Animal Crossing is therapy in game form. Many people have recounted how it’s helped them deal with problems like depression and anxiety, because it’s just so relaxing. It’s exactly what we need after a long day at work. Animal Crossing is designed to be picked up and played whenever you need some downtime, and it can provide you with hours of entertainment. We’re talking hundreds of hours here (don’t ask us how we know). However, when you return to the same town day after day, you start to yearn for something new. If you’re looking for games like Animal Crossing, these titles should tide you over.
Games Like Animal Crossing
Animal Crossing has performed so well because it found the perfect combination of life simulator and relaxing atmosphere (even when tarantulas are chasing you). It’s not a combo that’s easy to pull off, but these games manage to walk the line perfectly. You’ll find the stress of everyday life washing away as you become absorbed in these simulation titles, to the point that you’ll probably lose hours of your life. If you love Animal Crossing, you’ll love these games too.
We’re all familiar with The Sims, right? The franchise has been around since the turn of the century, with a multitude of spin-offs in its back catalog. The Sims allows you to create your own character(s) and live vicariously through them, from helping them succeed in their job to improving their chances at love. You can spend your time earning millions or just woohoo with every character that innocently comes to say hi. If you’re looking to relieve some stress, The Sims can definitely help you with that. While Animal Crossing might do that by creating a nice atmosphere, The Sims does it in a slightly different way. C’mon, who hasn’t locked a sim in a room and waited for them to starve?
Remember Miis? At the height of the Wii’s success, they were everywhere. They’re still hanging around, and they now have their own line of games. Why not try out Tomodachi Life? It’s filled with the types of interactions you find in Animal Crossing. You get to help out your Miis and watch as they do random things with one another. If your favorite part of Animal Crossing is doing tasks for your villagers, then this will be right up your street. The more you help your Miis, the more you learn about them, and the greater your relationship becomes. It’s incredibly rewarding.
Another similar game to Animal Crossing is Harvest Moon. Both have rural settings, although the latter is much more rooted in farming than the former. If you want to do more than plant trees and flowers in Animal Crossing, then Harvest Moon should give you what you want. You grow crops on the farm which you then sell to earn money. As you grow stronger as a farmer, you get to know the locals and find which characters you like (and which you don’t). Unlike in Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon also offers the prospect of finding a life partner, which provides an additional and exciting challenge to the relaxing gameplay.
This indie title was based on Harvest Moon, so it’s already off to a good start. Stardew Valley has a similar emphasis on farming crops, building relationships and finding love, but with plenty of kooky twists along the way. You’ll find yourself devoted to improving life in town the way you do in Animal Crossing, especially when it comes to finding collectibles. Plus, there’s the option to spend your whole day down by the river or ocean catching fish. We all know that’s one of the best parts of Animal Crossing.
Mineko’s Night Market
This game hasn’t been released yet (coming 2018), but it’s sure to give you all the Animal Crossing feels. Mineko’s Night Market is billed as Animal Crossing with (even more) cats, which makes us incredibly hopeful. The trailer looks super adorable, especially as it shows your little cat friends following you around the game world. Mineko’s Night Market has more focus on story and crafting than Animal Crossing, so there’s enough that’s different about it to make it worth your money. It’ll be the perfect game to fill your time as you wait (impatiently) for Nintendo to announce Animal Crossing on the Switch.
Animal Crossing will always be the best community simulation game out there, but sometimes you need to experience new things. Your town and all your favorite villagers will still be waiting for you when you try out these games similar to Animal Crossing, though don’t expect them not to judge you for leaving them. They know when you haven’t been on for a few weeks…