Ditch the sleeping bag and tent because a new way of camping just became a popular mobile game. “Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp” now lets you experience taking care of woodland animals from the comfort of your home.

Why would a mobile app become relevant in today’s video game world? Its gameplay and reactions from players have stirred heavy amounts of controversy.

The game has the player manage a campsite where critters frequent. In order to upgrade settings and accessorize the creatures, the players must complete challenges and tasks. In-app purchases are also available to speed up the game’s
playing speed.

Nintendo revived its critically acclaimed game series “Animal Crossing” for a mobile version on Nov. 21. One week after its release, the game has become the second-largest mobile game app for Nintendo with over 15 million downloads since its release.

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"Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp" presents users a mobile way to play the acclaimed game. (Flickr)

Several fans of the original game series were not pleased. Those fans took to Twitter to express their distaste for the game’s new look and design.

Celebrity, model and author Chrissy Teigen tweeted her thoughts on the game, saying, “Pocket Animal Crossing might be okay for you Animal Crossing newbies, but for us loyalists… It lacks the heart of the real Animal Crossing. It’s a sandwich with no meat. A car without tires.”

“Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp” users can create certain objects in the game to improve their campsite. In previous versions of the “Animal Crossing” series, these objects took under three minutes to create. In the mobile version, it uses real time for the same object. If making a chair took one minute in the previous games, it could take three hours now.

Players can use their real money to speed up the crafting aspects of the game to make challenges easier. Other critics have noted that these in-app purchases, known as “Leaf Tickets,” accumulate a larger sum than they originally anticipated.

“‘Animal Crossing’ should be the perfect series for mobile play, for short trips to its endearing world, but ‘Pocket Camp’ is not it,” said game reviewer Tom Phillips. “Nintendo has stripped back the franchise to make a game that feels stereotypically mobile with all the free-to-play — and not free-to-play — design elements that go with it.”

Purchases and originality aside, several players have used the game in a way that developers were not expecting. These users are creating jails and prison camps to place the virtual animals in.

Hundreds of users have reported discoveries on social media of other players creating prisons to incarcerate the game’s critters. The common practice is to create three walls out of lattice fence, entice the creature to enter, then create the fourth wall.

The creature imprisoning has spread through social media with screenshots of in-game prison camps gaining thousands of retweets, likes and Tumblr notes.

Overall, “Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp” represents new opportunities for Nintendo and mobile gaming.

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