This game is strangely addicting, even though some may call it “the Sims for kids”. I guess it’s true that the Sims is the game which is closest to Animal Crossing in concept: You spend the day making money in different ways, talking to your neighbours to improve relationships, buy stuff to decorate your house and the surroundings, and upgrade your house to a bigger one so you get more space for stuff you buy (or find/get). Unlike the Sims, there aren’t many stats to check though, so you don’t need to make sure your player eats and goes to the toilet every day.
What’s so good about the game anyway? I guess right now I’m just hooked on trying to catch every fish and bug that is possible, for donating to the museum. Since the game actually follows the date and time set on the Nintendo DS, and some fish/bugs only appear at certain time of the day and year, I can’t get 100% yet (unless I cheat and change the time on the DS), but I want to at least try to catch some rare winter-only fish and bugs. Also, fish and bugs that I already have caught before can be sold for cash used to pay off my house. So I can upgrade it to a bigger one later! My current one is already overfull.
I’m also looking for foreign fruit on the beach, that I can grow to trees which will then give more foreign fruit that I can sell for more money than local fruit. (Plums.) And I’m looking at the sky for gifts that I can shoot down with my slingshot. And digging for fossils that I can donate to the museum or sell for high money. Fossils aren’t quite as challenging as bugs or fish though, since the game just adds three holes with fossils every day, and I just need to find them and dig them up. And the city isn’t that big.
There is also the part of interacting with the NPCs. If you get a good relationship with people in your city, they may give you gifts, usually wallpapers or carpets for your house, but sometimes also furniture and other stuff for decorating the house. More people will also move in to town, and people may move out, so it won’t always be the same people. While somewhat amusing, I don’t think this part alone would keep me interested in the game: Most likely I’ll play untill I’ve gotten all fish, bugs, fossils and art that is possible, and stop playing. Oh, it’s also possible to visit other players’ cities via WiFi, but I haven’t tried that yet. I doubt I have any friends that have this game anyway…
I guess the best thing about the game is that it’s kind of relaxing to play. Unlike Advance Wars: Dual Strike, which I feel makes me think to much, I can most of the times just run around without worrying about anything, and just catch fish when I see them, talk to people, and pick up stuff that I find. Still, I guess this is really a game that’s “not for everyone”. Although it’s for all ages, and I’ve read that there are both kids and adults (and their husbands/wives) that play this game, I doubt everyone finds it interesting to run around in the same town every day.