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Nintendo is one of the biggest names in gaming, and after years of resisting it started releasing games for iPhone and iPad just last year. Well, a day ahead of schedule we were surprised to see a brand new game drop onto the App Store based on Nintendo’s popular Animal Crossing series.

Pocket Camp

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a kind of social simulator – not a million miles away from The Sims – in which you’ll settle down in a cartoon campsite populated with weird and wacky animals. As manager of the campsite, it’s your job to liven the place up and make it your own. You can also collect and build furniture and amenities, befriend the locals and explore the natural world around you.

The campsite is pretty bare when you first arrive

The game is great for kids, as you can tell from the screenshots, but what’s less obvious is just how charming and addictive the series can be for adults too. It almost feels like a living town and it’s fun to drop in every now and again to see how everyone is doing. The game runs on real time, so if you play at night everyone will be asleep and if you play on Halloween or Thanksgiving the game will reflect that with special events!

It’s worth noting that although Pocket Camp is free, it does feature a virtual currency that can be bought with in-app purchases to speed things up. Nintendo has done a pretty good job of making this optional though, especially compared with other freemium apps. If you’re curious about the world of Animal Crossing, give it a shot!

Get Animal Crossing

More on Nintendo

Beyond the world-conquering Pokémon GO – which was actually developed by Niantic, not Nintendo – there are already a few decent entries on the App Store courtesy of Nintendo. See our reviews of strategy RPG Fire Emblem, auto-running platformer Super Mario Run, and quirky social network Miitomo for more on the Nintendo catalog.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why Nintendo doesn’t bring any of its older games to the App Store – we’ve been thinking the same.