wants. Mind you, these aren't your typical animals; they're very particular, and they won't visit your camp unless it has the furniture they like. So this mechanic suggests friendship depends on giving people what they want? Not a great message to send kids. Anyway, questionable philosophy aside, Pocket Camp's crafting and customizing is still fun (you even get your own custom RV), and it's fun to collect friends and visit the ever-changing shops. And while longer play sessions might cost you a few bucks, there's plenty of free fun to be had if you don't mind playing in shorter spurts. All in all, Pocket Camp is a strong addition to the Animal Crossing series and a fun way to keep yourself or your kids busy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what keeps games popular over a long time. What keeps you interested in a series?
Discuss how favors play into friendship. Should you have to do things for people to make them like you?
Think about how you make friends in real life versus in online games. What's different about the two?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Pricing structure: Free (Contains optional in-app purchases.)
- Release date: October 25, 2017
- Category: Simulation Games
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Wild Animals
- Size: 106.00 MB
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Version: 1.0.1
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 9.0 or later; Android 4.2 and up
- Last updated: April 18, 2021
Our editors recommend
For kids who love simulations
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.