Animal Crossing Articles RSS Feed | Animal Crossing RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network International Dog Day 2019: The Goodest Video Game Doggos That Ever Was Mon, 26 Aug 2019 13:27:19 -0400 Joshua Broadwell


Your Dog — Harvest Moon


You can’t find a video game dog more like a real dog outside of Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, and Stardew Valley.


He or she has a lovely little dog house outside for those cool mornings and lazy evenings, and there’s always a place ready to snuggle down for the night inside your house. All that’s really needed to make them happy in life is a smile and a good head pat, though snacks are most welcome of course.


You’ll frequently see your four-legged friend wandering about the farm, casting an eye over the crops and keeping the other animals in line, occasionally wandering over to make sure you’re okay.


It’s getting your dog that really makes the farm first seem like home, too. Before that, you’re a newcomer to a strange place, with a massive farm to look after and a big, empty house to exist in. Add a dog, and just like in real life, you’ve got an instant home, a bright spark of life that makes the future seem good after all.


Unlike your other animals, you technically don’t have to feed your dog either, so pointing to your canine caretaking abilities in Harvest Moon et al probably isn’t the best way to convince someone you can care for a real dog.


Still, in those early days when times are tough, resources are scarce, and crops are slow to grow, it’s a great comfort knowing your dog is perfectly happy eating air.




It's not really an exaggeration to say none of these games would be quite the same without their fabulous canines.


No matter what your favorite video game dog is and why you love it so much, though, make sure to take some time today and every day to give your real dog some snuggles, snacks, and playtime.


Oh, and if we had to make a list of honorable mentions, it would be: 

  • General Pepper (Star Fox)
  • \n
  • Dog (Dragon Quest: Origins)
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  • Hewie (Haunting Ground)
  • \n
  • Poppy (Samurai Shodown)
  • \n
  • Caesar (Wargroove)
  • \n
  • Vigilance (Skyrim)
  • \n
  • Chop (Grand Theft Auto V)
  • \n
  • Riley (Call of Duty: Ghosts)
  • \n

Let us know which good doggos you would add by sounding off in the comments below! 


Amaterasu — Okami


Most dogs in video games are your friends, your sidekicks, or your pets. But in Okami, you are the dog — or, more accurately, you are the white lupine representation of the sun goddess Amaterasu on the mortal plane.


Okami is all about Amaterasu and her truly epic journey to preserve creation in the face of Orochi’s impending onslaught of darkness. It’s drawn straight from Japanese legends, though naturally, with some changes and embellishments for game purposes.


Being an almost all-powerful goddess, Ammy, as her villagers call her, is able to change the world around her using a mechanic that makes the game shine as a unique experience almost as much as it is a unique game. You’ll use Ammy’s powers to solve puzzles, bring objects into creation, interact with and change the environment, and take on foes throughout the gorgeous watercolor world.


Amaterasu’s story might be beautiful, but it isn’t always a happy one. She’s tested to the end of her abilities and faces defeat and despair more than once. At her weakest point, though, when all seems lost, she transforms into her true self and suppresses Orochi’s darkness for all time, before ascending to the Celestial Plain.


Now, most dogs aren’t going to have lives quite that active, and hopefully, yours won’t have a face-off against the lord of darkness. But Amaterasu’s actions still embody the essence of being a dog — putting everything on the line for the ones that need them most and trying their hardest to make sure they don’t let anyone down.


Bill Grey — Star Fox


Bill Grey is the quintessential guard dog. Data for Bill existed in the scrapped Star Fox 2 game for the SNES, but he didn’t make a proper debut until Star Fox 64. He’s one of Fox McCloud’s oldest friends, with the two having grown up and attended pilot school together.


In 64, Bill takes charge of Corneria’s defensive squadrons, aptly called the Husky and Bulldog squads because duh. He also makes an appearance in the often-overlooked Star Fox Command, also on a defensive mission with Falco, and then he returns yet again to defend Katina once more in the ill-fated Star Fox Zero.


No matter what he does, Bill is always looking to protect the things that mean the most to him.


He might not be as visible in the series as General Pepper, but he’s certainly got something Pepper doesn’t. Where the General barks orders and maintains a definite distance from the rest of the squad, Bill is right there in the space-trenches alongside everyone else, sharing their burdens as one of the team.


Unfortunately, Bill still manages to be the one left out of the big picture. He gets no special ending in Command and doesn’t have as much chance for character development as a certain frog, falcon, and donkey.


While we hope, one day, Bill gets some more attention, maybe even part of a full-blown adventure like Star Fox Adventures, he serves as a good reminder to give credit where it's due to all the goodest watchdogs in our lives.


Dogmeat — Fallout


What’s the one thing you need if you’re struggling for survival in a post-apocalyptic world that's reeling from the effects of nuclear disaster? Food, radiation protection, and survival gear are all wrong answers because a dog is what you need.


Fortunately for our Fallout hero, a dog is what they get in the form of Dogmeat.


Dogmeat’s appearance isn’t uniform across the Fallout games. He’s sometimes a large black dog, a wolf-like dog, or a German Shepherd, but the basic gist remains the same across the series.


At some point during your travels, you get the chance to find and recruit Dogmeat by helping him out and taking an interest in his wellbeing.


Typically, his owner died sometime in the past, or he just didn’t have one. Though initially spending his days guarding his territory and terrorizing anyone who comes near, he eventually takes up with you and joins your journey for survival as a party member.


Unlike other party members (and JRPG dogs), Dogmeat can’t equip gear or use weapons that you couldn’t normally fit on a dog, but he still holds his own in combat with no trouble, so long as you make sure to look after him.


In return, Dogmeat looks after you, alerting you to the presence of enemies, helping you find items, dealing huge amounts of damage in combat, and generally just being your best friend, especially in Fallout 4.


The world might be dark and deadly in Fallout, but Dogmeat is a good reminder that a loving dog by your side makes every day just a bit easier.


Koromaru — Persona 3


Koromaru is the Persona 3 version of the famous Greyfriars Bobby in Scotland. Bobby was a Skye Terrier who became known throughout the city of Edinburgh during the late 1800s; after his owner died from tuberculosis, Bobby remained in the cemetery for 14 years, faithfully waiting to see his master again.


Koromaru once lived at a shrine on Iwatodai Island with his owner; Shadows killed his owner, but Koromaru stayed at the shrine nonetheless, waiting faithfully, until the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (S.E.E.S.) comes along and adopts him.


Unlike Bobby, though, Koromaru isn’t real. That key difference means his strength of heart lets him summon a Persona — Cerberus, of course — to take the fight to the Shadows.


He’s one of the only party members with a natural defense against dark magic, has high speed, and lands critical hits often, which lets you get that sweet, sweet “One More” extra attack. Like Repede, Koromaru wields a knife in his mouth.


But more importantly, he wears an unbelievably adorable pair of tiny wings and a T-shirt.


His floofy cuteness actually plays an important role in the story as well. Koromaru keeps Shinji Aramaki from being the stereotypical gruff character with no depth, as he’s the only one Shinji opens up to and acts like a normal human around.


That’s a very important point to note later on, before the very bad thing happens ,and you learn more about Shinji, Akihiko, and Ken’s intertwined past.


He also helps you raise Social Link points with others by taking him for a walk at night. Truly, no one can resist Koro-chan’s charms.


Sandy — Dragon Quest XI


Sandy doesn’t get much screen time in Dragon Quest XI, but what she does get makes her a top-notch canine companion.


The first thing you have to do in the game is climb Cobblestone Tor for a ritual that proves you and your childhood friend Gemma have grown up. The problem with this particular tradition is that the Tor is crawling with monsters. Gemma, grown up though she may be, is no fighter. That leaves Hero to fend off the creatures alone.


He’s not entirely alone, though. Good ol’ Sandy comes to the rescue and joins the party, with some powerful attacks to help see you safely through your trials.


Doing a regular mode run, that might not seem like much of a big deal. This is the first dungeon, after all, a time for extended tutorials and enemies no tougher than pudding.


Take on a Draconian Quest, and it’s a different matter entirely. Without Sandy, these early-game monsters would kick your rear right off the Tor with no effort at all.


Sandy doesn’t play a direct role in the plot, but she’s still important. Hero grows up with Sandy, and like all good dogs, she’s part of everything in daily life — until that fateful day when their world changes.


Thinking about Sandy and Cobblestone like that makes the first gut-punch hurt that much worse and sets a distinctly different tone for Hero’s adventures from that point on.


Zeit — Trails from Zero, Trails of Azure


You’d be hard pressed to find a dog or wolf that’s more of a contradiction than Zeit is in The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero and Trails of Azure.


He’s at once massively important to the plot, themes, and backstory, but simultaneously doesn’t have a big role to play in the plot thanks to an exception in a certain contract he has. (Yes, a wolf has a contract. It’s a thing.)


Zeit is a legendary divine wolf who watches over the land known as Crossbell. After one of the mafia groups from Crossbell City starts wreaking havoc in the countryside, the divine wolves get blamed until the Special Support Section of the Crossbell Police steps in to put things right.


Despite being huge, divine, and legendary, he acts like a normal dog from then on, protecting the SSS headquarters, and generally letting the city’s kids do whatever they want with him.


Outside some indirect combat support, it initially seems like that’s what Zeit’s role is — big, loveable pooch.


As Azure gears up for its final chapter, though, that notion changes in a very big way as you learn about Zeit’s past and his connection with Crossbell. Among other things, you can take control of Zeit as a playable party member, and you quickly find out he can basically end the world with a swipe of his paw.


Yet whether you’re worthy or not, and despite his own circumstances, he chooses to be your friend and help you when times get tough.


It’s a subtle underscoring of the games’ “true bonds” theme — and pretty much what dogs do in our lives every day.


Repede — Tales of Vesperia


Games in the Tales of franchise typically have some sort of animal sidekick. While Mieu in Tales of the Abyss is one of the better ones thanks to being a barometer measuring Luke fon Fabre’s character development, Mieu isn’t a dog.


Repede from Tales of Vesperia is a dog — and one with impeccable style and presence. He carries a pipe in his mouth and swaps it out for weapons during combat, both of which make for a pretty hard act to beat.


Repede doesn’t necessarily have much story significance in Vesperia, other than being a reminder of how difficult protagonist Yuri Lowell’s past has been. Beyond plot necessity, though, he's a genuine friend to the isolated Yuri, with all the loyalty and affection we'd expect from the best dogs — and all that in spite of what Yuri did in the past to Repede's father.


Repede's also a true beast in combat.


He’s one of the first party members you get, and also one of the rare examples of using a “pet” as a full-time party member — outside Breath of Fire III, at least.


While he might not be much of a magic user, Repede is speedy and strong, with powerful technical Artes attacks and the ability to strike and retreat with haste. Add his theft ability on top of that, and he’s a character you’ll want to regularly keep on the field. 


Repede is exactly what all good dogs are: invaluable and adorable.


Angelo — Final Fantasy VIII


Angelo is the very definition of loyal. She’s Rinoa’s dog in Final Fantasy VIII and takes things a big step further than Interceptor. For one, she’s always by Rinoa’s side. Always. Whether it’s at school, in battle, or even after that spoilery thing happens and Rinoa is incapacitated for a while, Angelo is there, offering her support.


Rinoa’s comment about learning so much from Angelo isn’t just cute dog talk either. Unlike Interceptor, Angelo plays a more defined role in combat.


For one thing, she’s Rinoa’s Limit Break, which is obviously the series’ best Limit Break. Rinoa and Angelo start with four basic attacks, but she/you have to read dog magazines to learn new abilities as an improved dog trainer.


Depending on circumstances, Angelo can even help heal an ailing party member or perform a hard-hitting attack at just the right moment to turn the tide.


She gets a biscuit for her troubles during battle, which is sweet. But the endgame is what serves as a perfect metaphor for how our relationships with our dogs usually go.


After staying by Rinoa at all times, saving the party’s skin on countless occasions, and generally just being perfect, what does Angelo get? More biscuits? Head pats?


No. She gets left behind while Rinoa has a moment with Squall.




Rush — Mega Man


Rush is Mega Man’s loyal robo-dog friend in the Mega Man series and spinoffs, starting with Mega Man 3 and staying by the Blue Bomber’s side ever since.


It’s not just one Rush, either. The robo-doggo takes on a wide variety of different forms as the situation calls for it.


The most familiar one is probably spring-mode Rush, aka Rush Coil, where he transforms into a giant springboard and propels Mega Man to greater heights. It’s a lifesaver in certain situations and absolutely necessary if you’re playing spelunker and want to get everything a stage has to offer.


But Rush’s trick repertoire doesn’t end there, and it’s arguable that as the mainline Mega Man games started to lose their luster, Rush himself started getting even better.


Over the course of his long career, he’s mastered the art of turning into the Rush Marine submarine, carrying Mega Man through space as Rush Space, flying through the air as jet-powered Rush, and doing all the things you’d expect from a robotic dog with near-endless capabilities.


Rush’s loyalty is a bit different from most dogs, though. It’s hard to say he had a choice in the matter of staying by Mega Man’s side, when his creator, Dr Light, programmed him to be (Mega) man’s best friend.


But he goes above and beyond to fulfill his duties nonetheless, like the good boy he undoubtedly would be — y’know, if he could make his own choices.


Interceptor — Final Fantasy VI


Final Fantasy VI boasts one of the biggest casts of playable characters in the series, and though Interceptor the dog is just a sidekick to one of those characters, he plays an interesting role in and out of combat.


Interceptor’s master is Shadow, the Ninja. Like all Ninjas in Final Fantasy, Shadow is actually pretty fragile, despite his relative strength. Even though he’s a master of stealth, enemies tend to target him rather often during combat.


Fortunately, Interceptor randomly jumps in and, well, intercepts the attack; he blocks like shields do, only more often. He also randomly attacks an enemy for Shadow, though it’s more adorable than effective in most cases.


Outside of combat, though,  is where Interceptor gets really interesting, and it’s possible to completely miss how his story unfolds. At a certain spot before the game’s halfway point, the party meets Relm, a precocious young artist with a strange affinity for Interceptor, a dog who usually just tolerates Shadow and can’t stand other people. Relm lives with her grandfather and never knew her parents.


You can probably put two and two together from that information. But whether you see it play out in the game depends on a choice you make.


If you’re heartless and leave the Floating Continent without Shadow, his story ends (because he dies, spoiler alert). If not, and you make sure to speak to him at specific points, you learn about his previous relationships and roles in life.


And it’s all because of Interceptor, bringing people together like a good boy.


Isabelle — Animal Crossing: New Leaf


Being an animal-centric game, Animal Crossing: New Leaf naturally has lots of lovely doggos to choose from; if you want to be technical, Tom Nook is even a dog, thanks to the whole Tanooki = racoon-dog thing.


Isabelle stands a cut above the rest for a few reasons, though. Apart from having a distinct personality separate from the rest of the villagers, she always says nice things and doesn’t try to get money from you. That last one alone is worthy of a top ranking.


But it’s Isabelle’s unfailing positivity and optimism that really make her so loveable and charming. Isabelle is almost always happy — and happy to help.


She helps you settle into your new village and pick a spot for your house, always organizes special events and attends big public works unveilings, and even shoulders your mayoral duties for years on end when you forget your village exists.


Of course, that cheerfulness makes seeing Isabelle so capably beat the stuffing out of Pikachu in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate just a bit disconcerting, but it just helps underscore how amazing she really is.


Whether she’s keeping an entire village running or sweeping up the competition, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more amazing dog than Isabelle.


Whether it's International Dog Day or just a regular afternoon of playing games with your pooch, the most pressing question we have any time a new game is revealed — or when a new trailer is shown  that also includes a dog is, "But can you pet the doggo?"


It's a testament not just to how much we all love dogs, but to how often they show up in our favorite video games. Some, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, are pretty much there just for show, keeping the world alive and digging up stuff for you if you feed them.


These dogs are great and all, but they don't always play a substantial role; some of them can't even be pet, no matter how fluffy and oodgie-woodgie they look.


Others play a much bigger part in a game or entire series, though, and some are even the backbone of entire plots.


In honor of International Dog Day 2019, we're taking a look at those dogs playing a starring role in the world of video games.


Whether they're helping you out on the farm, hurling you to new heights, or swatting your enemies away like so much annoying dust, these dogs are versatile, loving, loyal, and everything that makes dogs wonderful in real life.

New Horizons is The Best — and Only — Direction for Animal Crossing Tue, 18 Jun 2019 11:02:56 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

E3 finally gave people their first glimpse at the upcoming Animal Crossing Switch game, titled Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The good news is it looks amazing. The bad news is we can't get our hands on it until next year.

That's okay, really. Not only does it mean the dev team gets to be real humans with a work-life balance, but it also means they have the time they need to really make this a stand-out game. And it looks like it's going to be a stand-out game.

Past titles have played it safe with innovations and doing new things, striking a balance between innovation and safety that sometimes leans a bit too far towards the latter than the former. However, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is making a big step forward for the series, even bigger than New Leaf, and it's exactly what Animal Crossing needs to keep it fresh and appealing for years to come.

Tried and True

Animal Crossing's debut was much like Harvest Moon's: it was a completely different kind of game that shattered all traditional notions of gameplay. You were completely free to do whatever you wanted, interact with townsfolk as much or as little as possible, and even live in a dingy 4x4 house for your entire game if you felt like Tom Nook needed to find other sources of revenue.

Yet that innovation and its popularity put the series in a bit of a difficult place. On the one hand, changing things up too much could potentially alienate players who loved the formula first used; on the other, making future entries too similar to previous installments means there's little incentive to play.

It's a position Animal Crossing grappled with for a while and not always with successful results. The developers focused more on the multiplayer aspects when making changes for Wild World and City Folk, taking advantage of wireless communication and trying to implement more activities people could enjoy in their friends' towns.

Changes for single player mode were conservative at best and regressive at worst. WW ditched the major holidays in favor of drawn-out affairs the player couldn't participate in. However, it did expand villager conversation variety and add new request types, along with new furniture. The world became rounder, but smaller as well.

Other major changes included Celeste's observatory and the ability to see the sky; the latter might sound mundane, but it adds a special sense of wholeness to the town.

Rather than being a big step forward, it was more like a refinement that tried to recapture the same sense of of the original, but for new audiences. With a goal like that, it's understandable the team would be careful how much they changed.

Urban Stagnation

City Folk suffered from that approach, only with the Wii as the platform — and by exactly the same approach, to a fault. It's still a charming game, but apart from having all the special characters in one place and an upgraded aesthetic, there isn't much new in a positive way.

What it did do was severely pare down villager interactions . No longer could you shoot the breeze with your favorite animals or pester them for requests until at last they remembered that video tape they loaned out. Instead, you had no communication options and had to deal with a few responses on repeat for an hour.

The disappearing grass function was a strange innovation as well. Presumably meant to create paths in the town, it resulted in a lot of brown instead and some very thin grass. That might not seem like a big deal, but in a game where the goal is making your town as beautiful, or as whatever, as you want, punishing you for walking around said town doesn't seem very beneficial. (It's worth noting the New Horizons trailer shows you making paths specifically, so huzzah; your grass is safe forevermore.)

Overall, none of these negatives are really all that bad, though. The games are still incredibly fun, and it's easy to sink a ton of time into them. The problem comes when you look at them and realize you could get largely the same experience regardless of which title you chose.

Election Time

New Leaf came and changed all of that with a simple mechanics change. Making the player the mayor initially came off as a gimmick, but it opened up a vital aspect of living in an AC town: making it completely your own.

The Town Ordinances addressed a long-standing problem for fans who didn't have a school-based schedule by letting stores open earlier or close later. The sheer convenience of making villagers focus on town beautification can't be overstated either and saved those poor flowers from neglect.

More important was the introduction of Public Works Projects. These special, sometimes wacky, items could be placed anywhere — well, almost — in any combination, and there were a ton to unlock. They also gave players something to work towards other than repaying a home loan, which goes far in providing incentive to keep playing.

It also introduced the start of something new with furniture: customization and new placement options. The series has always been about living your fictional life your way, and New Leaf finally started to make that possible.

It couldn't really be replicated, though. Many fans and critics lamented City Folk's recycling of Wild World. There's no way Animal Crossing could have directly continued what New Leaf started without repeating that situation, getting stuck by just adding new Public Works Projects, some new furniture and ultimately displeasing consumers.

Communal Island Paradise

So it doesn't try to. New Horizons makes a clean break from previous Animal Crossing concepts, taking the major, most enjoyable features from the series and doing something new with them.

Moving the game out of a traditional town and into an exotic new location is, like many positive changes in the series' history, minor on the surface. After all, E3 interviews with the game's director confirmed most of the town building aspects will remain recognizable. However, it creates an atmosphere of new beginnings (hence the game's name) that, recognizable progression or not, does make even familiar tasks seem fresh.

The main feature of populating an island greatly contributes to that as well. With New Leaf, the focus was firmly on you. Even though you can determine where your neighbors live, it seems like this is meant to be a more cooperative outing.

You're all in the same boat, held under Tom Nook's merciless iron thumb until you pay back your loans and can move out of your tents. Plus, unhappy villagers will leave the island, and it looks like fellow islanders will contribute a lot more to the community's well-being, if their gardening activities in the trailer are anything to go by.

In other words, not only are you taking part in village/island life per usual; you're all working together to make that life. It's basically the fully realized fulfillment of the original Animal Crossing's promise all those years ago.

New Horizons borrows from Happy Home Designer and Pocket Camp in what looks like highly effective ways as well. The half-grid placement makes a return from HHD, and it seems as if you can use it to plant tightly knit garden projects, among other things.

But the more exciting feature is placing furniture and items outside.

Your Island, Your Way

This time, your town really can be your own, and you can change it however you want, whenever you want. Public Works Projects are great, but they're specialty items mostly, like the Jungle Gym, or classic buildings like the Lighthouse. New Horizons lets you create a temporary campsite, as we've seen, but assuming there are no limits to what you can place outdoors, the possibilities will be limitless.

One thing I'm most excited about, though, is the item crafting. Pocket Camp introduced us to it in a sense, and New Horizons is taking it to greater heights. Nook Miles rewards are sort of like the Meow Coupons add-on in New Leaf, tasking you to complete certain quests to get rewards. But not having every item or piece of furniture you want available immediately provides an even more compelling reason to keep playing.

You're trying to earn or find recipes, or items to make something new. Sure, you're probably going to get stuck trying to find a certain recipe, just like waiting for years on that one piece of furniture Nook never seemed to stock. However, searching them out, finding the ones you want, and making your island community into something unique puts the focus more firmly on players than even New Leaf's mayor feature did.

Multiplayer was never Animal Crossing's strong point. There just wasn't enough to do, and the chat functions weren't quite up to snuff, unless you liked playing right up against your TV thanks to the Wii Speak's obnoxiously short cord.

Yet it seems like New Horizons will be a step in the right direction for multiplayer as well. Obviously, most of its multiplayer features are still under wraps, but we did get a glimpse at something the series has needed for so long: playing with friends and family at the same time.

Because Animal Crossing's multiplayer offerings were so limited, it never made sense you couldn't at least play with the other people living in your own town and work together. Well, okay, I'm sure it does make sense from a technological standpoint, but it was a huge bummer nonetheless.


New Horizons is an appropriate name not just because the game takes place on a new island over the horizon.

This looks like this is the first time Animal Crossing will really give you the reins in your town and finally add greater purpose to all that item and furniture hoarding... er, collecting. It's a completely new outlook for the series, even while it retains its beloved roots — and it's hopefully setting a pattern of innovation for future entries as well.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Delay Leads to Big Nintendo Stock Drop Thu, 13 Jun 2019 12:10:29 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Nintendo apparently saw a massive drop in its stock value following the news that Animal Crossing: New Horizons was delayed until March 2020.

The news comes from a Financial Times report; the original is locked behind a paywall, but the folks at Nintendo Life shared all the major content.

At the close of the day on Wednesday, Nintendo's stock had fallen by 3.53%. That might not seem like a significant number, but the report states the drop took over $1 billion off of Nintendo's stock value.

Investors aren't quite so willing to wait patiently for Animal Crossing on Switch.

Chief among the causes for concern investors listed was Animal Crossing's delay. However, it wasn't the only problem. Nintendo made no mention of cloud-streaming technology or services during E3, unlike its competitors, didn't announce the rumored new Switch models, and didn't unveil any sort of big collaborations.

David Gibson, an Astris Advisory Japan analyst, mentioned in the report that it was surprising Breath of the Wild 2's announcement didn't provide any encouragement to investors. It seems news that the game was delayed to provide higher quality of life for employees didn't encourage investors either.

However, these reasons highlight an important difference between what investors and consumers expect. Nintendo already said there would be no Switch upgrade announcements during E3, it's only just started implemented cloud-based saves, and collaborations with Microsoft have been only rumors — nothing concrete.

Switch owners have generally been pleased with Nintendo's E3 2019 showing, which provided substantially more information and games than last year's Direct. According to entertainment marketing research firm Fizziology, not only did Animal Crossing: New Horizons receive the most mentions on Twitter, but only 2% of those mentions were negative reactions about the delay.

Of course, this isn't the first time investors have reacted strongly to E3. Last year's Smash Ultimate-centric presentation produced yet another drop in stock prices before Pokemon Let's GO launched later that year.

How this significant drop will affect Nintendo, if at all, remains uncertain. Yet with more Pokemon on the way this year, plus more rumblings about new Switch models, it seems likely stock prices will do what they do best: fluctuate.

7 Things We Want to See in Animal Crossing Switch Wed, 22 May 2019 14:52:21 -0400 Joshua Broadwell


More Stores


Every Animal Crossing game adds at least a few new furniture sets and some random items to an already-hefty catalogue of stuff you can deck your house out with. The Switch version will (hopefully) be no different. Like the expanding Pokedex, though, it can't be denied that after a while, keeping up with all those extras and picking what you want is a challenge in itself.


The Nook stores often don't help matters much, especially in New Leaf. I can't count the times I'd visit T & T Emporium only to see the same shelves, striped furniture, or robo-themed furniture over the three consecutive years spent in my town.


That's why Nook needs some competition. (The Re-Tail store doesn't count, since it's mostly for multiplayer or customization, and stock rotates very rarely.)


Introducing some additional stores that unlock depending on certain conditions being met or even introducing them as new projects would help give shopping a much-needed boost — and help players potentially get the furniture they want.


The stores could be themed, selling only furniture of a specific type — chairs, sofas, knickknack-y things — with other stores for wallpaper and flooring. Since the selection would be broader, it could rotate every few days or every week, to give players a chance at nabbing a long-desired item even if they don't have Bells that day, or, every AC fan's worst-case scenario, they forget to buy it.




It's always exciting to wonder what a new game in a favorite franchise might offer and speculate about how it may, or may not, innovate. Whatever Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Switch does or doesn't include, it'll be a day-one purchase for me. It's just that kind of timeless, universal series where even if only a few new things are included, the game is worth playing anyway.


Town Variation


The GCN Animal Crossing gave us towns with layers. Depending on the layout, a town could have three tiers. Apart from that, the only difference in town style was where your pond was and sometimes where your stores would be, though Nook's and the Post Office were always somewhere in row A.


Since then, the main variations in town design have focused on positions of rivers or how close your house is to the stores, whether the beach is prominent, and things like that. Otherwise, it's down to the player to fancify their towns using custom patterns or going all-out with garden designs.


It's time for some new topography.


Hills or some kind of gradient slopes, secluded nooks on the beach, rocky terrain — just something extra to help change the experience up a bit and give more possibilities for public works placements, should those make a return.


Why stop there, though? If public works projects do make a return, it'd be great if they could be even bigger than before.


How about a boardwalk for the beach? Complete with pier, rides, and arcade games, all of which count as extras requiring funding, it'd be an excellent excuse to spend more time in the game and put that Bell hoard to good use.


Or even expand existing ones, like the campsite. That could turn into a multi-purpose campsite to attract other villagers and be a multiplayer area as well, with different features and games added on as separate mini-projects.


More — and Different — Villager Requests


Animal Crossing doesn't change much in each iteration, which is fine for the most part. However, one thing that's stayed almost exactly the same since the beginning is how villager requests are handled and what you do for your neighbors.


The vast majority of requests revolve around finding or returning an item, with some fishing and bug catching requests thrown in for good measure. There are fossil requests too, but seriously — who gives up valuable fossils just to make their neighbors happy? Bells first, friendship later.


The system doesn't have to change drastically, but it would be nice to see some variation here and there.


One thing that'd be interesting is to expand on the NPC friendship aspect. Since Wild World, each game touches on the relationships villagers have with each other, and that could easily be added to by having you take on requests designed to help further those relationships somehow — finding out what that animal likes then giving them a specific gift, for instance.


Tailoring requests to villager personalities would add both variation to tasks and a bit more to each personality type. For example, grumpy characters could periodically have you write letters to other villagers they had a falling out with or peppy characters might have you design a new outfit just for them.


It wouldn't hurt to bring back random requests like fishing for lost keys either, just to add even further to the sense of daily life in your quaint animal town.


Different Camera Angles


Image via YouTube


Most Animal Crossing games let you change the camera angle when you're inside your house or enter a building, City Folk and New Leaf let you look up from time to time, and that's about it. Otherwise, you get the same camera angle throughout the entire game.


That's not necessarily a bad thing, but even just a slight change can help make the entire game feel even more immersive and dynamic.


Wild World introduced a feature where it seemed as if you were walking on a globe as you progressed through your town. It helped make the world feel bigger, which was a good thing given how the maps were substantially smaller than the GCN version's maps.


Imagine taking that concept and then changing the camera angle so it's closer to being over the shoulder instead of top-down. Then, the world would literally unfold before you, as you make your way through the trees.


Even better would be if the camera is completely adjustable, like it is inside the player's New Leaf house.


Presumably, Animal Crossing Switch is going to boast a new visual style, and it'll be the first mainline AC game in HD. Even Amiibo Festival looked gorgeous, whatever its other faults were. A lush new world that hopefully looks even better than Amiibo Festival deserves to be experienced as fully as possible.


New and More Seasonal Events


The GameCube Animal Crossing introduced a variety of events each month, from the quirky aerobics exercise program to Tortimer's special lighthouse request, along with the usual big holidays. Special events have been a staple ever since.


However, most of them revolve around those big holidays and some minor ones like Nature Day; we haven't seen unique events related only to the town in a long time.


It doesn't have to be that way, though. Summer cookouts, the return of mushroom hunting or something unique to fall, more random events where you help special villagers out for a set time — all of these would give players a reason to jump back into their town more often.


What would be especially nice is redesigned older events, like Bright Nights and the Flower Fest from Wild World. On paper, these were excellent ideas, even if they did replace more interesting holidays like Toy Day.


In practice, they were incredibly annoying, since no one would do anything other than go on and on about lights and flowers for that week. Worst of all, the player can't even take part.


New Leaf made gardening more central with the Green Thumb ordinance and having NPCs take a greater interest in it in general. A bigger garden competition similar to the Chelsea Flower Show, or even a collaborative effort where everyone in town has to contribute, would be the next logical step.


A new version of Bright Nights could take advantage of outdoor decorating and let the player actually get involved this time too.


Happy Home Designer-Style Decorating


The unfairly-reviled Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer might not have been what everyone wanted from a new Animal Crossing game, but it certainly took the series forward in terms of design and decorating.


Animal Crossing: New Leaf finally introduced touch screen furniture moving with the Welcome Amiibo expansion, but it needs to be there from the start in Animal Crossing Switch.


Apart from being an excuse to sell a specially themed stylus with the game, it's just a lot more convenient. I'm as nostalgic about the original Animal Crossing and all its quirks as any other longtime fan, but the dark days of pushing and pulling each piece of furniture really don't need to come back.


Completely revamping your house becomes so much more enjoyable when you can drag things around without moving your character, stack and hang things regardless of your own placement, and do it all quickly, so a redesign doesn't take an entire half hour or hour long play session.


There's more than that, though. Happy Home Designer finally let players decorate the outside of a house — just not their own houses. New Leaf's hedges and exterior facades are nice, for sure, but having a specific space outside you can decorate too opens up a whole new realm of possibilities and adds substantially to replay value.


A Library


Including a town library could serve several different purposes, and I mean a real library, not just bookshelves in your house. The kind of library I'm envisioning is like an extension of the museum in terms of mechanics.


Players would come across books during their time on the town, and then they could be donated to the Library — or sold, of course, since this is Animal Crossing, and amassing Bells comes before altruism.


Crazy Redd could have forged copies of rare books as well, with the occasional legitimate copy thrown in for good measure, just like with paintings. But some could be bought from Nook's too or given as gifts to other villagers.


The books might have a practical function beyond just being collectibles. Including real books could possibly cause division for one reason or another, so these could act sort of like an expansion for the Animal Crossing world — books about bug catching, about raccoon/tanooki business...animals, even about town traditions and how kappa tend to be good at transportation services.


It could tie in with villager requests as well, for instance, returning a book on time or retrieving it from someone or someplace else.


The Library would need a staff member too. The crane is traditionally associated with solitude and would be a perfect fit for the librarian archetype. However, it would be nice to see more of Blathers's relatives show up too, for reasons we cover later in the piece.


Well, here we are. It's been more than six months since Animal Crossing on Switch was announced, and Nintendo hasn't provided any additional details beyond the fact that A) It's real and B) It's releasing sometime this year.


It'd be difficult to imagine AC Switch won't be at E3 this year, and it's quite fun to imagine the ample Nintendo E3 show space giving it the Super Mario Odyssey treatment from 2017. Hopefully, we'll get a Nintendo Switch Animal Crossing release date plus a load of new gameplay details into the bargain at any rate.


Until then, it's time for complete speculation and wish-listing, talking about what we want to see from the new game and why.


From new tasks and public works projects to a revamped holiday system, what follows is but a sampling of some things we want to see in Animal Crossing on the Switch — whenever it gets here.

5 Hype-Worthy Nintendo Switch Exclusives Coming in 2019 Mon, 24 Dec 2018 11:00:02 -0500 Emma Grave

The Nintendo Switch already boasts some impressive exclusive games. 2017 saw the releases of Super Mario Odyssey, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. 2018 brought with it big hits like Octopath Traveler, Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It's a far cry from the Wii U days.

Looking ahead to 2019, there are even more exclusives to get excited about. Let's go over five Nintendo Switch games you should have on your radar for the coming year.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

The next installment in the turn-based tactical RPG (recently with added romance) series takes place in a world called Fódlan, where the mysterious-sounding Church of Seiros wields power over the people.

Players will control the main character both on and off the battlefield, interacting with other characters to gather intel and build relationships. New twists have been added to the strategic battle system this time around, such as formations of troops now supporting individual heroes as they fight for victory. Fire Emblem: Three Houses is due out in the Spring.

Animal Crossing (working title)

Following Animal Crossing’s free-to-play mobile offering, Pocket Camp, is a new mainline game announced for the Nintendo Switch during a Nintendo Direct in September. Many fans had lost hope of seeing the title when it wasn’t mentioned at E3 2018, but you can soon get back to nature in the long-awaited game.

The short teaser didn’t give much away, with Tom Nook sitting at his desk saying, “I’ve got to make sure everyone has a nice, new place to come home to when they’re ready, yes?”

With any luck, more details on this new mainline title will be revealed early in the new year.

Yoshi’s Crafted World

Mario’s cutest companion goes on an adventure in a diorama-like world made from boxes and paper cups. Each stage has a flip side to explore, offering different views and adding some surprises to the traditional side-scrolling experience. Unusual obstacles, hidden paths and collectibles are located in each area, ensuring there is lots to discover as you lead Yoshi towards the goal.

Yoshi’s Crafted World comes to the Nintendo Switch in the Spring.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 (working title)

It has been a long wait for a Luigi's Mansion sequel but Luigi will finally be setting out on his next spooky journey in 2019.

The 40-second teaser shown in September didn’t reveal much about the game, but fans did get to see Luigi tentatively creeping through a haunted mansion and getting spooked by all manner of ghosts and ghouls, before bravely dispatching them with his trusty Poltergust vacuum.

Hopefully some additional details about the game will jump out of the shadows soon.

Pokémon for Nintendo Switch (working title)

Fans have already been treated to a bit of Pokémon goodness on the Nintendo Switch this year in the form of Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, and next year there will be even more to enjoy when an all-new adventure is released.

Not much is known about this new mainline title, but it’s safe to say you can expect a new land to explore, trainers and gym leaders to battle, and different Pokémon to catch and train. This core Pokémon RPG is expected to launch in late 2019.

If those five games weren’t enough to whet your appetite for the year ahead, the Nintendo Switch will also be bringing you Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, Daemon X Machina, Town, and Marvel’s Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order.

There are three big hitters currently in development as well (although these probably won’t be out for a while yet): Shin Megami Tensei V, Bayonetta 3, and Metroid Prime 4. Not to mention all the non-exclusives and indie games to look forward to. 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for the Nintendo Switch.

Is a New Animal Crossing Game on the Horizon? Thu, 25 Jan 2018 14:35:00 -0500 Steven Oz

Will a new Animal Crossing title appear in the near future? According to the Tumblr website Japanese Nintendo, a new game might be coming soon. Nintendo has submitted a new trademark application for Animal Crossing in Japan.

It includes Class 9 classification, which covers video games programs, electronic games, downloadable electronic game programs, and ROM cartridge storage for video game software (among other items).

animal crossing trademark filed in Japan

Japanese Nintendo states that the trademark can be used in many different products:

"... software for a home video game machine, portable electronic game machine, and smartphone devices, as well as stuffed animals, game machine controllers, board games, playing cards, protective carrying cases, trading card games, and much more!"

The last Animal Crossing game Nintendo released was Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp for mobile devices. Prior to that, it was Animal Crossing: New Leaf for Nintendo 3DS.

Most publishers do this to refresh their trademarks so that other companies do not get the rights to that name. While this trademark application does not necessarily mean a new game is incoming, it shows that Nintendo is updating their properties for the future. That is promising for Nintendo and all their brands.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more information as it develops.

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp Tips to Camp the Day Away Wed, 29 Nov 2017 10:52:57 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Holy moly, I love Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Yeah, okay. It doesn't have as many features as typical Animal Crossing games, and getting your friendships up is a pretty big grind, but I just can't get enough. I'm in love.

After playing over the past week and grinding it out (Level 27 now, and more to come!), I've decided to toss out some tips from me to you. Maybe you're brand new to the game, maybe you're just lost on how to do certain things -- whatever the reason or need, I've probably got some tips for you.

We're going to go over the answers to some of players' most commonly asked questions, as well as provide some additional tips to help you get along. If you find my tips helpful, please take a look at my other snazzy Animal Crossing Pocket Camp guides!

How to change clothes

Tap on the 'Items' tab, then look for the clothing icon at the top of the menu and tap it.

You can change clothes by tapping on them and then tapping -. Mix and match to get your perfect look!

How to change what you look like

Tap on the 'More' tab at the bottom right, then tap 'Settings'.

From here you can tap on the 'Edit character' button to change your hair and face.

When installing or upgrading an amenity, make sure to have animals of that same type in your campsite

When you either install or upgrade an amenity, it grants 5 points to each animal of that nature who is currently visiting your camp. That's nothing to sneeze at, especially at higher levels.

Installing or upgrading an amenity also increases the maximum friendship level you can have with the amenity's nature (cool, sporty, natural, cool). Plan your amenities accordingly.

Keep animals at your campsite for materials, let them roam free to level them up

I like having Filbert at my camp. He's a cool guy, and I've had him as a visitor since my first day. But leveling my relationship with him has been deathly slow, mostly because he hasn't had many requests.

Animals at your campsite do not have requests for you very often -- this is something you're better off finding out sooner rather than later.

You can talk to them every two hours or so to gain one point toward your friendship and get some crafting materials, but their requests will not refresh every three hours. Without requests, leveling crawls to a snail's pace.

Keep animals in your camp who grant materials you need regularly, and let the rest run free so you can level up your relationship with them. If you don't want to pay attention to all that, just make sure to rotate your camp visitors regularly.

Animals always give a particular material

Did you know each animal will always give you one particular type of material? They'll give you some extra materials of another type sometimes, but each one has a material they specialize in.

I highly recommend choosing which animals you prioritize in your campsite based on the materials they grant. Check out my Pocket Camp animal crafting material gift guide for the details on that!

Rare bugs and fish can show up anytime

This is probably my biggest problem with Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, though it definitely makes gifting easier.

All bugs and fish can be caught at any time of day. Weather, season, and time have no effect on which collected items will appear.

Know when items in the Market Place restock/refresh

The Able Sisters sell clothes and hats while Kicks sells shoes and socks, but when do they rotate?

It seems it's random whether the Able Sisters or Kicks will be at the Market Place, but the Market Place does rotate at a steady rate. Here are the times the stock rotates:

  • 1AM Eastern, 10PM Pacific
  • 7AM Eastern, 4AM Pacific
  • 1PM Eastern, 10AM Pacific
  • 7PM Eastern, 4PM Pacific

Always fish, catch bugs, or pick fruit when you're in their respective areas

To avoid running out of any specific collected item, always be sure to do some gathering when you're in an area that will allow it.

Don't stress about your inventory space doing this -- just sell some of the items you have the most of when your inventory is full.

Absolutely buy at least one additional crafting slot

Being able to craft more than one thing at a time will speed up your progress exponentially, and at least one should be your first Leaf Ticket purchase.

I bought both and haven't regretted it one bit.

The best use of your Leaf Tickets is on inventory space

Speaking of inventory space and Leaf Tickets, you absolutely want to pump all or the vast majority of your Leaf Tickets into expanding your inventory, which you can do by tapping on the plus sign icon at the end of your inventory list.

How to use a Calling Card

Go to your 'Contacts' menu and tap an animal who is neither visiting your campsite nor on the map. You can tap the 'Call' button to be presented with the option to use a Calling Card and invite the animal to come by for 3 hours.

How to use a Request Card

You can only use a Request Card on an animal if you've already fulfilled their three requests for the three hour period they're around.

If you've already fulfilled all three requests, you can talk to the animal and choose the top option asking if they need anything. You will then be asked whether you want to use a Request Card.

If you always seem to not have enough of a certain fruit or fish, buy from friends

Having friends is pretty useful. You ask them for help to enter Shovelstrike Quarry, and you can easily check out the first part of their Market Box from the Friends menu before you decide to visit them and spend your hard-earned Bells.

Buying collected items from other players costs more than if the game sold them to you, but it's an easy way to keep your progress moving along.

To sell regularly or via Market Box? That is the question!

You can easily make more money selling your collected items via your Market Box than selling it to the system . . . but there is no guarantee people will buy your goods.

If you have a lot of friends, going the Market Box option is almost a no-brainer as long as you price your goods reasonably. But do note: Once you put something in the Market Box, you can never get it back.

Ask as many people to help you in the Quarry as you can

I recommend this not because it raises the chances of people helping you out (it does), but because of a theory that may increase your winnings in the Shovelstrike Quarry.

Though yet to be proven, the theory is that the amount of friends who help you affects the maximum Bells and Essence you can get from the Quarry. The more who help, the more you can get.

I haven't tested this extensively enough yet to say this is a certainty, as your rewards are based on the ore you dig up. After testing over another week or so, I will update this section.

You can use My Nintendo points for some tasty freebies

Did you know you can get 50 free Leaf Tickets without even trying? What about the fact you can earn My Nintendo points by playing the game and spend them on some goodies? You have to make a Nintendo account first, though.

Tap on the 'Misc' tab and then tap on 'My Nintendo' to find your way to the rewards panel.

If you tap on 'Missions' you can collect points for in-game activity and also for linking your account to your My Nintendo account and social media accounts.

This is also currently the only way to get the OK Motors jacket and cap, each costing 300 My Nintendo points. Plus there's a 5,000 Bells repeatable purchase that's way too tasty to pass up.

Is Pocket Camp eating your battery too fast? Turn on Power-Saving mode

This can be done from the 'Settings' menu found in the 'More' tab. Just head there and scroll down to find the Power-Saving Mode option.

How to see if animals will interact with an item at your campsite

You can check to see if a piece of furniture or an item can be directly interacted with by your visitors before you put it down. Heck, you can even do it just perusing your inventory.

Whether in the 'Place Item' menu or your inventory itself, tap on the item you're curious about and then tap on 'Details' to the right. Items with interactions will have something under the 'Animal Reactions' section of the item info.

This is good to know if you want to see your campers active when visiting. I know I like watching them cook!

That's it for my tips for now. If you enjoyed the tips and found them useful, please take a gander at my other Animal Crossing Pocket Camp guides to learn about fish, how to make a particularly troublesome piece of furniture, and other useful tidbits to help you on your way.

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp: Animal Material Guide Sun, 26 Nov 2017 14:22:19 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Sure, the football fish might be rare, but crafting materials are used so often and require so much effort to get, they certainly count as rare, too. This guide is for you if you want to know who to focus on to get Wood, Cotton, Preserves, and so on.

Each of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp's animals give you certain crafting materials to be used to build new furniture for your camp. Knowing which ones grant which items will help you choose which animals to keep at your camp and which ones to focus on leveling at a given time.

Animals will give you materials under three conditions:

  • You fulfill a request for them
  • You talk to them when they've got something to say (red dialogue option seen below)
  • You level up your relationship with them

Animals staying at your campsite won't often have requests for you to fulfill, but you do get to talk to them all every couple hours to get a gift of either Bells or materials.

Having an animal at your camp is an easy and non-resource-intensive (fish, fruit, etc.) way to get materials from them with minimal effort.

We're going to be listing off each animal's primary material gift, which is the material they will always give if you meet any of the three conditions listed above.

Every animal also periodically gives other types of materials alongside its primary. For example, sometimes you may get Preserves to go along with the Wood that Bunnie usually gives. These seem to be random, but they are definitely welcome.

Animal primary gift materials

You'll notice below that, for now, there are not many animals that primarily grant Paper or Preserves. For this reason, you may want to have at least one animal for each of those materials stay at your campsite. The earliest you can get for Paper is Apollo and the earliest for Preserves is Jay.

Animals that grant Cotton Agnes (Cool)
Bitty (Cute)
Bud (Sporty)
Maggie (Cute)
Rex (Natural)
Roald (Natural)
Animals that grant Paper Apollo (Cool)
Charlise (Sporty)
Stella (Cute)
Animals that grant Preserves Angus (Cool)
Jay (Sporty)
Animals that grant Steel Beau (Natural)
Butch (Sporty)
Carrie (Cute)
Cheri (Sporty)
Cherry (Cool)
Eloise (Natural)
Fauna (Natural)
Flip (Sporty)
Goldie (Natural)
Ketchup (Cute)
Kyle (Cool)
Peewee (Sporty)
Roscoe (Cool)
Sandy (Cool)
Animals that grant Wood Alfonso (Natural)
Apple (Cute)
Bunnie (Cute)
Chrissy (Cute)
Filbert (Natural)
Hamlet (Natural)
Hopkins (Sporty)
Kid Cat (Sporty)
Lily (Cute)
Moe (Sporty)
Peanut (Cute)
Punchy (Natural)
Rosie (Cute)
Tad (Sporty)


I don't know about you, but I almost have a shortage of Preserves . . . and keeping Jay hanging around my campsite does help. Hopefully this information will make it easier for you to prioritize certain animals if you need particular materials.

If this guide helped you out and you're looking for more info on the game, check out GameSkinny's other Animal Crossing Pocket Camp guides.

How to Craft the Lovely Pink Remake of the Lovely Chair in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Fri, 24 Nov 2017 15:29:15 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Most of the stretch goals you have to complete in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp are pretty self-explanatory. You know -- harvest fruit, have a whole furniture set in your camp, use certain items. Easy stuff. But one goal is more obtuse, and those with no other stretch goals left are wondering how you complete it.

The stretch goal in question is "Craft the Lovely Pink Remake of a Lovely Chair," which just sounds bizarre to an old player like me who hasn't played any Animal Crossing games heavily since Wild World. What does that even mean?

Let's get into how you can even unlock crafting a Lovely Chair (Lovely Pink), which is more time consuming than anything else.

Be at least level 19 and have met Agnes or Bitty

In order to unlock being able to even craft this item, you need to have unlocked one of two villagers: either Agnes or Bitty.

Both Agnes and Bitty unlock the Lovely Pink variation for the Lovely Chair, but you only need to know one of them. Both of them unlock at a random level after level 19.

Luckily enough, this is also an item you need to get them to visit your campsite, so consider all this to be killing three birds (sorry, Jay) with one chair.

Craft or have a Lovely Chair

If you've met Bunnie, you'll have the recipe for this. If you've gone through the motions to get her to come to your campsite, you'll have made one of these anyway.

You need 30 Steel and 1480 Bells to craft the Lovely Chair (Basic) itself. Crafting it takes 7 hours, so plan ahead!

Making the Lovely Chair (Lovely Pink) will consume the basic variation.

Craft the lovely pink remake of the Lovely Chair

If you've fulfilled the criteria above, you will be able to go into the crafting menu and make this item. It will be easy enough to find!

Crafting the Lovely Chair (lovely pink) requires a Lovely Chair (Basic) as well as 10 Steel. Crafting is a three-hour-long endeavor, so keep it in mind.

And that, my friends, is how you craft the Lovely Chair Remake. It's a lot more simple than it seemed, right?

If you found this information helpful and are hungry to know more about getting around in the game, check out GameSkinny's other Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp guides.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Fish Guide Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:41:39 -0500 Ashley Shankle

You may come into Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp expecting the fishing system to be similar to other games in the series, but you're in for a surprise.

Like many of the game's other systems, Pocket Camp's fishing, and the aquatic life it entails, has been simplified for the mobile experience. Nonetheless, there are things to know about fishing you'll probably want to store in your memory banks.

There aren't a lot of fish to be found in the game at the time of writing, but that is sure to change with updates. Because you need so many items to give the camper animals, it's a good idea to fish whenever you visit the two areas that allow it.

Differences from mainline Animal Crossing games

If you've been dipping in and out of the series for as long as I have, you probably have some expectations about fishing. Let's go ahead and dash those now:

Fish spawns are not tied to time of day, season, or weather in Pocket Camp.

This can be a bit of a downer for those who enjoy the thrill of the fish-hunt like I do, but for those with a tight schedule, this means they don't have to wait until the time is just right to get certain fish.

You also cannot scare fish away in the game -- so feel free to run right past them. They won't go anywhere.

And lastly, every fish will turn and go to your fishing line if tossed near them, regardless of rarity.

Getting a rare fish in Pocket Camp is just about getting lucky, as there's always a chance a fish spawn will be rare.

Fish available in Lost Lure Creek (Freshwater)

Lost Lure Creek hosts two fruit trees, but the main reason you come over here is to add some freshwater fish to your inventory.

Common fish

These fish will bite regularly.

Pale Chub
Sells for 10 Bells

Yellow Perch
Sells for 10 Bells

Crucian Carp
Sells for 10 Bells

Rare fish

These fish bite less often but sell for significantly more than common fish. These are listed in order of rarity.

It's a good idea to hold onto one rare fish just in case, but I've yet to get a single request for a single rare fish from a camper. Something to keep in mind.

Black Bass
Sells for 100 Bells

Rainbow Trout
Sells for 1500 Bells

Sells for 4000 Bells

Fish available in Saltwater Shores (Saltwater)

There's a lot more to collect at Saltwater Shores than Lost Lure Creek. Shells, coral, coconuts, and fish -- that's certainly a longer list.

This area's rare fish tend to be even harder to find than those in Lost Lure Creek.

Common fish

Horse Mackerel
Sells for 10 Bells

Sells for 10 Bells

Olive Flounder
Sells for 10 Bells

Rare fish

These fish bite less often but sell for significantly more than common fish. These are listed in order of rarity.

It's a good idea to hold onto one rare fish just in case, but as mentioned above, I've never gotten a single request for them.

Red Snapper
Sells for 100 Bells

Sells for 1500 Bells

Football Fish
Sells for 3000 Bells

Sells for 5000 Bells

These all make for a total of 13 fish for you to catch and make good-ish use of. With luck, more will be added with updates. But as it stands, this is what we've got.

The big question for most players is what they should do with rare fish for the time being. I've seen players well above levels 30 and 40 stating they've never had requests for rare fish. Being at level 20 myself, I'm inclined to believe it.

For the time being, I recommend holding on to a single of any rare fish you get and selling the rest. Why waste inventory space on items you can't use when you can make bells off them instead?

More fish will be added here as they are added to the game! If you found this guide helpful, you may find some useful info in the other Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp guides on GameSkinny.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Questions Guide Wed, 22 Nov 2017 19:19:19 -0500 Ashley Shankle

There are three phases to the character creation and tutorial process in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp:

  1. Answering K.K's questions
  2. Choosing your starter face and hair
  3. Answering Isabelle's questions

If you're familiar with the Animal Crossing series, the question portions at the start of the game can be a little stressful. Traditionally these sorts of questions have had permanent effects on a character, and no one wants to walk into this sort of long-term game without knowing what's going to affect what their character looks like.

KK Slider question

K.K.'s question is one that seems particularly important, especially since it's the first thing Animal Crossing Pocket Camp throws at you.

The question you see to the right is one with no "right" answer, but surely there's a "right" one for your Pocket Camp life. Right?

Oddly enough, nobody knows what the answers to this question actually do. The consequences of your first questions are generally obvious in the Animal Crossing series, but this time around, the first question seems absolutely pointless.

We may be wrong for now, but as far as anyone can tell: This question does nothing. Maybe this was the original question that chose your campsite theme? Who knows. All you need to know for now is not to stress over it.

Choosing your face and hair

Did you know the face you choose at the start dictates which shirt you start with? Check out my Pocket Camp starter face and shirt guide to see your options.

Isabelle's question

Isabelle wants to know what your ideal campsite might be -- and, much like the above sections, it can be kind of an overwhelming question for longtime Animal Crossing players.

The choices are natural, cute, sporty, and cool. The option you choose will affect the starter look and theme of your campsite as well as which villager you interact with first. That's not so bad, is it?



Your campsite's theme will affect the types of villagers that will want to swing by for a visit and affect how long they'll hang around. Each villager has a specific theme it's attracted to, and it is possible to feature more than one theme on your campsite (though it's best to focus on one or two).

So while Isabelle's question does affect how you start Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, it absolutely does not have any long-term effects. Just choose which you think will attract the villagers you like to start, then pick and choose from there. Happy camping!

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp Starter Face & Shirt Guide Wed, 22 Nov 2017 19:19:16 -0500 Ashley Shankle

It may seem like K.K. Slider's question at the very start of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will affect what you look like, but it's actually a much more direct process.

In Pocket Camp, players can choose their face and hair colors and styles at the very start of the game (as well as later), but that less-than-fateful decision does have one effect some players may not know about: The face you choose determines the shirt you start with.

This is a lot more straightforward than K.K.'s question, which (as far as most can tell) doesn't seem to have any bearing on anything for the time being. Choosing your starter face does dictate the shirt you start with, which isn't really a huge deal, but it's definitely something to be aware of if you're about to get started.

Boys and girls not only have different face and hair options in Pocket Camp, they also start with different shirts. The two tables below are separated by boys' faces and girls' faces.

You can buy all of these shirts (and other clothing) from the Able Sisters when they're at the Marketplace. In addition, several of these shirts also have short-sleeve variations. This is all something to know, but don't let the starter shirt make you stress out at character creation!

Boys' faces and starter shirts


Blue-Stripe Shirt

Tan Dogtooth Shirt

Blue Tartan Shirt

Blue-Grid Shirt

MVP Shirt

No. 1 Shirt

Red-Bar Shirt

Fall Plaid Shirt

Grape-Stripe Shirt

Painter's Shirt

Flame Shirt

Jungle-Camo Shirt


Girls' faces and starter shirts

Gelato Shirt

Picnic Shirt

Rugby Shirt

Red-Grid Shirt

Icy Shirt

Folk Shirt

Winter Sweater

Mint Gingham Shirt

Lively Knit Shirt

Bubble-Gum Shirt

Dapper Shirt

Spring Shirt


This is just one part of the character creation process! K.K. Slider and Isabelle both ask you questions that may or may not affect your gameplay. Check out what they do in my Animal Crossing Pocket Camp starter questions guide.

14 Non-Horror Games to Play for Halloween Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:59:56 -0400 Joshua Broadwell


Costume Quest 1 & 2


It's difficult to find a set of games more perfectly suited for Halloween than Costume Quest and Costume Quest 2. The first centers around your team of characters trying to restore the stolen candy to their neighborhood and rescue a kidnapped sibling, while the sequel has you fighting a team of dental-hygiene fanatics intent on ruining Halloween for everyone.


They are set up as RPGs, with sidequests and turn based battles. However, your gear is more than just what keeps you safe. Why is that? Because your costumes allow you to transform into what they represent, be it a knight, robot--you name it. The games look adorable as well, with a charming mix of spooky and quirky and environments that can't fail to put you in the Halloween spirit.


Plus, until November 1st, both games are discounted on Steam: $0.99 for  Costume Quest, $5.24 for Costume Quest 2 or $4.99 for a bundle with both. Note too that the DLC for Costume Quest comes bundled with it.


Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance (or Complete)


Disgaea is a perfect series for Halloween, and the latest entry is no exception. You play as a demon overlord of some kind or another in every entry and recruit a variety of different monsters to your team as you fight to fulfill morally dubious goals and secure your position as hellish ruler. It's got everything a strategy fan could ask for too: deep mechanics, micromanagement galore, challenging battles, and a plethora of character classes and skills to master.


Then there are the Prinnies. They're fun and slightly cute, plus they explode. But they're also the reincarnated forms of murderers and the worst kinds of criminals. If that alone doesn't tell you, the series prides itself on juxtaposing seriousness with ludicrous humor, all in a very anime style. It's a refreshing twist in a genre usually prone to taking itself too seriously and is sure to provide you with a frightfully good time.




From RPG to quirky platformer and puzzler, there's plenty to tick those spooky seasonal boxes and keep you occupied until -- and after -- Halloween. Let us know in the comments what you're playing for Halloween!


Looking for more Halloween-themed content? Make sure to check our other Halloween articles on GameSkinny!




Lumo is a charming little puzzler that has you take control of what looks quite like a Black Mage from Final Fantasy as you solve the brain-teasing puzzles in each of the game's many rooms. The game looks equal parts Fantasia and Chocobo's Dungeon, with a hint of Harry Potter, and it sees you traverse through a tremendous variety of locations in each of those rooms, from your basic storeroom setting to a hallway filled with lasers and a rotating tower with crumbling steps, among others.


The puzzles are never overly difficult, so it's the perfect game to play with your children, if you have them, but it's certainly not too easy for adults to unwind with at the end of the day. Some of you might recognize it, too, as it's meant to be a revival of the classic British isometric puzzler genre, and it does a superb job of what it sets out to do.


Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2


Continuing on with the theme of costumes means the Kingdom Hearts games are next. Sora and co. change their gear with every world they enter, but there are two real main reasons for having these games on your Halloween list. The story becomes more convoluted as the games progress, naturally, but at the core of it all remain the themes of redemption, friendship, and, of course, the conflict between light and dark. It's a lighthearted take on the concept of battling the darkness within us all that carries with it a certain tone with it that perfectly suits the cold, dark autumn nights.


More to the point, though, is the visit to Halloween Town! In both mainline games, you'll visit Jack Skellington and friends and battle the Heartless that manage to terrify even these monsters. The sequel puts you in Christmas Town—still in Halloween getups—excellently recreating the juxtaposition of happy and spooky that makes the film so enjoyable.


Final Fantasy V


It's Final Fantasy, but with dress-up! But seriously, Final Fantasy V stands out from its brethren for more than the adorable sprite costumes that accompany each change of class. It's a story that takes you across the world, only this time, the world is a lot more expansive, from dealing with mummies in a desert tomb to flying across the mountains on a dragon and everything in between. It's the plot and antagonist that really make this worth putting on your Halloween list, though.


FFVI's Kefka is villainous in his own right, but Exdeath is the embodiment of evil, almost literally, considering the possibility that he was once the spirit of a forest, now turned corrupt. Along with his evil machinations, you've got a haunting (sorry) time-traveling, interdimensional tale of love, loss, and betrayal. That makes FFV much easier to recommend than that other costume-driven game, FFIII, since there is not much story in the latter. Plus, if you really want to scare yourself, you could play the mobile version of FFV.


Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia


The latest mainline Fire Emblem offering, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia provides both an eerie atmosphere and intense gameplay. The land of Valentia is suffering at the hands of a manic priest devoted to a corrupt god. Soulless witches who have offered themselves up to Duma wreak havoc, but that's not all. Fans of later games, including Sacred Stones and Awakening, will see the roots of the undead adversaries in Echoes, in the form of Terrors, legions of the undead controlled by some unknown force and popping up everywhere.


From a gameplay perspective, it provides a serious challenge, too, requiring you to carefully plan your every move and delivering its own form of tension in the process. It's definitely one of the darker entries in Fire Emblem, and it only gets darker as the game progresses, with the final climax *mild spoilers ahead!* taking place deep underground, involving possession, murder, and betrayal.


Hollow Knight


Hollow Knight looks like what you'd get if Tim Burton made video games. Based on the classic Metroidvania genre, Hollow Knight combines the best of 2D platformers with a distinct and attractive art style. Hollow Knight himself, sporting a stylish skull helmet, must traverse the dark, monster-ridden depths of his underworld home to find the secrets buried in it corrupt heart.


The entire world exudes an eerie, almost otherworldly -- netherworldly? --atmosphere, drawing you in and keeping you wondering what might be beyond the next turn. Yet despite focusing on muted tones and various shades of darkness, the art manages to remain appealing throughout the difficult campaign. Even better is the new Grimm Troupe DLC dropping October 31, even more reason to dive back in or pick up the game for the first time!


Dragon Quest VI


"What the heck is a Dragon Quest game doing on a Halloween list?" you might be asking. Well, there's good reason Dragon Quest VI is. You see, long before Halloween became the blood-filled fright-fest it is now, it was one of two times of the year when people of almost every culture believed the veil between this world and the next was at its thinnest. That meant the spirits of the dead could cross, of course, but also all manner of other creatures, including fairies -- not the Tinkerbell kind; the steal your soul and curse your cattle kind -- and other nefarious creatures from beyond could walk in our world.


Dragon Quest VI captures that theme perfectly. It alternates between an illusionary dream world and a real world, blurring the lines between both (and even making you a kind of ghost when you first visit the real world). The main antagonist draws his power from both worlds, breeding a host of monsters and causing nightmares in the dream world to create havoc in the real one.


Luigi's Mansion


The launch lineup for the little purple lunchbox that could might have suffered from its games being too short, but that doesn't mean they lacked innovation and quality. And Luigi's Mansion is one that stands out. It's the first game to feature Luigi in a prominent role and completely changes the style of gameplay one would expect from a Mario-type game.


Over the course of one stormy night, Luigi must explore the depths and heights of the mysterious mansion that appeared from nowhere in order to try and find his missing brother.


You'll come across multiple mischievous ghosts in the process, along with the masterminds behind the kidnapping, the Boos. The original Luigi's Mansion brings with it a much spookier atmosphere than its sequel, owing partly to the fact that the camera is much closer to Luigi and also the fact that the mansion is much, much darker until you solve the puzzles of each room. For maximum enjoyment, play with the lights turned off.


Axiom Verge


If 2D Metroidvania is more your taste, then Axiom Verge is just the game for you this Halloween season. Drawing inspiration from Super Metroid, among other titles, Axiom Verge places you in an unknown environment that blurs the lines between reality and the subconscious. You end up there as a result of a lab accident, so you're not entirely sure at first if you're alive or not.


However, the game gives you a great deal of control over your environment through the glitch mechanic, letting you manipulate your weapons, enemies, and even landscapes -- some you might not have been intended to see. There's a deep story here, too, as you'll uncover the remnants of an ancient, apocalyptic war and try to piece together how this domain ended up the way it did. The entire affair is rather dark and moody, as you would expect, and it's an excellent way to add some atmosphere to your Halloween gaming.


Metroid Prime


The Metroid games are known for creating eerie atmospheres and a sense of isolation, with the possibility of mortal danger lurking around every corner. Any game in the series would be suitable for Halloween (though some fans might say Other M is the most frightening of all, even if for reasons not entirely intended by the developers). However, the original Metroid Prime stands out above the rest in this regard.


Its first-person mechanic and the dreary desolation of Tallon IV combine perfectly, and no matter how many times you play it, that first time the Metroids burst out of their tanks still holds the power to make you jump. If this doesn't quite sound appealing, though Prime 2: Echoes is also a good candidate, with an even darker plot and the terror of the Ing to contend with as well.




Puppets are creepy, and that goes double for marionettes. Puppeteer manages to maintain that creepiness, yet makes it endearing by adding to it with a quirky, eerie aesthetic and a storyline pulled straight from a fairytale. The story begins when the Moon Bear King puts your soul into the body of a puppet to serve as a slave, but your troubles don't stop there. Before tossing you into his dungeon, the Moon Bear King also rips your head off -- but that sets the stage, so to speak, for the game's signature mechanic.


You acquire various powerups throughout the game, and these are incorporated via wearing different heads. Your journey takes you across the world and through a wide variety of landscapes, but it's all presented as though it's on a miniature stage, as you'd see with a real puppet show, complete with audience effects, props, lighting, and the whole works. It's a superbly tight platformer and a joy to play, plus there's the added bonus of it being a form of exposure therapy.


The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask


Arguably one of the darker entries in the LotZ franchise, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask takes everything you know about the series' structure and chucks it out the window. Taking place right after the events of Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask sees Link taken to the mysterious world of Termina, a land where time is quite short because the moon is going to crash into it in three days' time. From there, you travel through Termina's four main regions and try to uncover the mysteries surrounding the catastrophe and the enigmatic Skull Kid wearing Majora's Mask itself.


As you'd expect, masks play an important role throughout the game, providing new powers and abilities and even transforming Link into different Link-forms. Needless to say, the entire atmosphere is quite dark and broody, rivaling even Twilight Princess. And as the days progress, the people you interact with begin realizing their lives are about to end influences the way they conduct themselves in the game, with reactions ranging from desperation to quiet acceptance of their dark fate.


Animal Crossing


Of course, no Halloween game list would be complete without Animal Crossing. With the exception of Wild World, with its grudge against holidays, every Animal Crossing game has some form of Halloween festivity. Whether it be the GCN original's hunt for Jack to get Spooky furniture or New Leaf's wider array of activities involving month-long specials at the Nooklings' store, mask collecting, and neighbor-scaring, there's plenty to do throughout the month of October.


Later entries, especially New Leaf, allow you to customize your look down to the finest details, so you can always be in costume. Or you can just finish a long day by taking an evening stroll through your village, appreciating the change of scenery.


The sun sets early, the evenings are getting darker, and there's a certain something in the atmosphere that sets your hair on end. That's right, Halloween is almost here! But not all of us are fans of horror, blood, and gore, so what's a gamer to do if Resident Evil and Silent Hill are out of the question? 


Never fear! We've got a list of the best 14 non-horror games (because 13 is supposed to be unlucky, right?) you can play in the run-up to Halloween without having to plug in your night-light. Plus, as an added bonus, these are almost all perfectly safe for you to play with the younger members of your family -- and this first one, in particular, should prove widely popular with that specific audience. 

Brutus the Bulldog and 10 Other Strange Animal Crossing Legends Wed, 23 Aug 2017 14:03:08 -0400 Joshua Broadwell




Then there's Kapp'n himself. Many believe he is a beaked variety of turtle. However, the truth may make you respect Kapp'n a bit more the next time you are in his boat. Why? Kapp'n is a kappa, a Japanese water spirit.


These spirits are thought to be typically less malevolent toward humans than other mythological demons, and the art of bonesetting is said to have been passed on to humans from kappa; they are also known for keeping their promises.


Kappa are thought to have a darker side as well, though, often drowning people in the water for sport. (Oh, and they like cucumbers.) However, the defining feature of a kappa is its head, which has a round, bald bowl at the top that fills with water. If the bowl empties, the kappa loses its supernatural powers, which might help explain why the only time Kapp'n is wearing head gear is when he is away from the sea in Wild World and City Folk.




Let us know in the comments if you have experienced any of these myths yourself, or if you know of others we left out!


The Haunted Island


There is also a myth about the Island itself. Several gamers reported that if the GBA connector cable is not connected just right, or if there happened to be a glitch during the connection, the Island inhabitant would have no head. It's difficult to say whether the Haunted Island myth has any merit to it, though stranger things have happened with glitches.


The Whale


The most notorious fishing myth, though, and the one that still circulates, is that of the whale. The story goes like this: at random times when you visit the Island in Animal Crossing, you will see a gigantic fish shadow appear under Kapp'n's boat. If you happen to employ a glitch that allows you to walk on water, you will encounter the whale and can even try to catch it.


If you succeed, though, the game immediately freezes, as the shadow is said to be a filler, with no real data attached to it. Tales of spotting the great beastie abound, but only one photo exists -- the one you see above -- with all YouTube videos alleging to show it having been removed.


Coelacanth Catching


As is true for most seafaring people, Animal Crossing players have amassed their fair share of fishing myths. Understandably, one of them centers around the living fossil -- the Coelacanth. This prized catch is the rarest of them all in the original game, with the highest price tag, too. 


Those without the benefit of a player's guide -- the only reliable gaming resource before the age of comprehensive Internet walkthroughs -- believed the Coelacanth could only be caught during spring or summer, and during a rainstorm. Yet in actuality, it can be caught during the winter, too, if the weather is snowy.




Resetti has a couple of myths of his own, too. Some players said that you could find a breakable rock in town, shatter it with your shovel, and go inside to find Resetti's house. Like the pajamas "myth", this one was actually true in the Japanese Gamecube version of Animal Crossing, too. But it's also interesting to see the foreshadowing of add-ons in future games, from the Reset Surveillance Center in City Folk to New Leaf's breakable rocks.


The other Resetti myth is not so pleasant. Many circulated the idea that if you reset the game too many times, Resetti completely deletes the game, forcing you to begin again. What really happens is a bit different, though. After you reset for the seventh time, Resetti threatens to delete your game, and then the screen goes black, only to return to Resetti again a few moments later, giving the player quite a shock. What happens after the eighth time, though?


Tom Nook


With the exception of some personal interactions with the storekeeper in Wild World and City Folk, Tom Nook appears to live solely for business. However, many believed if you go to Nook's store in Animal Crossing between midnight and 2 a.m., you can see a more casual Tom Nook. Hit the back of it with your shovel three times, and then go inside: Tom Nook will be there in his


Hit the back of it with your shovel three times, and then go inside: Tom Nook will be there in his PJs. There's a very good reason behind this myth, though: it's true in the Japanese version of the Gamecube game.


And Tommy and Timmy? There's no evidence provided that they are related to Nook, other than similarities in their names, despite the numerous myths to the contrary. They're not really his nephews or sons. As Nook's Wild World conversations show, they are simply his employees.




Some myths are easier to believe. For example, it was widely thought that walking on a tree in Animal Crossing would prevent it from growing. This one might not be so strange if you think about it since most saplings really shouldn't be walked on.


I firmly believed this one, to the point where it became a habit to give saplings a wide berth while sprinting through town. There's also the one about trees not growing as fast in the winter.


A lot of this likely stems from the fact that trees seem to die so easily in the original Animal Crossing, but success rates still depend only on where they are planted in relation to other objects -- not seasons or being trampled on.


Brutus the Bulldog


This is Mac. The French call him Brutus. That's about as close as you'll get to a bulldog called Brutus in Animal Crossing, and he doesn't even appear in the Gamecube version, the one that spawned the legend of Brutus the Bulldog.


Like all mythical monsters, stories of Brutus have changed with re-tellings, and an ever wider variety of disasters ends up being attributed to him. To some, he is a plain villager -- a purple bulldog who moves in one day and behaves oddly. He'll send letters in binary code, and when you arrive at his home, your game immediately freezes. Then, he disappears when you restart the game.


Others describe him in a much more sinister fashion. Like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's hellhounds in The Hound of the Baskervilles, some say Brutus is a black dog with glowing red eyes. Upon meeting him, he systematically deletes your village, row by row, column by column…


Animal Crossing's premise is simple: live your life however you want in a village full of talking animals. However, like with most villages, this one has its fair share of myths and legends, some bizarre, others that might make you think twice about booting up -- or resetting -- this old Gamecube game again.


Like all good legends, many of those surrounding Animal Crossing have a grain of truth in them, be it rooted in mythology or the germs of ideas that developed into features later in the series. Then there are those that grow and develop in fan communities and still have a life of their own, refusing to be disproved despite the fact that the game is almost two decades old. 


Let's start by introducing you to one of the most feared creatures in Animal Crossing legends.

5 Video Game Characters and Their Sucky Lives Sun, 09 Apr 2017 15:00:01 -0400 ReverendShmitty


Next time you start to complain about work or traffic or only getting one packet of hot sauce with your tacos, just remember you haven’t been nearly disemboweled by your dead girlfriend aboard a deserted freighter crawling with undead monsters in space, chased by endless hordes of zombies, or covered in the ashes of your dead family -- who you killed.


Your life could be worse. A lot, lot worse. 



God of War

Sure, sure, he’s ridiculously powerful, gets lots of ladies, and is so ripped he could make Hercules blush. But let’s look at the basic facts here:

  1. His family is dead.
  2. \n
  3. He killed them.
  4. \n
  5. He is permanently covered in their ashes.
  6. \n
  7. Everyone else wants him to eat it and die.
  8. \n

Basically, every single morning Kratos has to wake up, see the remains of his family staining his flesh, and right off the bat, begin his day thinking about the Godawful atrocities he committed. Then there’s the fact that those days seem to culminate in him fighting for survival against gods, demons, human armies, monsters, and Hell itself.


I mean, he has died twice already.


The guy has it pretty rough.


Isaac Clarke

Dead Space

Anyone who has ever played, watched, heard of, listened to, or even smelled a Dead Space game, just leave. You’re already done with this article. You know how horrible such an existence would be. I mean, seriously, either God has the most macabre sense of humor since the clown from the original Dead Rising, or Isaac was just dealt the worst possible hand in existence.


What was supposed to be a simple repair job becomes a horrifying mission to escape from the Ishimura with his life. His entire grasp on reality itself becomes shattered. He loses his girlfriend, his mind is infected by the Marker, and dementia loosens his grasp on reality. And that's not to mention the seemingly endless hordes of Necromorphs jumping out of every corner.


His run in with the undead didn’t end after one hellish adventure either. Oh no, that would be far too forgiving. He's done it three times. Just him against waves and waves of these terrifying creatures hell-bent on murdering him aboard frozen wasteland planets and abandoned ships.

He’s not even a soldier mind you, just an engineer who was supposed to fix some machines or whatever it is educated people do.


You know this game is rough. It has the jump scares that will make you scream and throw your controller, plus the eerie atmosphere to make you cringe, cry, and look over your shoulder. If it’s that scary playing with headphones in the dark, just try to imagine living it. Though I doubt any mere mortal could truly fathom such treacherous depths...


The Hero’s Shade

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

At first glance, he looks like any average dead guy in armor. You know, normal stuff. But, it is widely speculated that he is the remnants of Link from Ocarina of Time or a manifestation of Link's regrets.


Hear me out.


First, there’s the fact that he appears as a wolf when in the physical world -- the same form Link takes when in the Twilight. Second, there’s also the fact that he knows all the skills you need to know become more powerful throughout your journey -- and he says the previous heroes had them.


Third, Navi (Link’s little blue fairy) leaves at the end of Ocarina of Time, and Link is searching for her in the beginning of Majora’s Mask, when he gets pulled into all that craziness. Combine that with the fact that no one knows Link was a hero and it becomes that much easier to believe he would live a life of regrets, unable to pass on the “lessons of his life to those who came after him”.


In Twilight Princess, you even play the Song of Healing to ease his troubles and cause him to pass on; similar to how the previous Link used it in Majora’s Mask



Animal Crossing

An unusual choice? Yes. Fitting? Most certainly.


Let’s break it down.


In Animal Crossing, you play as a human child who awakes in the back of a car driven by a weird duck/turtle-thing named Kapp’n. This creature is based off the Kappa, a Japanese mythical creature that kidnaps naughty children as punishment. Off to a pretty shaky start, right?


Then he? It? It (let's go with that) takes you to this town run by animals. Immediately, they put you to work to pay off the mountain of debt you now owe them due to the house they made you move into, which totally sucks by the way (just look it up, you'll see). And if you try to leave, the animals will stop you and explain how the other villagers expect things of you. Like it’s the common thing to do.


Forcing children to work for a group of animals within their secluded little town is the norm apparently. Eesh.


So just pay off the debt right?


Wrong. Every time you work your ass off long enough to do so, the animals go and upgrade that bad boy. Even if you tell them no. This way, you’re trapped under an ever-increasing pile of debt for something you didn’t want in the first place. You’re even forced to repeat the same menial tasks and minigames over and over once you’ve tried them all in order to progress through the different houses, which is about all the story you get.


Sounds like some freaky Twilight Zone junk ,am I right? Just hope they don’t start wishing people away to the cornfield.


Lee Everett

The Walking Dead Telltale Series

So imagine this: you’re on your way to prison for killing the man who your wife was sleeping around with. Pretty rough, huh? Now pretend the cop driving flips the car, breaks your leg, and throws you headfirst into a world overrun by flesh eating zombies.


You with me so far? Okay, here we go.


So, that happens. Then you meet this little girl named Clementine and suddenly, you know you must protect her. So you meet other survivors and form a group, which then meets other groups. It grows then shrinks because a lot of people die. And nearly all of those death are because on your actions.


Save this guy or save the girl? Have a key comrade stand watch or come with you? Chop off this guy's leg, which stuck in a bear trap, or just leave him to be devoured? It’s your call -- and lives will depend on it.


This is the life of Lee Everett. Throw in getting bitten by a walker then losing his hand to it, and you’ve got a meager existence full of pain, suffering, and no video games. I shudder to even think about it.


So as the days go by and I lament living such a boring, normal life, I think of what it would be like to live in a video game world. To adventure every day through forests and mountains, to traverse the unknown, and see the entire world. I dream of saving a beautiful princess, a nation, or even the entire planet. I imagine being a hero and having thousands of fans adore me and tell me how important I am.


Then I think of characters who get none of that and how much that would blow. I think of all the video game characters whose lives are utter rubbish -- whose lives have sucked. And I think, "What if that'd be me?" 


So to make us all feel better about our mundane existences, let's take a look at a few characters whose lives just aren't all that good. 


Note: There will probably be spoilers ... 

Rumor: Nintendo Switch To Offer Gamecube Games On Virtual Console? Wed, 07 Dec 2016 09:52:41 -0500 Jeffrey Rousseau

Recently, it has been reported by various sources that the Nintendo Switch's virtual console will featured Nintendo GameCube titles.

The details of the rumor are that currently Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi's Mansion and Super Smash Bros. Melee are being tested for releaseIt should be noted these title were considered by both critics and fans to be some of the best games on the console. 

Animal Crossing is also being tested and may see a release as well. 

Now, the inclusion of Super Smash Bros. Melee is an interesting one. 2016 marked the title's 15 year anniversary. The game to date still sees active professional competition by players world wide. Its inclusion may be a means to encourage players to switch to the new console.

With the Nintendo Switch on schedule for release in 2017, this rumor will likely be addressed relatively soon -- we're guessing at the next Switch reveal event in January. 

What Nintendo Gamecube game would you like to see on the Virtual Console? Please let us know in the comment section below.

9 Most Anticipated Mobile Games for iOS in 2017 Thu, 01 Dec 2016 03:00:02 -0500 SarahKel

So, cometh the New Year, cometh a whole load of brand new games and there is a certainly going to be a lot of choice for 2017.

This is most certainly true of the iOS market, where there are always so many games, both free and premium. We all want to play those golden games that will be THE must-play games next year. We’ve done the hard work for you and found 9 of the most anticipated games of 2017. Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect from them:

Lady Layton: The Millionaire Ariadne Conspiracy

This is the upcoming puzzle game and the seventh main entry in the Professor Layton series. The game follows a new protagonist, Lady Layton, searching for her father, Professor Layton himself.  The game will feature various puzzles for the player to solve whilst they explore the environment and progress through the game’s story. It is Lady Layton’s job, using albeit bizarre methods to become a detective and find her missing father. This game certainly adds a new and exciting twist to the Layton game series. The game is set to be released in Spring 2017.

Antioch: Scarlet Bay

The game is an online, cooperative and interactive fiction game. Play as one of two detectives attempting to solve an intriguing crime. The setting is the city of Antioch, a dark metropolis, surrounded by mountains and sea. Players need a good sense of observation, whilst they look for clues and meet strangers along the way that will help to understand the story. Play with friends, or strangers, but remember, sometime disagreeing whilst collaborating can be good for both players. The game is due in March 2017.

The Elder Scrolls: Legends

This game is a strategy card game that explores The Elder Scrolls’ characters, creatures, deities and lore. Spend ten minutes or ten hours immersed in The Elder Scrolls universe. 

The battlefield is split in two, Field and Shadow – meaning players can immediately play a card, or keep them safe from attack.  This game play ensures that no two games will ever be the same.

Build a deck of cards, with a gradually increasing pool of magic points with which to play cards.Each card is a character with their own special ability, such as shields, or immediate attack. Cards of different colours represent a broad play style. For example, red cards are strength and green cards are agility-based. The deck is very flexible and a good range of colour cards are required to defeat enemies. A confirmed date for this game in 2017 is yet to be announced. Players can learn more about the game play of Legends on GameSkinny.

Animal Crossing

The popular Nintendo simulation game, where the human player inhabits an anthropomorphic world and carry out tasks, such as fishing or fossil hunting, will soon be available for iOS, with a delayed release for 2017.

The open ended game play and simulation of the real passage of time will work perfectly for iOS devices, as the game is intuitive for the seasons and therefore many Halloween or Christmas updates are to be expected.  The customisation of characters and residences is expected to be expanded in this game. Characters are expected to collect items, such as fruit, to be sold for Bells, the in-game currency. Players can rack up bells to buy better items. The game is set to be released Q1 of 2017.

To The Moon

This beloved indie PC game will be released for iOS devices in 2017. To The Moon allows players to play as a scientist, who is given the opportunity to revisit their own memories and change them, so they can live out their unfulfilled dreams. The character delve into the mind of an ill, old man whose dream it was to travel to the moon, and make that happen!

The real world elements intermingle with the dream world constantly throughout the story and the game play involves collecting special orbs that represent the old man’s key memories. To do this, players need to speak to people along the way, visit locations and collect other items. The game combines humour and touching drama for an excellent game. The game is set to be released in Q1 2017.

Static Sky

A great cyberpunk real-time strategy game, where players lead three mercenaries, who are always summoned by influential corporations whenever there is immoral work to be done. The characters are a heavy weapons expert, an agile street samurai and a dual blade wielding spy.

The game features an isometric view and is extremely focused upon tactical game play. The combat proceeds in real time, although this can be slowed down to issue orders to characters. Characters also have the ability to hack various devices. As the game progresses, players earn money, which can be spent on buying bonus abilities, better weapons and useful equipment for characters. Expect this game in February 2017.


This is a survival strategy game set in post-apocalyptic reality, developed by the studios known for Worms. The player becomes a leader of a group of survivors, hiding in a gloomy underground shelter after a nuclear catastrophe. The game begins when the first bombs are about to fall and players have a limited time to gather supplies for the first few weeks of underground living.

Later in the game, players are forced to leave the shelter to hunt for food, water, medicines and other supplies. During this time, players are faced with having to fight hungry mutants and other survivors, whilst maintaining the shelter itself and helping others ravaged by disease. The game features retro pixel art graphics and a B-movie style soundtrack. The release date for this game is 2017, but very much a month TBA. 


This is a turn based strategy game, set in the Victorian era, in a grotesque version of a British town. The game incorporates descriptions of Britain from the novels of Charles Dickens. Players play as a leader of the local thieves guild. Their goal is to develop their organisation and fill the vaults with gold.

To achieve this, players must recruit new members to the gang to train and send them on missions, such as muggings and assassinations. Players must infiltrate influential institutions, such as banks to succeed, whilst simultaneously build useful structures and research technology – without going broke! Game play can be concentrated on either discrete activities of fully fledged assassin’s guild. The game is expected to be released in Q2 2017. 

Attack on Titan

This is an arcade game specifically designed for mobile devices. The game immerses the players in a post-apocalyptic universe, known from the comics, in which humanity faces the attacks of giant beasts – the Titans. Survivors have hidden in a grand city, but after decades of peace, the defence walls have been breached. Only the most fearless warriors can face the colossal opponents and the player assumes the role of one of them.

The game play is based on battles against the titular adversaries, the Titans. The protagonist moves automatically and the player activates attacks and stunts by performing various gestures. As the player progresses in the game, the character becomes stronger and can face stronger enemies. The game features great three dimensional graphics in the style of the comics the series is based upon. The game is expected for release in early 2017. 

So, there it is: the 9 most anticipated iOS games for 2017. Whether iOS games based upon existing franchises is important, or equally an indie game, there is something out there to suit everyone. We are looking forward to playing all of these game and we hope you do too. For those of you who love gaming on Android, we have a list for you too!

Let us know in the comments what games you’re most looking forward to.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf Still Racist, Even After Update Sat, 05 Nov 2016 13:32:51 -0400 Jackson Ingram

On November 2nd, Animal Crossing: New Leaf released a major downloadable update, freshening up the popular slice-of-life sim four years after its initial release. As the subtitle suggests, the Welcome Amiibo update means New Leaf now supports amiibo cards and figures. This brings in a swarm of new features along with it including furniture from previous game Happy Home Designer, 50 previously discontinued villagers, an entirely new RV campsite area, and a whole lot more. One thing it didn't touch? Racial diversity. Despite darker skin tones already being optional in Happy Home DesignerNew Leaf's human residents only come in one flavor: creamy, homogeneous vanilla.

You can be anyone (as long as you're white)

Representation matters. This should not really be up for debate, but if you disagree, I'll give you 30 seconds to google how the dearth of diversity in entertainment reflects back onto society. From First Lady Michelle Obama to academic journals like Communication Research, more and more sources are coming to the same conclusion; the way racial and gender groups are portrayed in media affects the consumer's real-world perception of those same groups. This is especially critical with video games, in which we take control of an avatar, in a sense, literally becoming that character. What kind of message does it send that the heroes we're meant to embody are all white men?

It's easy to say, "I don't care if my identities are represented in video games," when you're already being represented in video games. Kudos, I guess, to the cis, straight, white men who have no problem with playing as Faith in Mirror's Edge. Don't worry. You can always get back to being Gordon Freeman, or Nathan Drake, or Mario, or any of the countless brown-haired, scruffy white guys completely saturating the mainstream video game industry.

Games like Mirror's Edge, while indicative of progress, are not the norm and should not be treated like the blanket solution for sexism and racism. When marginalized identities do make an appearance on-screen, they're almost never the main protagonist and usually play out one or more stereotypes in the periphery. Looking at you, inFAMOUS. And the token minority side characters of [PROTOTYPE] and Final Fantasy. And the small army of damsels in distress at the end of most RPG dungeons. And the "muscular, Black man party member" stereotype. And like every 20 seconds of Grand Theft Auto.

Games like Animal Crossing -- in which you can customize your player character -- should be a reprieve from the onslaught of protagonist hegemony, finally letting players see themselves in the starring role. In terms of gender, while far from perfect, the series has taken great strides in the right direction. Whether you choose to represent your Mayor as "male" or "female," you can dress them however you want to. The freedom to choose from a variety of wardrobe and hairstyle options helps players immerse themselves more comfortably in a gaming experience that, for many, can be a coping strategy for daily stress and also provides a virtual space for transgender players to temporarily escape gender dysphoria.

Image from Tiny Cartridge

I feel that I am well-represented by my Mayor. Like me, they wear a lot of flannel. Unlike me, their hair is blue, but that's just one of many cool ways for me to explore self-expression through them as proxy. But I'm also white. I have never felt alienated by my Mayor's light skin, but I know many players who have. It is a privilege for me not to be confronted with racial exclusion every time I boot up my town.

Literally why hasn't this been fixed yet?

The most frustrating part of this issue is that the mechanics for darker skin tones are already built in, but still have not been made a freely customizable feature. Tanning, which was first introduced in City Folk, darkens players' skin naturally if they spend enough time in the sunlight. Unfortunately, this only works in the summer months and can take up to five hours of continuous sunlight. And you can't be wearing a hat. And it wears off.

Image from Animal Crossing Wiki

To give Welcome Amiibo a sliver of credit, it does change the skin tone of players' arms and legs to match the Mii mask, if you choose to wear it. Previously, if you had a dark-skinned Mii mask, your arms and legs would still stay pasty pale, making it seem like you're wearing an all-white bodysuit. So that's a start, but let's be real, Mii masks are hideous. They look completely out of place among Animal Crossing's art style and by existing as the "solution" to choosing skin tone, they further exclude players of color.

These "loopholes" are unrealistic and unfair for players who want to see themselves represented in the game. The fact that Nintendo would invest so much time and money into an entirely new RV aspect of gameplay, but neglect to patch their own racism is ridiculous and insulting, especially since the possibility for a greater variety of skin tones is clearly already present in the code.

Many have argued that Nintendo shouldn't be "catering" to an audience outside of their ethnically homogeneous home country of Japan, whose customer base, while certainly not white, can identify with the lighter skin available in the games. I bring this up not to undermine the rampant whitewashing inflicted upon Japanese media products by American adaptations -- which has too-often been justified by erroneously interpreting Japanese characters as white -- but instead to point out that Animal Crossing being inclusive towards Japanese and white gamers does nothing to combat the exclusion of dark-skinned players.

I'd also point out that New Leaf is a global product. In the United States alone, it sold 1.36 million copies. People of all racial identities are playing this game that focuses so heavily on customization and expression. So why hasn't this been fixed yet?

My argument is not a new one. Since New Leaf's release, many writers of color (Kotaku, ClockworkWorlds, and Polygon) have addressed the issue of exclusively light-skinned player characters. But with the new update doing almost nothing for racial diversity when it had every opportunity to do so, it is more important than ever for white gamers to support the voices of people from all racial backgrounds in the gaming industry, and pressure Nintendo to do better. Animal Crossing is supposed to let you create, as their website advertises, "the perfect place to live," but a white-only town simply isn't that place. It's about time the developers extend this opportunity to everyone, without forcing them to compromise on racial representation. But, thanks for letting us sit on rocks now I guess.

Mystic Messenger and Tokyo 13: Breaking the Boundaries Between Reality and Gaming? Fri, 28 Oct 2016 02:00:01 -0400 Rena Pongchai [Kazurenai]

[Mystic Messenger and Tokyo 13 are both free-to-play for iOS and Android]

While the idea of "mobile gaming" is looked down upon by many in the gaming community, it is undeniably a growing medium that many companies have picked up on, porting many console and PC games series' from old school games like Sonic the Hedgehog and the Final Fantasy series, to newer games such as Dragon Quest, GTA and Minecraft. The newer games usually require downgrading to make it playable however, so some companies have even made many multiplayer games directly on the mobile, such as Taichi Panda, a (massively) multiplayer mobile action RPG (so rather than MMORPG... it's MMMOAPRG?)

The reason for this? Convenience and Accessibility.

Most of us have our mobiles with us 24/7 and thus, can easily reach into our pocket and open these apps for easy, and quick gaming. Even for non-gamers, most mobile games are less demanding, and only require you to check up on the game every few hours.

However, this year marked the start of a new generation for mobile games. Along with the massive popularity of Pokemon Go due to the use of its AR (augmented reality), making us one step closer to becoming real Pokemon trainers, there were two other games that had piqued my interest. Before I step into the main point of this article, let me briefly summarise these two games.

Tokyo 13 

Download: iOS / Android

Tokyo 13 is a Japanese horror, puzzle game that markets itself as a "Fake Social Network" -- as the interface of where the game is played on is essentially a Facebook-like website where lovers of puzzles and riddles come together to share them with one another.

The player is also one of these fanatics and is required to participate in posts and also private messages with other (fictional) members in order to progress. By 'progress', I mean that the website will either update with someone posting a new riddle on the 'feed' or a member will strike up a conversation through PM.  Some puzzles are harder than others, but for people that aren't great at figuring out riddles (such as myself), the game will still progress even when you get them wrong.

Mystic Messenger

Download: iOS / Android 

Mystic Messenger is a Korean mobile otome game by Cheritz, who have been making a name for themselves with visual novels such as Dandelion -Wishes brought to you - (2012) and Nameless ~ The one thing you must recall ~ (2013), which are both available on Steam.

Mystic Messenger is their newest game that was exclusively released on mobile and with good reason: The game in itself takes place on a 'messenger app' that the player stumbles upon by a stranger who messages her with the name "Unknown". She joins RFA (Rika's Founding Association), an organisation that hosts fundraising parties that the player is now tasked with planning, along with 5 other members. The game spans 11 days in which the player will need to invite as many guests to the party as well as bond with one of the members.

The player progresses by participating in chatroom 'events', responding to the member's texts and calls and most importantly, answering emails in order to invite guests to the party.

So what is it about these two games that makes them noteworthy?

As already mentioned, mobile games require the player to check their phone every few hours in order to progress the game. These games take it a step further by simulating social media sites and messaging apps like we are associated to in real life. The games could be considered as AR similar to Pokemon Go by how it blurs the lines between reality and fantasy.

For example, when you respond to a PM in Tokyo 13, the other character may not read it straight away and you would have to wait for their response before progressing the game. In addition to this, the images of the other members profiles or photos they 'post' are all actual photographs, whether it be a scenic shot or actual people (Whose faces are either hidden one way or another).

For me, this brought the game to life. Because of the 'instant' messaging aspect, it really brings a sense of realism to the game because of how realistic the characters speak and how the use of real photos makes you forget it's a game.

With Mystic Messenger, the AR is brought about in an entirely different way. Whereas in Tokyo 13, you control your progression pace by not replying to messages, with the latter, it is vital to check the game periodically or you will miss essential chat room conversations with other members.

The game will still require you to view the conversation but you will miss the opportunity to participate (thus missing out on potential bonding). The conversations will happen during certain hours every day relying on your phone's clock in real time (from 6AM to 3AM) thus when I say you have 11 days, I mean, you have 11 days in real life. The members will also send you text messages (you can turn notifications off for that) and phone (the game has 60 hours worth of voice acting for all the phone calls) that will accumulate when you open the game.

While on the app itself, a member may call you that will actually pop up in the game as a call screen, with the option to pick up or drop. The character's icon will appear with the (Korean) voice actor speaking, along with English subtitles, which you will respond to them in form of options, similar to visual novels -- which it still is classified as.

The concept of AR, such as how it essentially breaks the fourth wall, has always been an interesting concept to me. Like how people enjoy parodies making fun of movies or games, we live in a society where everything has 'already been done', thus we find joy in poking fun or pointing out the problems with it. But with these games, it extends further than that, actually simulating something making use of the medium (texting via mobile) and this brings a new form of entertainment, rather than being invested in the characters in terms of the story like they were real, simulating them literally brings them to life as they actually communicate with us. 

An earlier experience I found was with Mr. Resetti in Animal Crossing: Wild World who would scold the player when they turned off the game without saving. The fact that there was a case that the character made many children cry is proof of how breaking the fourth wall brings that sense of realism.

Credits to user 'Haonan' for above screenshots.

In general, earlier Animal Crossing games have always required the player to come on at certain times (such as catching particular fishes or insects at certain times of the day, or New Year's Day celebration) and this has been true for other days on the 3DS such as Tomodachi Life or Nintendogs.

Another example is Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (2002), which I haven't actually played before but have been told that the game has a "sanity meter" that when lowered, causes some simulated errors on your TV and Gamecube, such as the "blue screen of death", "changing" the volume of your TV or making your screen black, weird glitch effects and noises like sprites and noises such as exploding torsos or crying babies, and other hair raising effects that will definitely scare the socks off of anyone.

An example of the "Blue screen of death" screen in the game -- Credit to Goggle Bob.

With recent consoles and other platforms usually implementing "real time effects", it's interesting to also note the release of the various VR (Virtual Reality) headsets that have been released recently, showing that gradual rise of fantasy passing over the borderlines of reality. But with the lack of love for mobile gaming, I wanted to acknowledge how the innovative game-play mechanics of Mystic Messenger and Tokyo 13 is something that more companies should learn and possibly develop from.

Do you have any experiences of games like these? What do you think of this growing gaming mechanic? Let me know!

Interview with NAIRI Developer Joshua van Kuilenburg Sat, 29 Oct 2016 16:42:27 -0400 Joshua Harris

From the creative minds behind Home Bear Studio comes the cutest point-and-click puzzle adventure NAIRIThis graphic adventure follows the journey of Nairi, an upper-class girl who has long been abandoned by her family and Rex, a scholar with a criminal past as they explore the reaches and dark secrets of the oasis city of Shirin. 

I had the privilege of interviewing the developer Joshua van Kuilenburg and was able to gleam a better insight into what makes NAIRI tick. Wanting to get a sense of what is driving the project, along with influences and motivations behind the games narrative and design, I delved deeper into the nature of NAIRI. 

 LanguidLexicon: What is meant by the City of Shirin being a 'character'?

Joshua van Kuilenburg: Well, just as the main characters in NAIRI have a fleshed out backstory and personality, so does Shirin. It is not a living character in that the city conveys its own emotions and ideas, but in that there is a sense of history and meaning behind its existence.
Really, it’s a faster way of saying we put effort into the process of constructing an imaginary world.

LL: The art and character designs are outrageously cute, what influenced the artistic style of NAIRI?

JvK: The artist, You, has a deep appreciation for a lot art styles. She grew up in Japan, with the typical anime and Studio Ghibli influences, but she’s also inspired by Western art.
What we do in NAIRI, is we take a cute or childish trope, such as anthropomorphized animals, but treat stuff like line work, color and lighting as if it were a more realistic art style.
It helps make the art ‘endearing’, rather than ‘simply cute’. Disney and Pixar are masters when it comes to that sort of stuff, and You likes taking inspiration from them, as well.

LL: How did you find yourself getting into game development?

JvK: Me personally, I’ve been drawing ‘level designs’ since I was 6 years old and making games in GameMaker when I got a little older. This year I received my bachelor of applied science in ‘Game Architecture & Design’, and now I’m developing NAIRI. In various degrees of gravitas, I feel like I’ve always been into game development.

LL: What were the driving factor(s) behind developing NAIRI? How long has this been in the works before bringing it to steam and Kickstarter?

JvK: The main driving force behind NAIRI is our desire to make our living by creating experiences for people to enjoy. Once we knew exactly what sort of experience we wanted – and could – deliver, and the concept evolved over time, NAIRI really became our passion project. NAIRI has been in development for a couple of months now.  

LL: What other systems are you planning on porting NAIRI to when you reach your goal? Would Linux or Mac be in the pipeline?


If it were up to me, I’d spent some time during or after development to port and localize NAIRI – make it accessible to as many folks as possible. When facing reality, though, we need funding to do this. Right now, sadly, I can’t promise anything pre-release until stretch goals are reached.

LL: I see that Kickstarter page mentions the degree of difficulty of puzzles will increase dramatically. What can the player expect when faced with these progressively arduous challenges? If they miss a clue or an item early on, how might that affect the outcome of their current game?


Quick answer: important items won’t be missable – we don’t feel that finding and keeping stuff in itself makes for a satisfying puzzle-experience. Long answer: every conflict or puzzle in NAIRI is documented automatically by Rex in this little journal he carries around with him. It’s constructed in a way that nudges players in the right direction, rather than giving straight-forward tips. I find that most of time players get stuck, they don’t want solutions – they want context. They need a clear goal, they need to understand what elements are interactive, that sort of thing. So the journal goes: “If players get stuck, what other perspective would help them?” It tries hard to respect the player’s intelligence. That said, it’s entirely optional and non-intrusive for the hardcore puzzle enthusiasts.

LL: I see that the Visual Artist You Miichi loves games like Animal Crossing, what bearing did that have on the world of NAIRI?

JvK: Animal Crossing, like most Nintendo games, is very adept at presenting insanely cute imagery without the game feeling outright childish. I don’t think You took inspiration from Animal Crossing directly, but I’m sure those sorts of games had a subconscious impact on her as an artist.

LL: Will players be encouraged to combine as much items as they can? How much relevance does this game mechanic have on gameplay and puzzle solving?

Combining items is certainly relevant, is it’s required for a lot of puzzles.
Indeed, I do have this idea of having multiple solutions, or item combinations, for a single problem. To prevent this from becoming frustrating, though, a lot of different items and combination must be considered, as well as a complex yet intuitive inventory. Whether or not a lot of possibilities will actually contribute to entertaining puzzles… This will require more experimentation. It’s something we have to pay attention to.

LL: Finally, what do you hope your backers will take away from NAIRI?


All I hope for is that they will have a lot of fun, that the game will put a smile on their face.
Ideally, I hope that they will fondly remember NAIRI long after they’ve completed it!

If you would like to check on Joshua and You's progress on Kickstarter, give the widget below a view, they have surpassed their goal with three days to spare. I would like to congratulate them both for achieving their goal! Be sure to give their website Home Bear Studio as well for more information.