Animal Crossing (series)

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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.


Boxart English title Japanese title Platform Release date(s) Notes
AF N64 Front.jpg
Animal Forest* どうぶつの森
Doubutsu no Mori
Nintendo 64 JP April 14, 2001 The first game of the series.
AF Cover.jpg
Animal Forest+* どうぶつの森+
Doubutsu no Mori+
Nintendo GameCube JP December 14, 2001 Remake of the original.
Animal Crossing.jpg
Animal Crossing English-only title. Nintendo GameCube NA September 16, 2002
AUS October 17, 2003
EU September 24, 2004
First game released outside of Japan.
Boxart Doubutsu no Mori e+.jpg
Animal Forest e+* どうぶつの森e+
Doubutsu no Mori e+
Nintendo GameCube JP June 27, 2003 A translation of Animal Crossing with more e-Reader functions.
Animal Crossing Wild World.jpg
Animal Crossing: Wild World おいでよどうぶつの森
Oideyo Dōbutsu no Mori
Nintendo DS JP November 23, 2005
NA December 5, 2005
AUS December 8, 2005
EU March 31, 2006
First released on a handheld system, first released worldwide, first to utilize Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
Animal Crossing: City Folk 街へいこうよどうぶつの森
Machi e ikouyo: Dōbutsu no Mori
Wii NA November 16, 2008
CAN November 17, 2008
JP November 20, 2008
AUS December 4, 2008
EU December 5, 2008
KOR January 28, 2010
First to include the city, utilizes Wii Speak.
New Leaf Boxart for North America.jpg
Animal Crossing: New Leaf とびだせどうぶつの森
Tobidase Dōbutsu no Mori
Nintendo 3DS JP November 8, 2012
KOR February 7, 2013
NA June 9, 2013
EU June 14, 2013
AUS June 15, 2013
First game released in 3D.


Boxart English title Japanese title Platform Release date(s) Notes
Happy Home Designer Boxart for North America.jpg
Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer どうぶつの森:ハッピーホームデザイナー
Dōbutsu no Mori: Happī Hōmu Dezainā
Nintendo 3DS JP July 30, 2015
NA September 25, 2015
EU October 2, 2015
AUS October 3, 2015
ACaF - Box art.jpg
Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival どうぶつの森amiiboフェスティバル
Dōbutsu no Mori: amiibo Fesutibaru
Wii U NA November 13, 2015
EU November 20, 2015
JP November 21, 2015
AUS November 21, 2015
Animal Crossing Pocket Camp logo.png
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp どうぶつの森 ポケットキャンプ
Dōbutsu no Mori: Poketo Kyanpu
AUS October 25, 2017
NA November 21, 2017
EU November 21, 2017
JP November 21, 2017
First game released on mobile devices.