Animal Crossing: City Folk (街へいこうよ どうぶつの森, Machi e ikō yo: Dōbutsu no mori, Animal Forest: Let's Go to the City), known in Europe and Australia as Animal Crossing: Let's Go to the City, is a 2008 life simulation video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii console and the third game in the Animal Crossing series. It is also one of the first titles that was re-released as a part of the Nintendo Selects collection in 2011.
In City Folk, the player character lives in a rural village populated with anthropomorphic animals, taking part in various activities such as collecting and planting. Similar to other games in the Animal Crossing series the game is synced to the Wii system clock and calendar, allowing the game to be played in real-time and affecting the occurrence of in-game events based on the current time of day or season. City Folk utilizes Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, allowing players to visit one another's villages via online play. The game is also the first Wii title to be compatible with the Wii Speak accessory, which enables voice chat.
City Folk was officially announced at E3 2008. While the game is one of the best-selling games on the Wii with 3.38 million copies sold worldwide, the game received mixed reviews, gaining aggregate scores of 73 and 73.48% on Metacritic and GameRankings respectively; common criticism was directed towards the game's similarity to its predecessor, Animal Crossing: Wild World.
Animal Crossing: City Folk's gameplay is built upon the gameplay of previous Animal Crossing games. The Wii Remote pointer and motion controls (including the Nunchuk) can be used for handling tools, such as axes, slingshots, fishing rods, and bug-catching nets. The game also has shovels and watering cans. Players live in individual houses spread apart from each other, unlike Animal Crossing, in which all four houses are located in a central plaza, and Animal Crossing: Wild World, in which all players share one house. Each town begins with six animal residents, and can grow to a maximum of ten. In Animal Crossing for the Nintendo GameCube, up to 15 animal residents can live in a single town, and in Animal Crossing: Wild World, there can be only 8. In previous iterations of Animal Crossing, custom clothing involves a single image that is repeated on the front, back and sleeves; in City Folk, the player can make separate images for each, which is called a "Pro" design.
The player will be able to celebrate as time progresses through several real-world holidays, such as Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, Easter, Father's Day, Mother's Day, and Halloween, although they are named differently in the game itself. Holiday-associated characters from previous games return, as well as new additions such as Zipper T. the Easter Bunny, Pavé (a peacock who celebrates "Festivale"), and Nat (a chameleon who hosts the "Bug-off", a bug catching contest).
Players use a currency known as "bells" in the game. They can get bells by selling items to Nook, the local store owner, such as fish, bugs, fruit, or almost anything they have. Players can save their bells in their own account at the Bank of Nintendo. They may deposit or withdraw bells at the ABD machine located at the town hall.
Players have their own house in the game. Their house is provided by Tom Nook. Nook allows them to pay off their house over time, instead of all at once. They can go to the ABD machine to pay off some of this debt whenever they have the money. Once a player pays off a certain amount, their house is upgraded, adding a new story or making the first level of the house bigger. Players may decorate this house anyway they please. The HRA (Happy Room Academy) in the city rates their room, and will pick a room to put on display. Players buy furniture at Tom Nook's, Redd's in the city, or from other animals in their town. Players can use feng shui to earn more HRA points and get luckier in their daily doings, such as catching rare fish or bugs more often.
Players and animals alike can participate in hobbies. These include fishing, bug-catching, fossil finding, and gardening. There is a wide variety of bugs and fish that can be caught, which can be sold or donated to the museum. There is also a large selection of trees and flowers to plant. There are many fossils to be found buried across the village. The player can participate in occasional Bug-Offs or Fishing Tourneys.
The city is a new area added to the game. The player can go there by taking a bus from town, driven by Kapp'n, and once at the city, players can buy clothes, get their hair done, go to a theatre, bid on furniture, and much more. Also, characters may appear in the city such as Phineas (who hands out prizes) and Kicks (who polishes shoes).
Animal Crossing: City Folk is the first Wii game to use Wii Speak, a new microphone option for the Wii that enables voice communication over Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection (WFC). With Wii Speak, all people in a room can communicate with those in another room also containing the device, and can also have live text chat using a USB Keyboard. Players can communicate with other players by sending messages to their town, Wii Message Board, mobile phone, or personal computer.
An auction house run by Lloid, a Gyroid, is available in the city and is where players can auction items to other players via Nintendo WFC. There is also an office for the Happy Room Academy run by Lyle, where players can see how other players' towns are progressing.
The game supports Nintendo DS connectivity functionality. Instead of creating a new character, players can import characters from Wild World. Only the character's face, hair (including color and style) and catalog (the items purchasable from Tom Nook) are imported; bells and items owned by the character (including items in the character's inventory, house, town, or dressers) are not transferred. The data in Wild World is not modified when a character is copied to City Folk, so the character can continue to be played on the DS as well. Items from the character's catalog can be repurchased with bells from City Folk. A system error occurred with the Australian version of Let's Go to the City when connecting with the Nintendo DS claiming that it was "the wrong game card". Nintendo Australia allowed gamers to send back their game discs to fix the error to allow compatibility. Additionally, the Nintendo DS can be used to transfer characters between Wii consoles as a means of visiting other player's towns via DS Download Play.
Downloadable content (DLC):
Using WiiConnect24, Nintendo periodically sends out downloadable content to online players. These range from items to celebrate particular holidays or to commemorate the release of new games. The first item released from Nintendo was the "Red Pikmin Hat". Other items given to players include a "Girl's Day updo" and "Top", Saint Patrick's Day hat, DSi chair (White for EU; black or pink for US), a bag of bells for Tax Day, and a bus model for teacher appreciation week. After summer '09 began, Nintendo sent to North American players a hot dog hat, the dolphin model from Pikmin, ladder shades, a hopscotch flooring, a dresser in the shape of a Nintendo GameCube, a pile of leaves, an election poster, an anniversary cake, and a Wii locker.
These items can be ordered from Nook's catalog provided that they had been downloaded when they were available. In the case of patterns given by Wendell the Walrus, if they were originally Japanese only, then they will keep their Japanese name if used in a European or American version of the game, while regular items will have English names.
The game was announced as a Wii game that markets the WiiConnect24 feature of the console. In a 2006 interview, Katsuya Eguchi, leader of Animal Crossing's production development, stated, "someone could send a letter from their cellphone or from an email address on a PC to the Wii, and then the player living in the town in Animal Crossing could receive that letter." In another interview with IGN, Katsuya Eguchi also discussed how his team continues exploring potential ways to take advantage of the WiiConnect24 feature such as allowing friends to visit other towns or to leave messages while the machine is in standby mode.
73/100 (50 reviews)
33 out of 40
7.2 out of 10
7.5 out of 10
8.0 out of 10
4 out of 5
The Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu gave it a score of 33/40, lower than the 37/40 scores of its predecessors, while Nintendo Power gave the game an 8.0. Cheat Codes Central gave the game a score of 4.4/5, calling the game great, but too similar to its predecessors.IGN gave the game a 7.5/10, claiming that while the design of the game is sound, they believed it was too much like its DS predecessor to the point of suggesting it to be just a port with enhanced features.1UP.com gave the game a C grade, claiming "City Folk seems like a missed opportunity to improve and enhance the series in almost every possible way." X-Play gave the game a 4 out of 5, praising the gameplay and the addition of Wii Speak while finding it too similar to previous titles. The British Official Nintendo Magazine gave the game 90%, saying that the game was "Packed full of Nintendo Charm" and "You'll be playing it for months", but criticized the game as it being "Not new enough for veterans". It was awarded Best Simulation Game for the Wii by IGN in its 2008 video game awards. IGN also nominated it for Best Family Game and Best Online Multiplayer Game.GameSpot also awarded it as being the Least Improved Sequel.
As of January 4, 2009, Animal Crossing: City Folk has sold 949,000 copies in Japan. It was the 10th best-selling game of December 2008 in the United States, selling in excess of 497,000 copies. It is also the eighth best-selling game of Japan in 2009. As of May 2009, Animal Crossing: City Folk has sold 3.38 million copies worldwide.