Animal Crossing (series)

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This article is about the series as a whole 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 is non-linear, in the sense that it has a somewhat set beginning, a middle, and no end. The player takes the role of a human in a village of animals. The game is non-violent and is rated 'E' for Everyone by the ESRB and 3+ by PEGI. The player may take on tasks from villagers, pay off their mortgage, garden, fish, catch insects, and more.

Objectives of the game[edit]

As an open-ended life simulation, 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 things within the game, this is entirely optional and does not incur any consequences other than having less space to store items.


In every town in the Animal Crossing, the village itself is entirely composed of a populi of animals (excluding the player, who is the only human child in the whole series). Villagers serve as interactable characters who are assigned personalities and traits, and this affects the way they communicate with you and among themselves. Villagers are capable of speech (despite being animals), and live in their own domains within the villages. Villagers, in the later games, are also capable of playing games such as hide and seek, and most often than not they will usually ask you to perform tasks for them (which ranges from delivering presents to sending a message to another human player), which can incur a reward if executed in the set time. Villagers are also anthropormorphic, and as such, they are able to walk in a humanoid state, and can also wear clothes. Villagers move in and out 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 also said that they enjoy receiving letters, and if sent a gift they will usually send one back.


Although the earlier games offered little or no service in terms of customization, more recent games feature the ability for the player to not only customize their own clothes, but also wallpapers, flooring and even paintings in their home. It is also possible to decorate the ground in-game with patterns. The term 'customization' can also include the variety of items and furniture available to collect, allowing the user, in a sense, to "customize" their houses and themes. Animal Crossing: New Leaf has more customization than earlier games in the series.


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 the bug exhibit within the town museum). Some of these said 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 Japan.
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.
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.
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.

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