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Animal Crossing: Wild World

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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Animal Crossing: Wild World (2005) is a quirky life simulation game where you live in a small village and build your dream home. You develop relationships with the animal townsfolk, collect fossils, fish and insects and build a home to help the village grow. It expands upon the original with new villagers to talk to, activities to do, and the use of the DS's touchscreen to allow you to create your own designs for everything from clothes to letters to star constellations.

You play a new arrival to an isolated village of anthropomorphic animals and must pay off your mortgage by collecting and selling different resources like fossils and fish. While simple, this setup allows for creative, open-ended play to take the lead as you decide what to do, from decorating and extending your house to chatting with the villagers to partaking in different events and activities.

As with all games in the series, the real-world clock dictates the time, season, and day, with different events and special occasions occurring throughout the year, with new holidays included over the first game. Whether it's to water and propagate your plants, experience the first snow of winter, or hunt for rare insects to catch and collect, there's always something new to come back to.

The game utilises the touchscreen on the DS to allow you to create your own intricate designs and patterns that can then be put on clothes and carpets, as well as create constellations to fill the sky and write letters to send to your friends' games.

The result is a laidback fantasy escape where you can live out your ideal life, yet it's still intimately connected to the ticking of the real-world clock. It’s a place to visit for short bursts each day over the course of many years.

Our examiner, Jo Robertson, first checked Animal Crossing: Wild World 8 months ago. It was re-examined by Ellen Robertson and updated 3 months ago.
There are lots of games similar to Animal Crossing: Wild World. Here are some we picked for you:

Play StylePlay Style

This is a Collecting, Narrative and Simulation game with Adventure, Communication, Role-Play and Sequencing elements. You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room or as a 4-player online game. You can play together locally with other people using their own Nintendo DS systems (and their own game) to explore each other's villages and help each other out. The game also supports online play that lets you visit random people's homes. The official online service was discontinued in 2014, although there are still some fan-run servers that keep this functionality available, even if accessing it is more complex.

You can play this game in the following styles:


Play Time: It takes between half an hour and 1 hour to play a round of this game. After you finish the initial setting up of your house, you can then come back every day to improve and add to things, typically spending about 45 minutes per day.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 7 for Violence.
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB EVERYONE.

Skill Level

7+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Although younger children can get around and play this, to really enjoy it you need to understand how the finances and relationships work. Collecting all the matching )or mismatching) furniture and every last insect also requires some resistance and persistence. Older children and teens enjoy the social aspect in addition to this.

Account Rating

You don’t need a platform subscription to play this game online.


You can only play this on older systems (Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii U) but can usually find it second hand on eBay. There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.
The game was released on the Wii U through the virtual console, so cannot now be bought either digitally or physically on that system. 

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 23/11/2005, updated in 2016

Out Now: DS and Wii U

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Players: 1-4 (4 online)

Genres: Collecting, Narrative, Simulation (Adventure, Communication, Role-Play and Sequencing)

Accessibility: 21 features

Components: 2D Overhead, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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