Why aren't there more games like Animal Crossing?

Saetha

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Exactly what the title says, pretty much. I grew up in the gamecube/PS2 era of gaming, and Animal Crossing was always one of my favorites. Unfortunately Nintendo's all motion controls and hand-held gaming now - two forms of gaming which I have no interest in - so if I want a dose of Animal Crossing I have to dust off the gamecube and play my old copy from the 2000s.

It got me thinking - I don't really know of any games like Animal Crossing. I guess a case could be made for the Sims and such, but I feel like there's a difference there since AC's not about managing needs but just... exploring shit and finding things and talking to people. I suppose Stardew Valley also has some similarities - although being a farming sim and having set townspeople seems like it also makes it a different thing from AC (It should also be noted that I've never played Stardew Valley, so I might be missing something.)

So I gotta ask - why does it seem like there aren't a lot of games like AC? Further, why don't some try to expand on AC's formula? Like one of my criticisms of the Ac games is that they feel too aimless. An AC game that had a solid plot that required to talk to your neighbors and collect certain items would be cool. But I don't think I've ever seen one.
 

Fhqwhgod

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I haven't played it myself (because AC New Leaf was good enough) but "Disney Magical World" seems to be the game you are describing. At least from what I remember of the little amount of footage I've seen from it.
 

Saelune

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Wouldn't AC with a plot be like...Harvest Moon?

Also, does your dislike of handhelds mean you haven't played New Leaf? Cause you're missing out.

Honestly I feel like AC with a completable plot wouldn't really be AC. I certainly wouldn't mind more things to do though. I hope future ACs expand on multiplayer.
 

CaitSeith

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So, Life Simulators? Very unlikely to find something like that on consoles nowadays (mainly because console games are more expensive to make than ever, so publishers practically always focus on what they think sells the most, and this genre is considered niche). It's better to search for them on PC and handhelds (cheaper to develop).

Hmm... you haven't tried Animal Crossing: City Folk on the Wii, have you? Me neither, but I heard it's good. However I have played Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the 3DS, and it's pretty good.
 

ThePurpleStuff

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Closest thing to Animal Crossing I can think of would be the Sims. Only its with all humans instead of one human in a town full of animal people. Sims 3 is my favorite on sheer amount of content available, especially medieval/magical themed items. Also it had more than humans, with fairies, witches, werewolves and elves. But they still all looked like humans anyway, but the werewolves. You get to customize your house, make friends with neighbors, go fishing, bug hunting/hunt for wild creatures and sometimes pick up rocks/gems you find around town. Not exactly fossils or gyroids but it still works and was fun to play, if you had all the content of course.

I play Animal Crossing: New Leaf every day, even if its a few minutes to dig up my fossils and see whats for sale on that day, since I borrowed my sister's 3DS. You should get one, theres some pretty good games for it.
 

nomotog_v1legacy

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One odd reason is that it seems like people who want sim like games are more focused on realism. It is a thought, but I think the big reason is that the kind of play you see in animal crossing shifted into the mobile domain. (I think the mobile part is what gets this because mobile games can't change money, so budgets have to be tiny and it's hard to do a good quality game.)

I would love to see some more games like it though.
 

Saetha

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Kibeth41 said:
As someone else stated. You're forgetting Harvest Moon. AC-esque games crop up now and then on Wii U/3DS. They're just not extremely popular so you need to actually look for them.
Saelune said:
Wouldn't AC with a plot be like...Harvest Moon?

Also, does your dislike of handhelds mean you haven't played New Leaf? Cause you're missing out.

Honestly I feel like AC with a completable plot wouldn't really be AC. I certainly wouldn't mind more things to do though. I hope future ACs expand on multiplayer.
I feel like Harvest Moon is in the same boat as Stardew Valley in that it's more about a farm sim than a... I dunno, adventure sim? *Shrug* I've played Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life and felt it had the same issues - too plotless, too meandering. Could've really benefited if it were just about something.
 

Spider RedNight

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Saetha said:
Kibeth41 said:
As someone else stated. You're forgetting Harvest Moon. AC-esque games crop up now and then on Wii U/3DS. They're just not extremely popular so you need to actually look for them.
Saelune said:
Wouldn't AC with a plot be like...Harvest Moon?

Also, does your dislike of handhelds mean you haven't played New Leaf? Cause you're missing out.

Honestly I feel like AC with a completable plot wouldn't really be AC. I certainly wouldn't mind more things to do though. I hope future ACs expand on multiplayer.
I feel like Harvest Moon is in the same boat as Stardew Valley in that it's more about a farm sim than a... I dunno, adventure sim? *Shrug* I've played Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life and felt it had the same issues - too plotless, too meandering. Could've really benefited if it were just about something.
It's ironic that A Wonderful life feels like the least polished considering the developer thought that was what the games were, in essence. Like "yup, this is what it's supposed to be"

I haven't played them but I heard that Rune Factory is just Harvest Moon with MORE plot and monsters. So I guess it's like a mix of adventure and a little bit of combat but still with that life simulation feel? Though I guess that starts to head into "JRPG" territory. -shruuug- The whole discussions a little slidy-scale to me - how far can it go until it becomes another genre?

Other than that, I just echo what others have said about New Leaf being pretty much the best. Not that there's anything wrong with the original for the Gamecube, mind, but it DOES seem sort of casual. I mean, that's the whole point - you pick it up, do some stuff, put it down 'til next time (and make sure to save, god have mercy on your soul) but yeah, it seems to be a niche market.
 

Jmp_man

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Spider RedNight said:
Saetha said:
Kibeth41 said:
As someone else stated. You're forgetting Harvest Moon. AC-esque games crop up now and then on Wii U/3DS. They're just not extremely popular so you need to actually look for them.
Saelune said:
Wouldn't AC with a plot be like...Harvest Moon?

Also, does your dislike of handhelds mean you haven't played New Leaf? Cause you're missing out.

Honestly I feel like AC with a completable plot wouldn't really be AC. I certainly wouldn't mind more things to do though. I hope future ACs expand on multiplayer.
I feel like Harvest Moon is in the same boat as Stardew Valley in that it's more about a farm sim than a... I dunno, adventure sim? *Shrug* I've played Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life and felt it had the same issues - too plotless, too meandering. Could've really benefited if it were just about something.
It's ironic that A Wonderful life feels like the least polished considering the developer thought that was what the games were, in essence. Like "yup, this is what it's supposed to be"

I haven't played them but I heard that Rune Factory is just Harvest Moon with MORE plot and monsters. So I guess it's like a mix of adventure and a little bit of combat but still with that life simulation feel? Though I guess that starts to head into "JRPG" territory. -shruuug- The whole discussions a little slidy-scale to me - how far can it go until it becomes another genre?

Other than that, I just echo what others have said about New Leaf being pretty much the best. Not that there's anything wrong with the original for the Gamecube, mind, but it DOES seem sort of casual. I mean, that's the whole point - you pick it up, do some stuff, put it down 'til next time (and make sure to save, god have mercy on your soul) but yeah, it seems to be a niche market.
Well Stardew Valley showed the world that there is a demand for "life sims" out there. I just hope that developers come away with more then games about farming. I'm really hoping for a new AC like game myself... I kind of like playing the game a little at a time.
 

Spider RedNight

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Oct 8, 2011
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Jmp_man said:
Spider RedNight said:
Saetha said:
Kibeth41 said:
As someone else stated. You're forgetting Harvest Moon. AC-esque games crop up now and then on Wii U/3DS. They're just not extremely popular so you need to actually look for them.
Saelune said:
Wouldn't AC with a plot be like...Harvest Moon?

Also, does your dislike of handhelds mean you haven't played New Leaf? Cause you're missing out.

Honestly I feel like AC with a completable plot wouldn't really be AC. I certainly wouldn't mind more things to do though. I hope future ACs expand on multiplayer.
I feel like Harvest Moon is in the same boat as Stardew Valley in that it's more about a farm sim than a... I dunno, adventure sim? *Shrug* I've played Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life and felt it had the same issues - too plotless, too meandering. Could've really benefited if it were just about something.
It's ironic that A Wonderful life feels like the least polished considering the developer thought that was what the games were, in essence. Like "yup, this is what it's supposed to be"

I haven't played them but I heard that Rune Factory is just Harvest Moon with MORE plot and monsters. So I guess it's like a mix of adventure and a little bit of combat but still with that life simulation feel? Though I guess that starts to head into "JRPG" territory. -shruuug- The whole discussions a little slidy-scale to me - how far can it go until it becomes another genre?

Other than that, I just echo what others have said about New Leaf being pretty much the best. Not that there's anything wrong with the original for the Gamecube, mind, but it DOES seem sort of casual. I mean, that's the whole point - you pick it up, do some stuff, put it down 'til next time (and make sure to save, god have mercy on your soul) but yeah, it seems to be a niche market.
Well Stardew Valley showed the world that there is a demand for "life sims" out there. I just hope that developers come away with more then games about farming. I'm really hoping for a new AC like game myself... I kind of like playing the game a little at a time.
Hey, I'd be down with that - I love Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing. It's nice to just be able to pick it up, play a little, then put it down with the calm music, easygoing atmosphere, likable characters (except for Jamie from Magical Melody WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME).

So yeah, I'd love more "like Animal Crossing" games. Maybe not... TOO many so the market doesn't go from niche to over-saturated where people think they can just churn out a game and say "but it's like Animal Crossing!" Like... some effort would be nice.
 

FalloutJack

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Why? Because mere copycat-ism isn't going to produce the results you want. You have to be your own game.
 

Scarim Coral

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Haven't you heard of Fantasty Life?

Ok granted FA was more about the furniture collecting side of AC than about the daily things going on in the game world.
 

Yoshi178

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because there are so many better Nintendo games than the snooze fest that is Animal Crossing?
 

Erttheking

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There are some here and there, but the audience for them doesn't seem particularly huge, and the people who do like the concept seem willing to settle for just Animal Crossing. I mean it's hard to fill a niche that's already been filled.
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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They're all on Facebook now, my friend. With plenty of micro-transactions to fullfil any harboured hate you have of your own money!
 

DefunctTheory

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Maybe because, despite all our antagonism with the video game industry, everyone but Nintendo has some standards, and is unwilling to release a game that's simultaneously as boring as watching paint dry, yet so magnetizing that people used to (And probably still do) lose whole days playing it, the entire experience becoming one long, indistinguishable smear as the game slowly sucks your souls dry.
 

WeepingAngels

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I wonder if those who claim that Animal Crossing is similar to Harvest Moon have ever played both games. Harvest Moon is a farming sim complete with marriage and kids. Animal Crossing is a sim game that has nothing to do with farming, marriage or kids. Instead you fish, catch bugs and talk to your neighbors.

Anyway, I spent many hours playing Animal Crossing on the Gamecube but what I have learned from the Animal Crossing games that came after it is that without the goal of getting those NES games, the game is pointless.