10 Simulation Games Like "Animal Crossing"

Updated on May 15, 2020
Caleb Melvern profile image

Caleb loves an immersive gaming experience. When he isn't writing about games, he probably has a beer in one hand and nachos in the other.

"Animal Crossing" is a cute, worry-free and addicting game to play when you want to escape reality for a little bit.
"Animal Crossing" is a cute, worry-free and addicting game to play when you want to escape reality for a little bit. | Source

Animal Crossing: Create Your Own World

Animal Crossing is a social simulation video game series developed by Nintendo. The first game came out in 2001 on the Nintendo GameCube and was immensely successful, selling over 16 million units worldwide. The series only got better from there.

In all the games, you play as a human living in a rural village inhabited by anthropomorphic animals. There are no real objectives to accomplish. You spend your time doing different activities such as collecting items, planting trees and interacting with the villagers. The game features an internal clock and calendar, making the passage of time in the game similar to that in reality.

Are you looking for other simulation games like Animal Crossing? Here are some suggestions that you may also enjoy.

10 Games Similar to Animal Crossing

  1. Harvest Moon: A New Beginning
  2. Doraemon Story of Seasons
  3. Garden Paws
  4. Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands
  5. Stardew Valley
  6. My Time at Portia
  7. Fantasy Life
  8. Rune Factory
  9. The Sims 3
  10. Happy Street

For those who are looking to be less stressed after playing a game, I guarantee you'll be gaming your troubles away with these great titles.

1. Harvest Moon: A New Beginning

Harvest Moon is a farm simulation role-playing game. The series has been in existence for almost two decades now, and all the games are highly regarded. One of my favorite installments of the series is A New Beginning. That might make you wonder: what sets this game apart from the rest?

Similar to other Harvest Moon games, you start as a farmer with nothing, and you work every day to raise crops and livestock. You set foot in Echo Town, which is almost unpopulated, save three other people: the shopkeeper, the shipping bin operator and Dunhill, your guide who teaches you everything you need to know about the game. The game starts slowly, but things pick up as the village rebuilds. NPCs appear and old villagers return. Another new feature is the enhanced character customization. You can now choose from a variety of hairstyles, hair colors, skin tones and eye shapes. You can also design your house and decorate it with different furniture.

Harvest Moon: A New Beginning lives up to its name—it truly is a new beginning in terms of how the series is designed. Long-time Harvest Moon fans are surely going to have a lot of fun playing this game.

2. Doraemon Story of Seasons

The farming simulator in Story of Seasons is very similar to Animal Crossing. From making friends in the village to going insect-catching with your friends, you will find tons of similarities. And to make things cuter, Doraemon's cat robot version will follow you wherever you go. It is one of the most adorable cats you will ever see. Just like Animal Crossing, this game also offers you various opportunities to customize your house, take part in your town's festivals, and go fishing.

Apart from these, you can also keep bees, grow crops, take care of your cattle, and try mining. The mini-activities and bonus rounds will keep you busy, especially when you need to get additional boosters to build your house or get food for your cattle.

3. Garden Paws

This adorable simulation game will ring many similar bells to Animal Crossing, especially if you compare their gameplay and style. The funny part about Garden Paws is you can play as a dragon, badger, bunny, chipmunk, fox, dog, horse, bird, or badger. And that's not all. You can customize these cute cartoony characters.

The game starts with your character inheriting a farm from your grandparents. You have to work with the construction workers to build a town and also customize your home. But nothing comes free in this town. You will need sufficient coins to decorate your house. For that, you must complete quests, explore caves for treasures, and run your shop cleverly to gather coins.

As you see your town grow, new residents will move in. That will unlock additional quests, giving you more opportunities to collect coins. Apart from running your shop, there are plenty of other things to do like fishing, crafting, cooking, raising cattle, and farming.

4. Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands

Like Animal Crossing, this game lets you start a new life on an island. But there is a twist in the story. In Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands, you will end up on the island after a shipwreck. You will need to take charge and set up a camp for all the survivors. And that's where the real story starts. Once you set up the camp, you must arrange for food for everyone. You should find a suitable land, negotiate with its owner to grow crops, and produce food for the survivors.

Although the farming and making friends with the locals of the islands are similar to Animal Crossing, Explorers of the Cursed Islands takes a dark turn when you have to face cursed characters. Make sure you don't irritate them, otherwise, they may attack your land and destroy the crops you had produced.

5. Stardew Valley

In Animal Crossing, you had to visit your favorite neighbors and help them fulfill their dreams. You could even give gifts to bond with them. Stardew Valley has a similar concept. Leave behind a monotonous life of going to the office and coming home. The residents of Pelican town will welcome you open arms. More than the residents, the animated animals of Pelican town will make you feel at home. From Tia to Bluebear and Goldie, the animals are very adorable.

In addition to making friendships with the residents, a love interest may also grow. You can start your family and build a home. Like Animal Crossing, you will have tons of activities like mining, digging, fishing, and working to save enough money to build your house and improve your farm.

6. My Time at Portia

Fans of Animal Crossing will be able to relate the story of My Time at Portia right from the beginning. Unlike the town in Animal Crossing, this game is set in a post-apocalyptic time. There are lots of secrets that you need to uncover and build your town slowly but steadily. You will play the character of a builder who can construct anything. From houses to buildings, every house you build, you get a commission from the seller. These commissions will become your source of income.

Once you build your own house, you have to buy a piece of land and start farming. You should take care of the chickens, cows, and sheep so that they provide dairy products that can sell to your neighbors. Also, catch fish from the nearby pond to provide food for your family. Sometimes you may get into a brawl with strangers but it's up to you whether you will go on full-combat mode or send Civil Corps to handle the situation.

7. Fantasy Life

If the village life in Animal Crossing made you fall in love with the game, you will have similar feelings after completing Fantasy Life. From mercenary to carpenter, you can choose from 12 professions in this game. Each profession will come with different skill-sets and lifestyles. It doesn't matter whether you start as a carpenter. You can switch to another professional any time you want.

The more you work, the more you earn. The more you earn, the more houses you own. You will also get to meet new residents of your town, decorate your houses, and complete various quests to earn points to progress in the game. Make sure you develop a friendship with the residents in your neighborhood so that they help you in decorating your house.

8. Rune Factory 4

Rune Factory is a role-playing simulation series developed by Neverland Co., Ltd. The gameplay is very similar to Harvest Moon. The producer of Harvest Moon, Yoshifumi Hashimoto, described the game as "Harvest Moon where you wield a sword."

In Rune Factory 4, you play as a prince or princess that can plant crops, mine for gold, collect food and complete quests. You can defeat and befriend monsters from dungeons. If you are able to do this, the tamed monsters may aid you in battle, produce goods and help you tend your crops. Your stamina is indicated by your Rune Points, which depletes slowly as you perform different tasks. RP can be replenished by using runes. The game has a linear storyline. You interact with other villagers, sometimes talking to them or doing tasks for them. In some games of the series, you are even required to get married.

Rune Factory 4 became the best-selling game of the franchise in 2012. Animal Crossing fans that are looking for a little more action should definitely try Rune Factory.

9. The Sims 3

When talking about simulation games, one title immediately comes to mind: The Sims. One of the best-selling video game series of all-time, The Sims continues to entertain millions of fans worldwide with its open-ended and indefinite gameplay. The latest game in the series, The Sims 3, sold 1.4 million copies during its initial week of release, and over 10 million copies to date.

Similar to the previous games, The Sims 3 lets you control your Sim's activities and relationships. The game world is expansive—encouraging you to spend an endless amount of time exploring and interacting with other Sims. The Sims 3 also introduces the Wishes system, where wishes can add points to your lifetime happiness. Creating characters has also never been more fun and exciting as the game features a larger selection of body types and hairstyles. You can now even choose your Sim's shoes.

The Sims 3 is considered by many as the best game of the series. Make sure to grab your copy now and enjoy this fantastic game.

10. Happy Street

If you are looking for a building game with cute and irresistible characters, then Happy Street is the perfect game for you! You can find enjoyment just by staring at the adorable characters and the beautiful environment, but you will also find that the gameplay is what really completes this amazing title! Beware, though, Happy Street is extremely addictive!

In this game, the main objective is to build your street, attract dwellers and establish new businesses. The transactions made by your inhabitants earn you coins, while completing quests and mini-games earn you Flooz. You can use coins to expand your street and buy buildings. Flooz is used to purchase premium items. There is never a dull moment when playing Happy Street because there is always something to do. You are in complete control of your street, and making sure that your street remains prosperous won't feel like a chore because of the simple, yet in-depth gameplay.

Happy Street is truly an enjoyable building game. This game is so cute in all places and it's going to put a smile on your face every time you play.

Which game like "Animal Crossing" will you play next?

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De-Stress With These Great Games

Simulation games can help you disconnect from the stressors of life and utilize your creativity through role-playing. You can also feel accomplished by shaping your own virtual world and completing a plethora of objectives. So what are you waiting for? It's time to start playing these great simulation games!

© 2013 Caleb Melvern


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    • profile image


      3 months ago

      people answering animal crossing to that question is not stpd but beyond that....................

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      "The Sims 3 is considered by many as the best game of the series." Lmao, yeah right. Might very well be the most unstable and laggy game I've ever played.

    • profile image


      21 months ago

      New Leaf isn't LIKE animal crossing, it is animal crossing. It's right in the title lmao

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I would like to play on animal crossing new leaf but I have a dsi xl how am I gonna play it my mom and dad will not let me get a 3ds:-(


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