Animal Crossing Pocket Camp's First Winter Event Is Surprisingly Cheerless

Walking in a snow-less wonderland.

Analysis by Caty McCarthy. Published 2nd December 2017 01:00AM

Where's all the snow at?

It's December 1st—first off, wow this year has flown by—and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp's first event is underway. It's a holiday celebration, except Animal Crossing picked its side in the ongoing War Against Christmas, donning players with Santa hats and feeding other red and green things to craft. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp's Firmly Pro-Christmas Only event might cause a laugh or two, if it actually offered anything of note.

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I'd like to compare this lackluster event, that is really just a single tab in your crafting space of Christmas-themed items, to another mobile free-to-play game I play on a daily basis. That game is Love Nikki Dress-Up Queen, a dress-'em-up game with its own narrative, quest structure, seemingly endless clothes to craft and collect, and more. It's surprisingly deep for a fashion-inclined game, but it's all the better for it. It's also, as I've written about in the past, the rare free-to-play game that's generous with its rewards.

More like Christmas in Hawaii.

Of course, 'tis the season for winter events in video games, especially free-to-play ones. Since launching Love Nikki Dress Up Queen yesterday, I've been face to face with things I associate with the cold season everywhere; a new home screen, a dusty white frost covering the menu now. I live in San Francisco where there is no such thing as weather, so in a way I only get my true winter experiences (like snowy climates) from fictional things, including video games. Just from a couple days with the game, Love Nikki Dress Up Queen is already embracing the winter spirit this holiday season. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp meets it with a shrug and tedious a shopping list of things you can't afford.

That's the biggest bummer of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp's inaugural limited time event. There's just not much there. With the usual requests and stretch goals that players complete, you now get a special candy cane resource. For the limited time items, they require a specific amount of candy canes to even be built. Luckily they don't require anything else, so you don't have to go wasting that precious cotton on an ugly Christmas couch. In the event's entirety, that's really it though. It's just a tab of more furniture, and clothes as a reward for them.

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I wish the event stepped across the line a little bit more, and felt closer to being an actual seasonal event, as Love Nikki Dress Up Queen's has. Maybe that amounts to just the smallest decorative touches possible, but for Animal Crossing, a game that has a reputation for one of the most joyous annual holiday celebrations across video games, it just amounts to a disappointment.

I do think a lot of that boils down to the world feeling rather non-Animal Crossing-like, at least with this event. Weather is a fickle thing across the Animal Crossing world. In the past, at least with Animal Crossing: New Leaf, snow began to speckle down from the sky in late November, but didn't stick to the ground and cover the trees, homes, and more until around December 10th. Judging from that schedule, it's likely Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp won't wholly lean into the holiday spirit until then. (From an early video showing off the game, a shot of snow was visible; so yes, there's hope.)

In the meantime, my camper is a makeshift Christmas wonderland. I have a big-ass cake on the floor, to feed the ants. I don't have a tree yet, so I put two plants next to each other and feast of presents in front of it. I also have a red and green rug, which is a shade too dark to really feel Christmas-y. Eventually, I hope I can build a snowman for my campsite. But considering it's the most expensive limited time craftable, costing a staggering 300 candy canes (and candy canes are rewarded at a glacial pace), maybe not.

Elsewhere on the site you can find a full guide to Animal Crossing's Holiday Event.

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