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Three Months in the Forest

by J.P. Corbran - September 12, 2013, 10:11 am PDT
Total comments: 8

A harrowing tale of addiction and furniture.

Hi, my name is J.P. and I’m an Animal Crossing addict. For three months now I’ve tended my virtual village, building things, planting things, and abusing the local economy via a neighboring island. Through a combination of game-provided objectives and those of my own personal creation I’ve made this town my own, and I see no end in sight.

As I mentioned, I’ve had this game for three months now, since the day it was released here in North America. Over that course of time, I have played the game at least a little bit every day. Even if I was just checking the store (still looking for the last few bits of the Modern Wood set) and digging up a few fossils, I was taking part in this world. Some days I had other things going on and it would have been easy to let it slip, but I always made it there, even if I had to force myself.


The meat of the game involves making a lot of money in order to expand your house and build improvements for the town. I’ve spent a lot of time on those things, but as time has gone by I’ve drifted farther and farther away from that. Lately I’ve been obsessed with flowers. Ever since acquiring a golden watering can I’ve devoted a large portion of my time to intricate arrangement of flowers, and my daily routine has been increasingly dominated by extensive watering. I’ve set up formations of them to facilitate the creation of hybrid flowers that you can’t get any other way.

That kind of thing is why I can see myself playing this game for a long time. I would eventually run out of things to buy and build, but I haven’t even been paying much attention to those recently anyway because I’ve been so busy making up my own goals. That’s the beauty of this game: there’s so much going on and so many things available to you that you could play it continuously for months, if not years, and still have stuff to do as long as you’re creative.

Three months in, I can definitely see myself still active with it three months from now. I need to find Gracie a couple more times to unlock the final store upgrade. I need to keep buying a tree from the garden store every day so they guy will eventually give me a golden axe. There are still a few parts of my town that I haven’t already covered with flowers. And that’s all in addition to the house I haven’t finished expanding and all the other public works projects I have left to build. 

Some might argue that Animal Crossing isn’t really a game, but I’d say that there’s as much of a game there as you want there to be. This version has more built-in goals than any game in the series before it, and the building blocks for even more. I’ve already sunk more than triple the time into it as the next game on my 3DS Activity Log, and I can’t see myself stopping anytime soon. I may be addicted, but I’m loving it.


Leo13September 12, 2013

This article details EXACTLY why i haven't bought animal crossing. I don't want to become what you just described.

KDR_11kSeptember 12, 2013

Sometimes I fire the game up again. Usually with a mail that I missed the move-out of some character I can't even remember and that some other character has moved in who I might find or might not. Then I do a half-hearted round of picking up fruit and digging those Xs, sometimes bother to sell the stuff, sometimes not and then shut it off again. I'm probably playing it completely wrong but it's just so unbelievably uninteresting. Money doesn't seem to do much except buy useless tat like the kind that I have cluttering up my real life home already (I had a phase where I was buying cheap anime figurines, now I don't even look at the damn things). Even Donald Duck in ABC let you buy more interesting things with that money and there was some challenge to the jobs you did. And then there's the impractical nonsense like not being able to sell things if I play it on a morning commute because the stores aren't open yet...

KhushrenadaSeptember 12, 2013

Well, I just bought the game about a week ago. Need to get an internet connection going at my place again but for now, I'll just start building my town up I guess. This will be the big test as to whether I am Animal Crossing fan or not. I've only bought Animal Crossing Wild World and that was like 4 or 5 years after it came out and then I never really sank much time in it and people had moved on to Animal Crossing City Folk. This time, I'm still close to the release date, people are still playing it and it is supposed to be a bit more robust than the other versions.

I do like Harvest Moon which this series has always seemed to have some similarities too but Harvest Moon always seems to reach a point where I grow bored with it. I guess we'll see how long Animal Crossing can hold my interest but I've always found it hard to play games that require a check-in every day. Even Brain Age, I would have gaps in between with. Still, I'm going to give Animal Crossing a good chance this time and see if it can wow and compel me like it has Insanolord. If not, I don't see how this series will ever be able to pull me in.

Ian SaneSeptember 12, 2013

When I was playing Animal Crossing on the Cube I realized that I was cutting short REAL events to tend to AC ones.  Like on Halloween I shooed my friends home early so I could trick or treat in a videogame.  On Christmas Day I was looking at my watch hoping to get away from my family in time to celebrate Christmas in a videogame.  I realized that it was sick and deranged and actually not very fun.  It wasn't like I had a blast with all this stuff, it was just game content I otherwise couldn't see so I would be popping in on Thanksgiving.  My real life was having to work around this fake one from a videogame.  So I quit and I've never regretted it.  It's funny that I complain that Nintendo has never made a full on sequel because I'm not sure I would buy it anyway.  But then maybe I want the sequel so I have an excuse to resume my addiction.

What I found the most interesting early on was the novelty of the game responding to realtime.  From a technological standpoint that was impressive cutting edge stuff or at least seemed that way.  I don't know if anyone who only recently got into the series is as impressed by that but when the game came out even "fake" day/night cycles in videogames was a pretty new thing and games that had ones in realtime were really exceptional.  Only a few years before AC came out Ocarina of Time's day/night cycle was a bullet point feature.  Little details were still considered cutting edge and AC seemed incredibly ambitious.  But once you're past that you realize the game is just mundane tasks that involves time sensitive dedication from the player.

LucarioSeptember 12, 2013

Isanlord,Isanlord,Isanlord.... You just made an awesome artricle... i think i well actually buy this now!...
WHY AM I SPEAKING LIKE THIS!?...... stop...stop..stop...

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterSeptember 12, 2013

I see my brother a few times a week and he keeps asking "you get animal crossing yet?" Then I go "maybe, I just don't want to spend to much time on it." He say's "there is no spend too much time on animal crossing. You either play it or you don't. No in between and there is never enough time."

I had the GameCube version, DS version and maybe the Wii version, I played none of them and I will not get this one, for myself anyway. I think of it like some sort of drug, I'm afraid to even try it for fear of addiction. Cause when I like something there is no stopping me.

Sounds like my experience with Farmville 3DS was the same as my early experiences with beer and tequila.


AdrockSeptember 13, 2013


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