Most of the world has to wait until late November for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp to arrive on iOS, but if you live in Australia or New Zealand, you can play the game now. Jed Whitaker has an early review at Motherboard where he provides additional details about the game’s free-to-play mechanic and stacks it up against Animal Crossing: New Leaf, a 3DS game on which Pocket Camp is based.
One major change to the Animal Crossing formula here is that almost all items must be crafted instead of simply purchased, and the time it takes to craft something passes in real time. The game starts out by having every item only take one minute to craft, but three hours in, wait times get much longer, and you can pay real world money to purchase the premium currency, Leaf Tickets. These can be used to craft items instantly and to basically speed up every facet of the game.
Wait times in Pocket Camp are three hours. By comparison, New Leaf wait times are three days, which Whitaker points out should make Pocket Camp more tolerable to fans of the franchise. Still, if you simply must have an item right away and can’t wait a few hours, you can buy Leaf Tickets as an In-App Purchase.
Fans of the Animal Crossing series may also need to lower their expectations a little. At launch, there are only 40 animals to befriend in Pocket Camp, a small number compared to the over 300 available in New Leaf. Still, even if it’s not as deep as other incarnations of the series, Pocket Camp looks as though it strikes a good balance that should make the free-to-play aspects of it tolerable.