The Animal Crossing video game series is a series of communication simulation games, exclusively for Nintendo consoles. The game is non-linear, in the sense that it has a somewhat set beginning, a middle, and no end. The Player takes the role of a human in a village of animals. The game is non-violent, and rated 'E' for Everyone by the ESRB (3+ by PEGI). The player may take on tasks from villagers, pay off their mortgage, garden, fish, catch bugs, and more. As progress improves throughout the Animal Crossing series, up to the point of Animal Crossing: New Leaf. The Player now becomes the Mayor after Mayor Tortimer retires as he now resides at the Island. The Player would now have a bit more objectives but must keep the town in shape and in order, along with a few more advantages.
As an open-ended life simulation, the Animal Crossing series does not have a set objective - as such, after an introductory sequence at the beginning of the games, players are free to do as they like. The only "objective" in the game, if any, is to pay off the mortgage placed upon the player's house. But, like most things within the game, this is entirely optional, and does not incur any consequences other than having less space to store items. The Player will eventually become Mayor once they create their town and now being to cover the land with Public Works Projects, being the only two more objectives that have been added.
- Villagers: are actually animals, each with their own traits and personalities
- Customization: the more recent games allow customization of many aspects of the game, including characters, the ground, etc.
- Activities: there are a variety of activities players can engage in, ranging from events to scavenger-hunt type games.