Animal Crossing: New Leaf Won’t Let Me Go

I’m really enjoying Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I picked it up last week along with a new 3DS XL, Donkey Kong Country Returns and Luigi’s Mansion 2. While Mansion is the most fun title, I think, I’ve not really had a chance to get into it properly due to Animal Crossing stealing all of my time away.

I’m finding that I’m spending more and more time in my Animal Crossing town, and I haven’t a clue why. All I’m doing is walking around with a fishing rod or net and catching fish or bugs respectively, while speaking to the other townsfolk and helping them in any way possible. This all comes after doing my mayoral tasks for the day, of course, such as building a camp site or a new bridge.


I’m slowly but surely upgrading my house with all of the profits from the small creatures I’m catching, as well as helping the museum build their collection. It really feels like progression, but not in the usual way you’d expect to progress through a game.

There’s no set-in-stone story, instead it’s my story.

My character has a Wario hat and that’s the only thing that makes him distinct from the millions of other Villagers all over the world, and even then there are probably thousands wearing the same hat. Yet my town feels unique; characters have personalities and feel real, despite being bipedal blue pigs or purple dogs wearing absurd clothes.

The town of Kakorion (yes, Zelda – I even set up the Kakariko Village theme as the town’s tune) isn’t quite bustling yet, but due to the way New Leaf syncs up with real time, it feels like a persistent world, more so than even the most realistic of games can achieve. Maybe that’s why I pour hours into catching fish in order to develop it into my utopia?

I’ve done this before, though. With Skyrim I spent hours forging items, enchanting them and selling them, for little reward other than money or levels. I don’t know if I was having fun or not, but it certainly doesn’t seem as good as the adventure parts on reflection.

I should be playing a game like Zelda or Luigi’s Mansion, something that will make me feel like I’m accomplishing and progressing, although in a way I still am. I’m building this virtual town not just for me but the fake people that are in it and anyone who might take a visit via StreetPass or WiFi.

Unfortunately, I’m probably going to have to send my 3DS in for repair due to an issue with the screen and my biggest worry isn’t that it might not get fixed properly or the warranty won’t cover it but that my townspeople will hate me for being away for a couple of weeks. You see, that’s how it works – there’s the hook – you leave and your people get upset and your approval rating goes down.

There’s no telling what will happen if my approval rating reaches zero, though I presume my town will burn to the ground with rife looting and maybe even some meteors in a sort of apocalypse. I can’t let that happen.

Maybe it’s because it’s so simple: there’s still the worry of paying off loans but it’s more relaxed than real life, and all I really have to do is go to the beach and catch a few Barred Knifejaws rather than spend hours worrying over bills and applying for jobs. It’s almost like a simulation game which simulates an ideal life in its purest form.

I don’t know why I’m playing Animal Crossing, and I don’t know why I want to keep playing every single day. But you should play it too; it’s really fun.



  1. I got this game for free with the “Too many games” promotion but I haven’t played it yet.
    I also have yet to finish DKCR2 and Luigi’s Mansion 2…
    The Last of Us is taking up all my play time. Maybe I can get back to my 3DS after I’m done with that.

  2. Great article, you’ve clearly been hooked by a world that lets you simply play! It’s a mechanic only a few games manage these days but the few that do seem to get high up in the charts, deservedly so. I’m still finding the same addiction with Far Cry 3. I constantly hunt and sneak around, setting myself up on stupidly exposed outcrops to send a few arrows and sniper rounds through some pirates heads, then sprint into the jungle to grab some takedowns before running away to lick my wounds and try the same again somewhere else. Just when I think I’ve got a band of pirates sussed I’ve had tigers, dogs and crocodiles jump at me, which leads to an intense fight and usually a desperate bit of fleeing for safety as the pirates start shooting, it’s so exciting! The hunting and sneaking is just plain fun really and even though it doesn’t affect the story it totally makes the game for me.

  3. Weird article capturing the feelings most people have for AC: “I can’t tell you why I love it.”
    I’ve been playing for about two weeks now, booting it up in the morning and rushing off to check the stores is something else. The daily/seasonal changes make the game a keeper. I love how cicadas infested my trees overnight or I woke up several mornings to see someone new was moving into town. Grinding for bells/medals does get tedious, but at least some activities are quite fun on their own – like fishing or bug catching. The QR code function is nothing short of amazing when you consider (or google) the possibilities. The thing I like most about the island is the Kapp’n’s delightful songs, during which he often pauses to tell me how cute I am, or ask if I’m romantically involved with anyone. Other than that, I’m not crazy abou the island except for the rarer fish. Diving is a bit of a chore and I was never a minigame person anyway. Maybe I should unlock Club Mortimer and try the minis with other people.
    All in all, it’s a charming game with many options that often surprised me and has even calmed me down at worse times.

  4. Yeah, know exactly what you mean. This is my first Animal Crossing game and I find myself playing it everyday, even if it is only for a little bit, it’s like I’m compelled to carry out certain tasks. Well I am Major Davros after all, the townsfolk are relying on me to make Bipibok the best it can be!

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