Nintendo released a Direct presentation entirely dedicated to their upcoming mobile title, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. The game will be officially released in late November though users in Australia noticed that the game was already available for them. Some players from other regions quickly set up Australian iTunes accounts or used the Android apk to download the game and try it out for themselves.

In Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, you play the role of a young human and suddenly find yourself managing a campground after a conversation with the ever cheerful Isabelle. New Leaf players will find this situation to be familiar. You will have some degree of customization available for your character and as always, there will be plenty of clothing options as well.

Now let’s go over what is familiar and what is new in this game.

Will there be microtransactions?

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a free-to-play game and yes, it is supported by microtransactions. These are for leaf tickets (which can also be earned in the game). Leaf tickets are used to quickly purchase needed materials, top off your bells, speed up construction projects, invite special characters to your campground and buy limited time deals. It remains to be seen just how much grinding is necessary for leaf tickets but after talking to several people who played the game, it so far doesn’t sound like the game balance is overly skewed towards paying out real money for these tickets.

What is carried over from earlier Animal Crossing games?

The art design is the same as are most of the items, furniture and themes. Several characters are straight from older games in the series though a complete roster has not yet been announced. You can still gather fruit, catch bugs and go fishing though you have a couple of new tools for these activities. Bells are still the primary in-game currency. You have plenty of options for displaying and arranging furniture to your liking. You can do favors for the animal characters, buy things from the Nooklings, Able Sisters, Kicks or other vendors, even find yourself in debt with a loan to pay off.

What’s new in this game?

One of the major new things about this game is crafting. In New Leaf a character named Cyrus customized items for you. Now he actually builds them assuming you have the necessary materials. A couch might require some cotton whereas a bench would take some wood. You gather these materials by trading things like bugs or fish with villagers. You can also buy some of these materials with leaf tickets if you are not in the mood to gather them.

You will build up friendship levels with the various animal characters. When your campground has a character’s favorite furniture and you have built up their friendship level, that character will come to visit your campground.

New tools such as honey to attract bugs or a throw net to simultaneously catch groups of fish are now available.

Expect seasonal events with exclusive items to happen regularly.

In addition to the island from previous games in the series, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has a forest, a river and a beach to explore. There is also a marketplace where vendors gather to sell their wares.

Instead of the house you would expect from an Animal Crossing game, you get a camper. You can decorate the inside just like a tiny house and even add a loft which can also be decorated. Even the camer’s exterior can be customized with the help of three new characters – Giovanni, Bepe and Carlo. These birds have a business called OK Motors which can help you trick out your camper. You’ll use the camper to drive around to various areas.

Finally, amenities take the place of public works projects from New Leaf. Cyrus can build things for your campground like a swimming pool. This is where the grind comes in. The swimming pool was shown to take three days to complete and a leaf ticket reduces that time by a paltry ten minutes. In all honesty, Animal Crossing players are used to waiting as long as a day for projects or three days for fruit to grow so I suspect most of them will just wait for the projects to be finished instead of burning through leaf tickets.

Is there multiplayer?

Not in real time. You may find random characters visiting your campground as other players may find your own character in their games. There is a market box where you can put items you want to sell and players just may buy them from you or you can purchase theirs. You can share an ID code and people who add you can visit your campground. If you add them to your friends list you can visit their campground any time.

What devices are supported?

Animal Crossing” Pocket Camp will be available on iOS and Android devices.

You can watch the Nintendo Direct for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp below.

[amazon_link asins=’B01NA78QGI,B01CKH0XHA,B017W177FK,B017W17G1U,B014KXMLZ4,B01CKH0WMQ,B014KXMDXO’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’jasonmckendricks-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b537d66b-b9a4-11e7-92b6-abf585bdf181′]