Animal Crossing (series)

From Nookipedia, the Animal Crossing wiki
This article is about the series. For the specific game in the series with the same name, see Animal Crossing.
International logo for the Animal Crossing series

Animal Crossing[nb 1] is a series of social simulation video games developed by Nintendo and created by Katsuya Eguchi and Hisashi Nogami. The series revolves around a human player character living in a town inhabited by animals and performing tasks such as fishing, catching bugs, socializing with the villagers, or collecting items. Animal Crossing is open-ended and uses the system's internal clock to simulate taking place in real-time, with the gameplay changing based on the time of day and year, and special events happening on certain days in the year.


The Animal Crossing series was made by Katsuya Eguchi and Hisashi Nogami. Eguchi got the idea for Animal Crossing when he moved to Kyoto to work at Nintendo. Speaking to Edge Magazine in 2008 he said: "Animal Crossing features three themes: family, friendship and community. But the reason I wanted to investigate them was a result of being so lonely when I arrived in Kyoto! Chiba is east of Tokyo and quite a distance from Kyoto, and when I moved there I left my family and friends behind. In doing so, I realised that being close to them – being able to spend time with them, talk to them, play with them – was such a great, important thing. I wondered for a long time if there would be a way to recreate that feeling, and that was the impetus behind the original Animal Crossing." [1]



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, can 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 offer few options in terms of customization, more recent games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons feature the ability to not only customize the appearance of the player, but also more designing options in term of interior and exterior. Interior designing aspects include wallpapers, flooring, rugs, lighting, soundscapes, and furniture in the player's home, as well as the home's exterior changes. Exterior designing aspects include the placement of either furniture, public works projects, bridges, or incline depending on the game, as well as the changes made to the town's flora and landscaping via the Island Designer Construction Permit.


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 series[edit]

Boxart Title Platforms and release dates Information
DnM Box.jpg
Doubutsu no Mori[nb 2] Nintendo 64
Japan April 14, 2001
The first game in the series, originally released on the Nintendo 64 in Japan.
DnM+ Box.png
Doubutsu no Mori+[nb 3] Nintendo GameCube
Japan December 14, 2001
Released in Japan as a Nintendo GameCube port of the original game on Nintendo 64. Doubutsu no Mori+ expands upon the original Doubutsu no Mori, including the addition of the museum, Able Sisters, and Animal Island.
PG Box NA.png
Animal Crossing Nintendo GameCube
United States of America September 16, 2002
Australia October 17, 2003
Europe September 24, 2004
The first game to be released in the west, Animal Crossing changed numerous aesthetic and gameplay elements from Doubutsu no Mori+, as well as adding new regional events.
DnMe+ Outer Box.png
Doubutsu no Mori e+[nb 4] Nintendo GameCube
Japan June 27, 2003
A re-localization of Animal Crossing for Japan, Doubutsu no Mori e+ featured additional changes and updates, including new villagers, critters, and enhanced e-Reader support. Released exclusively in Japan.
WW Box NA.jpg
Animal Crossing: Wild World[nb 5] Nintendo DS
Japan November 23, 2005
United States of America December 5, 2005
Australia December 8, 2005
Europe March 31, 2006
South Korea December 6, 2007
The first game released on a handheld console and the first to be released worldwide, Wild World featured changes to villager interactions, a story-based missions system, and emphasis on player customization. Wild World also trimmed out villagers and events, many not returning until future games. Wild World was also the first to feature online multiplayer (via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection). Wild World outsold its predecessor with 11.75 million copies sold to become the best-selling Animal Crossing game until New Leaf.[2]
Wii U (Virtual Console)
Europe November 19, 2015
Australia November 19, 2015
Japan July 27, 2016
United States of America October 13, 2016
IQue Box.jpg
Dòngwù Sēnlín[nb 6] iQue Player
China June 1, 2006[3]
The iQue Player port of Doubutsu no Mori, it features numerous localization changes to items and textures.
CF Box NA.jpg
Animal Crossing: City Folk[nb 7] Wii
United States of America November 16, 2008
Japan November 17, 2008
Australia December 4, 2008
Europe December 5, 2008
South Korea January 28, 2010
City Folk includes new and changed features, most notable the addition of the city. Many villagers and events cut from Wild World return, with new events including Festivale and Bunny Day, as well as additional regional holidays. Some copies of the game were also bundled with Wii Speak.
NL Box NA.jpg
Animal Crossing: New Leaf[nb 8] Nintendo 3DS
Japan November 8, 2012
South Korea February 8, 2013
United States of America June 9, 2013
Europe June 14, 2013
Australia June 15, 2013
New Leaf brought significant changes to the Animal Crossing series, with the gameplay placing a huge emphasis on the player's role as mayor of their town. New Leaf added two new villager personalities, smug and big sister, with several villagers having their personality realigned. New Leaf also featured a new shopping district known as Main Street, additional special characters including Isabelle, the ability to share and visit towns by dreaming and Tortimer Island, where players can chose to play out minigames and collect exotic goods. New Leaf sold 12.82 million copies, outselling Wild World to become the highest-selling Animal Crossing game until New Horizons.[4]
Welcome amiibo UK box art.png
Animal Crossing: New Leaf - Welcome amiibo[nb 9] Nintendo 3DS
Japan November 23, 2016
Australia November 24, 2016
Europe November 25, 2016
South Korea December 1, 2016
United States of America December 8, 2016
An expansion update for New Leaf, Welcome amiibo brought back villagers cut since Doubutsu no Mori e+, introduced an area known as the campground, and added amiibo functionality. The expansion also included crossover villagers with the likes of Zelda, Splatoon, Sanrio, and Monster Hunter. Welcome amiibo was released as a standalone updated version of the game.
NH Box NA.png
Animal Crossing: New Horizons[nb 10] Nintendo Switch
Worldwide March 20, 2020
The first main Animal Crossing series game to be in high-definition, New Horizons features the player living on a deserted island hosted by Nook Inc., and they are given the task to promote the island and gain the attention of K.K. Slider. New Horizons introduces the ability to craft items, allowing the player to craft furniture and tools alongside special goods such as fish bait to catch fish. Additional features in New Horizons include the ability to place furniture outside, a new application to modify cliffs, water, and paths, changes to villager interactions and personalities, a Ladder and Vaulting Pole for easier navigation, and the ability to host multiplayer sessions without relying on friend lists. New Horizons gained notoriety in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has sold 43.38 million copies, eclipsing New Leaf to become the best-selling Animal Crossing game.[5] New Horizons received many regular updates that added new features and modified content.
HHP Key Art NA.jpg
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise[nb 11] Nintendo Switch
Worldwide November 5, 2021
A paid downloadable expansion for New Horizons, and successor to the Nintendo 3DS spin-off game Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. The player can travel to an archipelago resort to design vacation homes for characters, with newly introduced items and abilities able to be taken back to the player's home island. The expansion is available for individual purchase from the Nintendo eShop, or can be played as part of a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pass subscription.

Spin-off titles[edit]

Boxart Title Platforms and release dates Information
HHD Box North America.png
Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer[nb 12] Nintendo 3DS
Japan July 30, 2015
United States of America September 25, 2015
Europe October 2, 2015
Australia October 3, 2015
Based on New Leaf, this spin-off focuses on designing homes and gardens. First game in the series to use amiibo.
AF Box North America.jpg
Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival[nb 13] Wii U
United States of America November 13, 2015
Europe November 20, 2015
Japan November 21, 2015
Australia November 21, 2015
A multiplayer party game that utilizes amiibo.
PC Logo English.png
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp[nb 14] iOS/Android
Australia October 25, 2017 (Beta)
Japan November 21, 2017
United States of America November 21, 2017
Europe November 21, 2017
First game to be released on mobile devices. Receives regular content updates.

Other media[edit]

Various media based on the Animal Crossing video games has been released, including soundtracks, manga series, and a feature-length film.


Main article: List of Animal Crossing soundtracks

Multiple Animal Crossing games, along with 🎬 Gekijōban Doubutsu no Mori, have received official soundtrack releases.


Main article: Gekijōban Doubutsu no Mori

A feature-length film based on Animal Crossing: Wild World was released in Japan in 2006.


Main article: List of Animal Crossing manga

Numerous manga have been created based on the Animal Crossing series.



The following artwork is not known to have been used to promote any specific game and is instead used to promote the series as a whole.


  1. Japanese: どうぶつの森 Hepburn: Dōbutsu no MoriAnimal Forest
  2. Japanese: どうぶつの森 Hepburn: Dōbutsu no MoriAnimal Forest
  3. Japanese: どうぶつの森+ Hepburn: Dōbutsu no Mori+Animal Forest+
  4. Japanese: どうぶつの森e+ Hepburn: Dōbutsu no Mori e+Animal Forest e+
  5. Japanese: おいでよどうぶつの森 Hepburn: Oideyo Dōbutsu no MoriAnimal Forest: Come Here
  6. Chinese: 动物森林; pinyin: Dòngwù SēnlínAnimal Forest
  7. Japanese: 街へいこうよどうぶつの森 Hepburn: Machi e ikouyo: Dōbutsu no MoriLet's Go to the City: Animal Forest
  8. Japanese: とびだせどうぶつの森 Hepburn: Tobidase Dōbutsu no MoriJump Out Animal Forest
  9. Japanese: とびだせ どうぶつの森 amiibo+ Hepburn: Tobidase Dōbutsu no Mori amiibo+Jump Out Animal Forest amiibo+
  10. Japanese: あつまれ どうぶつの森 Hepburn: Atsumare Dōbutsu no Morilit. Get Together: Animal Forest
  11. Japanese: あつまれ どうぶつの森 ハッピーホームパラダイス Hepburn: Atsumare Dōbutsu no Mori Happī Hōmu Paradaisulit. Get Together: Animal Forest Happy Home Paradise
  12. Japanese: どうぶつの森:ハッピーホームデザイナ Hepburn: Dōbutsu no Mori: Happī Hōmu Dezainā
  13. Japanese: どうぶつの森amiiboフェスティバル Hepburn: Dōbutsu no Mori: amiibo Fesutibaru
  14. Japanese: どうぶつの森 ポケットキャンプ Hepburn: Dōbutsu no Mori: Poketo Kyanpu


  1. James Newton (December 14, 2011). "Celebrating 10 Years of Animal Crossing". Nintendo Life. Retrieved October 24, 2023.
  2. Nintendo. "Nintendo DS Software". Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  3. (archived)
  4. Nintendo. "Top Selling Software Sales Units: Nintendo 3DS Software". Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  5. Nintendo (September 30, 2023). "Top Selling Title Sales Units". Retrieved January 3, 2024.

External links[edit]

Animal Crossing (series) on other wikis

• SmashWiki
• Wikipedia

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