There are plenty of indie games that emulate the peaceful feeling of Animal Crossing, and fans looking for a cozy experience should give them a try.
By Ky Shinkle
Published 4 days ago
Fans of?Nintendo’s Animal Crossing series might find themselves uncertain of where to look for new games to try that might emulate the franchise’s serene and lighthearted nature. Fortunately, there are a wide number of indie games that contain similar goals and experiences, meaning that there’s?plenty of opportunities for players to expand their horizons and try out some new titles.
Stardew Valley is often lauded as a game that conveys the same feeling as Animal Crossing, though?there are many farming sims?like Stardew Valley?that fall into this category – players tend to take the role of a newcomer to the town, establishing a career and home within the game’s setting and building relationships with the characters there. Given that Animal Crossing follows a similar pattern with comparable goals, it makes sense that so many players turn from one game to the other.
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As a whole, though, it seems that peaceful – or, at the very least, conflict-free – games have become more popular as of late. One-third of this year’s E3 game reveals were non-violent, due in large part to the expansive number of indie titles at the 2021 Expo, which seems to promise an exciting future for fans of games akin to Animal Crossing. Lake, Yokai Inn, and Book of Travel are just a few of the non-combat-oriented indie games set to be released?within the next year or two. In the meanwhile, however, here are a few other cozy titles to explore.
Although Spiritfarer?has notably darker themes?than Animal Crossing – the game is centered around death, despite its?simplistic mechanics and relaxing atmosphere – the way it handles its subject content and the emotional nature of the player’s role makes it?worth mentioning regardless. For those who are okay with exploring a more melancholic tone, Spiritfarer is worth giving a try.
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a relaxing open-world game with a focus on exploration and collection, as players gather up magical creatures to help banish an ominous cloud that’s falling over the island. There are multiple hidden secrets to stumble upon, encouraging players to explore every area of the game’s large map, which is full of diverse and colorful environments. Compared to Spiritfarer, the lighthearted tone of?Yonder also makes it arguably more suitable for younger audiences.
Eastshade has at times been considered?something close to “Skyrim without combat” among fans. Players take up the role of a traveling artist, painting the landscape and characters they encounter while exploring the island of Eastshade. The focus of the game is exploration, resource gathering, and assisting the animal residents of the island with various favors, all of which strongly resemble the gameplay of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Eastshade’s relaxing soundtrack – something that’s also reminiscent of Skyrim – deserves a mention, as well.
A Short Hike brings players into an open world that’s free of combat but full of chances for exploration, allowing them to utilize different methods of transportation – including gliding, swimming and climbing – to scale mountains and traverse other areas of the map. It’s also populated with animal NPCs that can offer side-quests related to activities like fishing or item collection, making it a strong contender for anyone looking for an Animal Crossing-esque gameplay experience.
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About The Author
(198 Articles Published)
Ky Shinkle is a Senior Gaming Features Writer for Screen Rant as well as an overall avid gamer and writer. Her prior experience is primarily that of a narrative designer for video games, although her writing has covered all formats from screenplays and novels to stage scripts. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, when she isn’t writing she works on digital media projects and other types of fiction writing. Ky currently works out of Ohio and enjoys spending her free time either playing RPGs or running with her dog.
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