May 17, 2009

Video Game Fun Time: Nintendo's 'Animal Crossing - City Folk'

When I have the time, I love playing video games! But since I don't really know anyone else that is willing to join me, the majority of my gaming library consists of single-player games. Among those is a game for the Nintendo Wii that I've really been enjoying. It's called 'Animal Crossing - City Folk' and I'd like to tell you about it.

It's actually the 3rd game in the 'Animal Crossing' series. The very first one was for the Nintendo Game Cube system and the 2nd one was for the portable Nintendo DS. This most recent version is, by far, the BEST and most interesting! How do I begin to describe it?

Is that cat talking... to me?!

Well, at the very beginning of the game you meet a talking cat named Rover. He's not the only talking animal in the game, they ALL talk! In fact, the language they speak is Animalese (which sounds very cute when spoken), but it doesn't matter if you're not fluent. Everything said in the game is also subtitled on the screen for those of us who don't speak it. Anyway, Rover will take you on a bus ride to the town that will become your new home. Along the way, he will ask you some important questions such as the current time & date (Everything in the game world runs according to real-time and even has an in-game clock/calendar display. All of our major holidays are included in some way with corresponding special events), your name, and if you're a boy or a girl. You type in all of your answers on a virtual keyboard that pops up. Rover then asks you where you're going, which is strange since HE'S the one taking you on this bus ride in the first place... but it's actually just a way for you to name your town. After typing that in, Rover continues making conversation with you about things like whether you're excited to be moving and what you're planning to do for money. It's not just small talk, however! Each answer you give helps to determine what your character will LOOK like when you get off the bus in your town.

Play as either a boy... or a girl.
And if you're lucky, you'll end up
as cute as one of these two!

The in-game clock/calendar
passes time in sync with the
real world. That is, unless
you time-travel... And you
CAN, in fact, time-travel!

You've ARRIVED! Now, what?

Upon your arrival, Town Hall is the first stop. There, you'll find out about homes that are for sale and get to pick one out. But how will you PAY for it? The loan on your modest little 1-bedroom home will need to be paid back in Bells, which is the game's currency, and you'll earn those Bells by doing various tasks for Tom Nook. This Tom Nook happens to be a friendly raccoon that owns and operates a kind of general store in your town. He's also the man, er, raccoon that sold you the house and that's why you will be working for him to pay off the debt. Does that make sense? It's all really much SIMPLER when you're actually playing!

Stop in at Town Hall if you don't want to be
"sleeping in a van, down by the river".

You'll get a tiny place like this, at first, to call
your "Home, Sweet Home". It gets BIGGER
throughout the game as Nook remodels it for
you. But it's not going to come cheap!

Tom Nook, local shop-owner and task master!
You'd better do what he says or your house
might end up in foreclosure...

In addition to running errands for Nook, there are several OTHER ways to earn Bells. You can take fruit from the trees and sell it to Nook for a handsome profit (100 B each for native fruit, 500 B each for foreign and/or coconuts). There is also a rock somewhere in your town everyday that, if hit with your shovel, will spit out a few thousand Bells like a slot machine! But only ONE a day. And it's always a DIFFERENT one.

Another way to earn some "cash" is to catch fish or bugs with either a rod or a net, respectively, and then sell them to Nook (for an amount which is dictated according to species rarity). You can also go around shaking the trees to see what falls out! Aside from fruit, you might end up with a few Bells or even a piece of furniture for your trouble. Then there's the whole turnip trade market thing, but I won't bore you with THAT!

See the shiny, red apples? They're ripe for
the pickin'... and a-sellin'!

While strolling along the beach, you may find a
coconut. You can either sell it or plant it to get
a palm tree that will bear even more coconuts.
Hmm... what ever WILL you do?

When you feel that you have some extra money to blow, remember there's that new house of yours that's going to need some furnishings! It's time to SHOP, and that's where you'll have FUN letting your inner-interior design talents come out! There are literally hundreds of different items to collect for your home (furniture, wallpaper, flooring, etc.) and NO LIMITS to how you can mix things up. And whenever you grow tired of your current style or theme in a room, just sell those things back to Nook and buy something new! However, the new stuff IS limited to whatever Nook has in-stock on the showroom floor. The good thing is that his inventory changes often. No worries if you want to order something that you had previously because once you have an item in your possession, no matter if it was bought, found, or received as a gift, it is automatically added to your permanent catalog and can be ordered again at any time. You do have to pay for it again, though. While you're into the collecting thing, you can buy all sorts of clothing, too! So, you can make BOTH decorating AND fashion statements.

Nook, using the hard-sell on a hapless shopper.

Let's not forget the neighbors! Tom Nook won't even let you start working for him until you've introduced yourself to all six of the animal residents in town. Some will stay for a very long time while others will get antsy and move out often, being replaced by a completely new animal pal for you to get to know. With a total of more than 200 different characters aside from special event and holiday visitors, you have plenty of socializing to do!

Below, are just a few of the ones you'll encounter.

Clockwise: Mayor Tortimer, K.K. Slider, and Sable & Mable Able

These are a few of the special holiday characters.

Clockwise: Jack, Franklin, and Zipper T. Bunny

There are really so many facets to this game that I could go on for pages and pages! But I must tell you about the main thing that makes this version different. Going into the CITY, of course!

To see the city, you have to hop on the bus again and take a little ride. Once there, you have many choices of what you can do including getting a "new do" at the 'Shampoodle' hair salon, shopping at 'Gracie Grace's' department store, having your fortune read at 'Katrina's', or there's even a theater where you can watch and learn EMOTES. An emote is an emotional expression performed by your character on your command. I've found that they're not at all necessary, but it's still cute to see your boy or girl act out the different emotions!

Steppin' out in the big city, a girl needs to stop
at the salon and get her hair "did".

As lengthy as this little overview has been, it still only BEGINS to cover this fun, colorful and entertaining game! I think, also, that Nintendo has only scratched the surface of the city's potential in 'City Folk'. And I'm sure they fully intend to give us more in a future release, as long as people keep playing these games.

I, for one, WILL keep playing... and playing... and playing...

((( Special thanks to Prima Games and their official 'Animal Crossing - City Folk' game guide for all of the screen shots and info I used in this post. Also, thanks to Nintendo and their artists for creating such a cute, interesting game environment & character designs. )))


  1. That was an epic post!
    I don't have any of the animal crossing games but I may just buy one now. It seems like the kind of game I'd like.
    I do have mario cart though and could play you online sometime if you get tired of playing alone (and if you actually own the game of course).

  2. Yes, MoonDoggie, I do own Mario Kart! I even have the nifty Wii Wheel for it! But I'm not set up for on-line gaming. :( That could be fun, though! I'll let you know if I ever get hooked up for that...
    You might try renting AC:CF before you buy it. But BEWARE, it's totally addictive!

  3. Hello Anthony ! Thanks for your nice comment about my art. Hope you get creative again for this week's pcfp like you did last's. I love what you did! Can't wait to see a paint chip marionette or something playful made of paint chips since you love toys. See you around !


  4. Thanks, Veronica! I had fun with my PCFP creation. Don't know if I'm good enough to make a marionette, but I like the idea! I'll have to see what I can do...

  5. Geez Louise! You DO love this game! I remember when you got it, but I hadn't heard anything about it til now. Sounds like something you could play "with" my kids sometime. Miss June loves Rock Star, much to her father's chagrin.

    I second Veronica's wish for you to do another PCFP creation!

  6. My name's not Louise, Tikimama! And, yes, 'Animal Crossing' is something that I'm quite passionate about. Not sure that it's something for the girls, though. I mean, of course they can play it, but I think that a lot of the details that make it so neat might be lost on them, due to their age. You know?

  7. Well, I didn't mean play it, so much as watch YOU play it! For some reason, they find that just as much fun! And I know your name's not Louise (it's your middle name :).

  8. Tikimama, just call me Janet or Miss Jackson, if you're NASTY!

  9. I like Zipper Bunny. I don't think I've ever seen him while you've been playing. But then, I don't have the attention span for Animal Crossing. It's too demanding. All that working, buying, selling, decorating, etc. Back when I tried playing it I remember feeling too pressured, and I didn't like having to be that social with the other animals. If they come out with "Animal Crossing: Lazy Loners Edition," I'm in.

  10. Tommy, I never did understand your lack of enthusiasm for this game. I mean, if you could REALLY be friends with squirrels, bunnies, kitties, etc. you would PEE your pants with glee! I know it!

  11. My kids and I are hooked on Animal Crossing and have been for years. We started with the Nintendo version. We had a town together and then each bought a card so we could have our own towns that we customized to our own likes and now we have the WII version. It is a wonderful past time and obsession. Twyla

  12. It's totally an obsession, Twyla! And such a cool thing for a family to share together, especially when you compare it to lots of OTHER video games out there... I mean, I'm no prude, but it's just such good, clean, happy fun!

  13. I've had AC:CF for about two years now. It's such an addicting game and I've been trying to play it as much as I can. I took a small 'break' and kind of forgot about it for a year, so about three months ago I got back into it. I'm trying to get my house to the next size :)
    I really admire Nintendo for this game. They did a great job and it's appropriate for any age, though the youngsters may get confused :)

  14. I'm MUCH like you, Anonymous! Although every bit the addicting game that it is, I, too, have not played AC:CF in MONTHS... Dare I even say a YEAR or more! I know, total "Gasp!" At this point I'm afraid to even pay a visit to my town for fear of total WEED and ROACH infestation! Lord only knows what other natural disasters might have taken place there by now... ;)


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