Nintendo has officially announced that its mobile title in the Animal Crossing series will be called Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and also confirmed that that the game will hit this calendar year.

Pre-registration on Google Play is available now, and the game will release in November on both Android and iOS. We don’t know yet if it will be released the same day and date on both platforms, but arrival in the same month at least is a great sign.

The game doesn’t look like the full Animal Crossing experience, which itself is a bit disappointing but not entirely unexpected. Nintendo say you will craft furniture items, interact with “animal friends” and gather resources while managing a campsite. Seeing how the crafting element is actually accomplished will be interesting, as it’s a popular trend in gaming these days.

Crafting can be a chore at times, especially when combined with in-app purchases, which this game has in spades. You can purchase “Leaf Tickets” with real-world money and they can be used to shorten timers for crafting items, acquire better materials or even better camp designs. Now you can be in debt to Tom Nook in real life, too!

Being able to create and customize your character is a nice change given you can’t really do that in past Animal Crossing games — the only way to darken your skin tone was to get sunburned on the island in past games, a massive oversight by Nintendo at the time. Now skin tone is an option in the character creator.

The game promises multiplayer tie-ins via inviting your friends to visit your campsite, and random player avatars will visit occasionally. There are other in-game areas, including a beach, forest, river and an island, as well as the market place, where you can visit shops manned by series favorites like the Able Sisters and others.

This will be the first Animal Crossing game to feature seasonal events that will be connected to the Internet. Past games have had holidays that were celebrated in-game that simply went by the real-world clock, but this one will feature curated events from Nintendo on a semi-regular basis.

At this point, the game looks deep enough to not just be a mobile spin-off game that you’d write off, but seeing how prominent the real-world currency is and how annoying the in-game timers are will be important to watch. Animal Crossing always utilized time in interesting ways, but nobody likes to wait four hours for an item to finish crafting.

We’ll find out how it’s balanced in late November. Peep the Pocket Camp Digest video below.

You can pre-register for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp on Google Play now.


James founded Destination Android and writes about sports for Vox Media's SB Nation. He is a mindless jerk who will be first against the wall when the revolution comes.

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