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Animal Crossing (series)

The Animal Crossing series logo
This article is about information from the Animal Crossing series. For the the game of the same name, please see Animal Crossing (GCN).

The Animal Crossing (どうぶつの森, Dōbutsu no Mori, lit. Animal Forest) video game series is a series of communication adventure games exclusively for Nintendo consoles. The game progresses in real time in a nonlinear format. All of the games are rated 'E' for Everyone by the ESRB and 3+ by PEGI. The player takes the role of a human in a village of animals and may take on tasks from villagers, pay off their mortgage, garden, fish, catch insects, and more.


As an open-ended life simulation game, the Animal Crossing series does not have a set objective. As such, after an introductory sequence at the beginning of the games, players are free to do as they like. The only 'objective' in the game, if any, is to pay off the mortgage placed upon the player's house—but, like most activities within the game, this is entirely optional and does not incur any consequences, other than having less space to store items.


Main article: Villager

In every town in the Animal Crossing series, the village itself is populated entirely by animals (excluding the player, who is the only human shown in the entire series). Villagers are anthropomorphic, and as such, are able to speak, walk in a humanoid manner, use tools, and wear clothes. They serve as interactive characters who are assigned personalities and traits, and this affects the way they communicate with you and among themselves. Villagers are capable of conversation, have unique interests and catchphrases, and live in their own domains within the town.

Villagers will often ask the player to perform tasks for them (ranging from delivering presents to sending messages to another human player). Players can incur a reward if tasks are executed in the set time. In later games, they are also capable of playing games with the player, such as hide-and-seek. Villagers move in and out of the town regularly due to certain factors (e.g. because the player has exchanged animals with another village over Wi-Fi), or simply because they are not satisfied with their current life). It is said that they enjoy receiving letters, and if sent a gift, they will usually send one in return.


Although earlier games offered few options in terms of customization, more recent games feature the ability to not only customize appearance, but also wallpapers, carpets and furniture in their home, as well as the home's exterior. It is also possible to decorate the ground outdoors with designs.


Despite being an open-ended game, Animal Crossing does provide some activities to pass the time and help "complete" certain aspects of the gameplay (such as completing exhibits within the museum). Some of these activities include bug-catching, fishing, fossil-hunting, and even item-collecting (the latter an objective to complete the player's catalog). Players can also interact in games of hide-and-seek with villagers, participate in festivals and town events, and generally do as they like within the game.


Mainline seriesEdit

Boxart English title Japanese title Platform Release date(s) Notes
First Generation
Dōbutsu no Mori どうぶつの森
Dōbutsu no Mori

lit. Animal Forest
Nintendo 64   JP April 14, 2001 The first game of the series. Released exclusively in Japan.

Dōbutsu no Mori+ どうぶつの森+
Dōbutsu no Mori+

lit. Animal Forest+
Nintendo GameCube   JP December 14, 2001 GameCube port of the first game. Released exclusively in Japan.

Animal Crossing どうぶつの森+
Dōbutsu no Mori+

lit. Animal Forest+
Nintendo GameCube   NA September 16, 2002

  AU October 17, 2003
  EU September 24, 2004

Localized version of Dōbutsu no Mori+ with numerous aesthetic and gameplay changes and regional events.

Dōbutsu no Mori e+ どうぶつの森e+
Dōbutsu no Mori e+

lit. Animal Forest e+
Nintendo GameCube   JP June 27, 2003 Japanese version of localized Animal Crossing with additional changes and updates, including new villagers and enhanced e-Reader support. Released exclusively in Japan.

Second Generation
Animal Crossing:
Wild World
Oideyo Dōbutsu no Mori

lit. Animal Forest: Come Here
Nintendo DS   JP November 23, 2005

  NA December 5, 2005
  AU December 8, 2005
  EU March 31, 2006

First game released on a handheld console, first to be released worldwide, first to feature online multiplayer (via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection)

Animal Crossing:
City Folk
Machi e ikouyo: Dōbutsu no Mori

lit. Let's Go to the City: Animal Forest
Wii   NA November 16, 2008

  JP November 17, 2008
  AU December 4, 2008
  EU December 5, 2008
  KR January 28, 2010

First game to be released in South Korea. Some copies of the game were bundled with Wii Speak.

Third Generation
Animal Crossing:
New Leaf
Tobidase Dōbutsu no Mori

lit. Jump Out Animal Forest
Nintendo 3DS   JP November 8, 2012

  KR February 8, 2013
  NA June 9, 2013
  EU June 14, 2013
  AU June 15, 2013

First game to utilise stereoscopic 3D visuals.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf Welcome amiibo とびだせ どうぶつの森 amiibo+
Tobidase Dōbutsu no Mori amiibo+

lit. Jump Out Animal Forest amiibo+
Nintendo 3DS   JP November 23, 2016

  NA November 25, 2016
  EU December 2, 2016

Expansion pack for New Leaf, adding new villagers, furniture, areas and amiibo functionality. Also released as a standalone updated version of the game.

Fourth Generation
Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch Unknown Nintendo Switch
Upcoming installment in the Animal Crossing series, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. It will be the first mainstream title since 2012's Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

Spin-off titlesEdit

Boxart English title Japanese title Platform Release date(s) Notes
Animal Crossing:
Happy Home Designer
Dōbutsu no Mori: Happī Hōmu Dezainā
Nintendo 3DS   JP July 30, 2015

  NA September 25, 2015
  EU October 2, 2015
  AU October 3, 2015

Based on New Leaf, this spin-off focuses on designing homes and gardens.

Animal Crossing:
amiibo Festival
Dōbutsu no Mori: amiibo Fesutibaru
Wii U   NA November 13, 2015

  EU November 20, 2015
  JP November 21, 2015
  AU November 21, 2015

A multiplayer party game that utilises amiibo.

Animal Crossing:
Pocket Camp
どうぶつの森 ポケットキャンプ
Dōbutsu no Mori: Poketo Kyanpu
  AU October 25, 2017 (Beta)

  JP November 21, 2017
  NA November 21, 2017
  EU November 21, 2017

First game to be released on mobile devices. Receives regular content updates.

External linksEdit