Just two months ago, Nintendo released Animal Crossing Pocket Camp worldwide! Already, it’s become one of the most popular games in the app store, with an average of 4.8 stars and over 200k downloads. Like all Animal Crossing games, Pocket Camp is social-simulation game. The player interacts with the other characters (called “campers” in this game) and can perform various tasks for them.
These tasks range from collecting fruit to catching bugs, and so on. By doing this, the player increases their friendship with the campers and collects materials, like wood, cotton, or steel, to craft furniture for their own campsite. Once the player collects certain types of furniture, they can invite their favorite campers to hang out at their campsite!
The premise is simple but addicting! What’s even better is that the app is free-to-play. Unlike many supposedly free apps, Pocket Camp doesn’t pressure the player into spending money to have a fulfilling gameplay experience.
It’s possible to purchase the all-purpose “leaf tickets” to speed up crafting, replace missing materials, or get more stylish furniture, but it’s not necessary. The game itself offers plenty of opportunities to collect leaf tickets for free. Plus, players will never need a ticket to progress in the game.
How Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Can Improve
While the game is great to play as-is, there are a few issues that leave players wanting more. Fortunately, the game is only on version 1.1.2 and has clear plans to add more to the game, such as “clothes crafting.” It is entirely possible that Nintendo could actually implement some of the suggestions listed here or elsewhere!
1. Expand the Campsite
Currently, players can only place furniture in one section of their campsite, which is relatively small. The area is roughly equal to the size of the two amenity spaces above it. At the beginning of the game, the area is enough space for the limited furniture a player will be able to craft.
However, at higher levels, players will want to display entire sets of furniture, which is hard to do with the current area. If players place objects directly next to each other, they cannot walk around the campsite comfortably. There needs to be enough space between objects to maneuver around and enough space to display the furniture.
True, it can be very funny to see villagers magically appear in the center of a trapped area to interact with a lamp, but it can be frustrating when the player wants to interact. There are two ways that Nintendo can address this issue: let the amenity areas also hold furniture if there is no amenity in place or provide options to expand the campsite like players can expand their camper trailer.
As it is, the campsite has enough area to expand out slightly. Sometimes campers can be seen hanging out just outside the decorated area. Nintendo could just expand the interactable area outwards slightly to encompass those locations!
2. Make the “Mine” More Accessible
Shovelstrike Quarry is an area where players can break rocks to find gold nuggets and exchange them for materials and in-game money. This can be a big help when players are low on certain materials. Often, the available campers won’t be giving the material a player needs in exchange for certain favors. Unfortunately, the quarry is the only situation where players have to succumb to using leaf tickets.
Usually, there won’t be five players to “lend a hand” in the required timeframe. The “lending a hand” doesn’t stay until a player has gotten all five. Unless a player contacts five other players to lend a hand while they are playing, it’s pretty unlikely for them to get into the quarry. So, players end up using leaf tickets. Luckily, the quarry isn’t strictly necessary to progress in the game, but it still is disappointing to waste leaf tickets on something that has somewhat of a broken system.
Nintendo can resolve this in a few ways. They can lower the number of friends that need to “lend a hand,” make it so that the “lending a hand” option carries over to the next hour if left unused, or lower how many leaf tickets a player needs to enter the quarry.
In this case, it’s more important that Nintendo correct the “help from friends” option. Both options need to be nearly equally effective for it to be fair for players. If one option is being picked over the other most of the time because the other doesn’t really work, it’s not a good system.
3. Increase Flower Options
The most recent big addition to the game was the garden area. In this area, players can plant, harvest, and breed flowers! Players can also exchange flowers for floral furniture items. Currently, there are only two flower breed options: tulips and pansies. This is one of the “issues” of the game that Nintendo likely already plans to address.
Right now, the playing in the garden isn’t very interesting. While it’s cool that Pocket Camp has a clearer cross-pollinating system than other Animal Crossing games, the limited styles of flowers is a drawback. Pocket Camp should add other flowers that have appeared in previous games, such as daisies, roses, and carnations.
While it’s not clear when Nintendo will be adding these features, it’s a near guarantee. Looking at the “Seasonal” tab, there are no flower options right now. However, because the tab is there, players can reasonably anticipate some new seeds coming.
4. Add Unlockable Areas
Right now, there are only four areas players can explore, not counting the OK Motors and marketplace areas. Walking around these locations can get old pretty fast since they’re already so small. Currently, Nintendo keeps things fresh by adding more campers to the game and rotating who is available throughout the day.
The problem here is that at higher levels, there is less incentive to continue to climb levels. At lower levels, players feel the need to “acquire” every new camper they come across. However, at higher levels, the player has unlocked more campers than they could reasonably acquire or invite. This is probably not a problem for players with “completionist” attitudes, but for others, the game may lose some appeal.
To correct this, Nintendo could add one or two areas that are only unlockable at higher levels. These areas could have more types of fruit (such as durian), unique fish or bugs, and maybe “throwback” characters like Blathers. Unfortunately, this suggestion may be limited by the format of the game, but hopefully, it’s not too farfetched an idea.
5. Allow Animals to Visit the Camper
In the game, the player also has a “camper” that the game implies gets you around to the various areas on the map. Overall, most players don’t interact with the camper very much. However, the game tries to get players to care about it. For example, OK Motors offers various kinds of paint jobs for the camper. Another example is that OK Motors offers camper expansions for loans. This is what Tom Nook does for the player’s house in other Animal Crossing games.
Though, there isn’t a reason to do this in Pocket Camp. The nicer paint jobs are expensive, and the flooring and wallpaper crafting options for the camper are pretty costly. The game implies that the camper is more of a high-level player affair. It seems like something to improve when you have more money and materials than you know what to do with.
Nintendo shouldn’t include a feature that counts on the rest of the game being “completed.” At that point, players would probably lose interest in the game as a whole. One way Nintendo can have players engage more with the camper is have animals request to visit the camper.
In previous Animal Crossing games, the villagers will ask to see the player’s house. If campers request to look at the inside of the players’ trailer, the player will be more interested in decorating.
Pocket Camp, Moving Forward!
These are just a few features that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp can rework or add to make the gameplay even more fun! The game itself seems to be far from complete. Again, the garden will definitely see some improvements, and soon players will get to see what “clothes crafting” is all about.
This isn’t a comprehensive list of all the concerns players may have. Moreover, this shows what fans of the game can hope for in the future. Let us know what you think Nintendo should add to Pocket Camp!