Animal Crossing (series)

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The Animal Crossing series logo since 2020
This article is about the Animal Crossing series. For the game of the same name, see Animal Crossing (GCN).

The Animal Crossing[nb 1] 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 series[edit]

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

lit. Animal Forest
Nintendo 64
iQue Player
Nintendo 64:

Japan April 14, 2001
iQue Player:
China January 1, 2006

The first game of the series, released on the Nintendo 64 exclusively in Japan. The game was later released in China for the iQue Player.
PG Box NA Player's Choice.jpg
Animal Crossing どうぶつの森+
Dōbutsu no Mori+

lit. Animal Forest+
Nintendo GameCube Japan December 14, 2001

United States of America September 16, 2002
Australia October 17, 2003
Europe September 24, 2004

Released in Japan as a Nintendo GameCube port of the original game. The port was localized internationally as Animal Crossing, the first game to be released in the west, with numerous aesthetic and gameplay changes and added regional events.
DnMe+ Box.jpg
Dōbutsu no Mori e+ どうぶつの森e+
Dōbutsu no Mori e+

lit. Animal Forest e+
Nintendo GameCube Japan 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
WW Box NA.jpg
Animal Crossing:
Wild World
Oideyo Dōbutsu no Mori

lit. Animal Forest: Come Here
Nintendo DS
Virtual Console
Japan November 23, 2005

United States of America December 5, 2005
Australia December 8, 2005
Europe March 31, 2006
South Korea December 6, 2007

First game released on a handheld console, first to be released worldwide, first to feature online multiplayer (via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection)
CF Box NA.jpg
Animal Crossing:
City Folk
Machi e ikouyo: Dōbutsu no Mori

lit. Let's Go to the City: Animal Forest
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

Some copies of the game were bundled with Wii Speak.
Third Generation
NL Box NA.jpg
Animal Crossing:
New Leaf
Tobidase Dōbutsu no Mori

lit. Jump Out Animal Forest
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

First game to utilise stereoscopic 3D visuals.
Welcome amiibo UK box art.png
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 Japan November 23, 2016

Australia November 24, 2016
Europe November 25, 2016
South Korea December 1, 2016
United States of America December 8, 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
NH Box NA.png
Animal Crossing:
New Horizons
あつまれ どうぶつの森
Atsumare Dōbutsu no Mori

lit. Animal Forest: Gather
Nintendo Switch Worldwide March 20, 2020
The player lives on a deserted island.

Spin-off titles[edit]

Boxart English title Japanese title Platform Release date(s) Notes
HHD Box North America.png
Animal Crossing:
Happy Home Designer
Dōbutsu no Mori: Happī Hōmu Dezainā
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.
ACaF - Box art.jpg
Animal Crossing:
amiibo Festival
Dōbutsu no Mori: amiibo Fesutibaru
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 utilises amiibo.
PC Logo English.png
Animal Crossing:
Pocket Camp
どうぶつの森 ポケットキャンプ
Dōbutsu no Mori: Poketo Kyanpu
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.


External links[edit]


  1. Japanese: どうぶつの森 Hepburn: Dōbutsu no MoriAnimal Forest