Updated: December 6, 2021 8:20:30 am
Animal Crossing: New Horizons saw one of the biggest launches last year, with people posting screenshots of their creations all across social media, being nominated for over a dozen awards, and selling over 38.5 million copies worldwide. The game partly owes its success to the COVID-19 imposed lockdowns, where players used it as a medium for social interactions and other group activities.
Since Animal Crossing is a franchise that is exclusive only to Nintendo consoles, players on other platforms could never get a taste of it. So, we have compiled a list of games that emulate a similar setup, gameplay mechanics, and the cheerful tone that Animal Crossing is known for.
The SIMS 4
As the name suggests, The SIMS 4 is essentially a life simulator where players can create their own digital versions and partake in real-life events, all the way from birth to future generations. The game features in-depth customisable options from facial and body structure, clothing for different occasions, hobbies, and even personality traits. Using the Build Mode, players can map out and build their dream homes, for which they’ll have to work and earn money in-game.
The title also features a community system, where interactions with other bots during parties, meetings, or festivals change your personality over time. Successful interactions could lead to romance options as well, while the bad ones could add a rivalry and competitive element to it. The SIMS 4 is available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC via Steam. PS – If you own an EA Play subscription, you can play this game for free.
Doraemon: Story of Seasons
Based on the popular anime, Story of Seasons follows the adventures of Doraemon and Nobita as they participate in farming activities across the joyous town of Natura. Players can tirelessly plough fields, grow crops, catch bugs, breed cattle and hens, and even ride horses upon forming the perfect bond. The entirety of the map features various interactive items and characters that assign you special tasks, where Doraemon’s futuristic gadgets could come in handy.
It also features a fishing mechanism, where you could choose to cook or sell them in the market for money. Parts of the story does suffer from half-baked writing, but it’s an overall lovely time. Doraemon: Story of Seasons is available on the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC via Steam.
Upon inheriting your grandfather’s old farm plot and hand-me-down tools, players are left with a responsibility – work on it and turn it into something prosperous. In this 2D pixelated world, you assume the role of a farmer to grow crops, raise animals, and start various businesses that rival the fictional Joja Corporation. The world is filled with over 30 uniquely interactive characters, some of which even have romance options.
Much like real country life, you could choose to marry that special someone out of love or even as a way to expand your property. The game also features fishing and mining spots, where you and 3 other online players can level up your skills over time. Stardew Valley is available on Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android, and Apple iOS.
Set in a snow-covered hand-drawn landscape, Cozy Island’s mechanics are based in real-time. Players take control of a Spirit Scout and run through the forests to search for wandering ghosts and hidden secrets. Each spirit has a unique, extensive story, which upon unravelling brings back some colour to the town. You can build and decorate your camp, craft items, cook, fish and even embark on quests with some of the ghosts.
Like Animal Crossing, Cozy Grove is synced to real-time and allows for 30 to 60 minutes of new story content and events a day. After that, you can continue to bring life to the forest and mess around to your heart’s content. Cozy Grove is available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, macOS, Apple Arcade, and Windows PC via Steam and Epic Games Store.
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles
Following a shipwreck, players are washed onto the shores of Gemea, a natural island paradise with eight distinct environments ranging from tropical beaches to snowy mountains. You never encounter any actual enemies here, but it features a mysterious, dark fog known as the Murk, which is polluting the environment.
As the hero of the land, players must tame wild animals, harvest multiple farms, solve puzzles, and even learn professions such as carpentry and cooking to help the residents of Gemea. The game also features a day and night cycle and various in-game events based on holidays. Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is available on the current and next-gen systems, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC via Steam.
Just like Animal Crossing, Castaway Paradise’s premise tasks you, an outsider, with the job of helping the animals and revitalising the town. Players can build and decorate structures to their liking, grow crops, and clear rocks, seaweeds and garbage to aid cleanliness. Throughout the day, the townsfolk will assign you a new set of ever-changing quests, which upon completion gives you XP.
During special holiday events such as Christmas, the entire map will be covered with snow, and you can help the villagers in decorating the island accordingly. Castaway Paradise is available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC (Steam), and Android and iOS devices.
11 bit studios’ Moonlighter strays a bit away from Animal Crossing in terms of genre, but has all the essentials. As an adventurous shopkeeper, Will, players must switch lives between tending the shop at day to fighting monstrous creatures at night. Set in the Rynoka village, you can put items up for sale at set prices, manage gold reserves, and even recruit assistants. Throughout the journey, you’ll meet countless villagers, with whom you can partner for better business opportunities.
Via crafting and enchantments, players can create new armour and weapons, and learn new magical skills for taking on bosses at night. It also features a robust loot and inventory system that can be accessed during battles. Moonlighter is available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, macOS, and Windows PC via Steam and Epic Games Store.
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