It is one of our favorite games to relax, and its colorful and friendly proposal has made it one of the most loved titles by players. We talk about Animal Crossing, a saga that today April 14 turns 20 since it debuted its first installment in Japan for the Nintendo 64 system. This first game hit the European and Spanish market a few years later, in September 2004, then debuting for GameCube. Today is the time to look back and remember this first step to a series that this 2020 has proven to be more relevant than ever for gamers, after Animal Crossing: New Horizons has recorded more than 22 million copies sold in a matter of a year.

Animal Crossing: 20 years since debut

Baptized in Japan as Dōbutsu no Mori (Animal forest, in Spanish), the video game Animal Crossing saw the light in the Nippon country on the console Nintendo 64 in April 2001. However, a little later, in December, he also debuted in GameCube with improvements baptized as Dōbutsu no Mori +. This version would be known all over the world as Animal Crossing. Finally, in 2003, the game was reissued in Japan as Dōbutsu no Morie +, adding the previous improvements made together with new features.

Animal Crossing came to offer players a life apart in a village inhabited by anthropomorphic and funny-voiced animals. The game has its characteristic real-time game system: That allows the days, weeks, months and years to coincide with that of our own calendar. Thus, Nintendo allows events like Halloween or Thanksgiving they could also be celebrated in the video game itself. Other activities, such as fishing tournaments, they also had a schedule that coincides with the real one. In this way, immersion in the game was much easier to achieve.

Improving our house, one of the main objectives of the game

One of the objectives that we find in the game, and that has remained intact throughout future installments, is to increase our house. For this we have to pay the mortgage to Tom Nook using the berries as currency, while the house in turn serves to collect furniture and other objects that we are getting throughout the game. It can also be customized: you could change the color of the ceiling, the music that sounds or the wallpaper and the floor. As we already know, these changes made were evaluated by the Happy Room Academy (HRA). In addition to expanding their dwelling, players could embark on all kinds of activities, such as could be searching for fossils or interacting with neighbors.

This first game also featured a multiplayer mode, allowing up to four players to take turns creating their own houses in the same village. The Handy Sisters store, the Museum or the police station are the locations that were already present in this title, and that today continue to accompany the players more than 20 years later.

Your development and sales

The first Animal Crossing came from the hand of Nintendo EAD (Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development) led by Katsuya Eguchi, Hisashi Nogami and the co-creator of Super Mario Takashi Tezuka. A team that reconvened after having worked on the video game Yoshi’s Story in 1997. Kazumi Totaka (whose last name is reminiscent of the name of the character Totakeke, the game’s popular music dog) served as the game’s sound director. For its part, Kenta Nagata composed the background music for the stages, while Toru Minegishi dealt with music for the indoor areas and Shinobu Tanaka for events.

After enjoying your debut, Animal Crossing enjoyed a lot of praise and was Named the 7th Greatest Game of All Time on the GameCube Console by the television program X-Play on the G4 channel. Nintendo defined the game as a “communication title”, While in the analysis that we dedicate to him in Vandal we praise his extensive options to interact with the game characters.

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