There was a time when Animal Crossing was just one of many competitors to a genre of gaming that was mainly dominated by titles like The Sims and Harvest Moon, but it all changed as soon as Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out.
The developers outdid the standards of the franchise and provided a simulation experience that focused on providing hundreds of hours of relaxing fun and creative freedom that hooked players as soon as it came out and had one of the biggest launches ever seen on the Nintendo Switch.
What further helped the game reach the top spot in best simulation games is the fact the world was under quarantine for many months and it was the only game that was out at the specific time, so gamers, celebrities, and even politicians joined the bandwagon and even went as far as to advertise themselves in them due to its popularity.
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What Are Some of The Best Simulation Games Like Animal Crossing?
So, whether you’re freshly done playing the game or are generally a fan of the genre – it’s natural for you to be hunting for more games like Animal Crossing right now, and that’s where we come in. We’ve created an ideal list of the 10 best Animal Crossing alternatives that you can play on several different platforms to save your time, so let’s get started!
1. Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands
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You find yourself stranded on a mysterious but colorful island and have to start building a life for yourself there.
You’ll start off by doing simpler things at first such as farming, crafting food and resources, fishing, and meeting other villagers as you begin finding them – but then you will find yourself expanding your activities into forming crews, building ships, and even combating cursed enemies within dungeons.
The game puts the perfect formula and gives it a new pirate-life vibe which makes it a very fresh experience so that when you’re bored of the usual gameplay you can spice things up with the unique features. It’s one of the best Animal Crossing alternatives to try especially if you just got done with New Horizons.
Available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS
2. Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley barely needs an explanation considering the fact it singlehandedly breathed new life into the life simulation genre, but let’s talk about it anyway. The game has you move into a new town where you must take care of a farm and meet a colorful list of characters each with their unique personalities that you can befriend, help, and even marry with time.
The game has very strong Harvest Moon vibes but adds every feature you can think of that should be a part of a modern life simulation game, such as mining, digging, fishing, customizing your farm, farming different types of corps, and even livestock animals. And when you want to fight for some resources, the game lets you go into caves and fight your way through waves of enemies so you can find enough loot to improve your property.
Available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android
3. Doraemon Story of Seasons
If you’re unfamiliar with Story of Seasons, you may know it under the name of Harvest Moon. The original developers lost the rights to the name, so the original franchise now has a new name. The latest game in the series is also one of the best ones the franchise has seen yet, which also somehow crossed over into the popular universe of the Doraemon manga.
Doraemon Story of Seasons has some of the most beautiful graphics in the simulation genre, and the aesthetics are filled with things from the licensed Doraemon property. The gameplay includes the usual farming aspects which you’d expect from games like Animal Crossing, which means you will be collecting insects, customizing your house and farm extensively, go fishing, talk to the people in town and partake in dozens of different events. Besides the general corps, you can even keep animals and bees as part of your farm and the obligatory ability to mine is there too.
Available on: PC, Nintendo Switch
Moonlighter is one of the best simulation games that incorporate RPG and roguelike elements into the genre. In the day time of the game, you will be doing the usual Animal Crossing-ish activities which in this case is managing your shop instead of a farm. You will have to upgrade your shop, add in new appealing items, price them right, hire a part-time worker to help you out, and so on. You are also able to craft equipment for yourself, a good number of which is useful for the night time.
As soon as the night time begins, the game sends you off to explore dungeons and fight through waves of enemies. They will drop loot and you can find chests in certain parts of the dungeons, so you will be able to gather a lot of meaningful items by the end of the night which you will be able to use to further expand your day time businesses. The dungeons are very diverse and are divided into four types, which include the Golem, Jungle, Tech, and Desert, so you won’t find yourself bored at any point. It’s a different kind of game but follows the same values at heart.
Available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Linux, MacOS5.
5. The Sims 4
As the saying goes, if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. Despite other franchises catching up to the fame in time, the good old The Sims series is still one of the best simulation games that you can play in 2020. The Sims 4 may not appear to be too similar to Animal Crossing to start off with, but the more you play it the more you realize it’s quite similar. You are offered a great deal of freedom in how you want to play the game, and it allows you insane levels of customization with begin with your characters and expand as far as the town you live in.
You can enroll into jobs, go fishing, make friends and lovers, collect insects, hunt for secrets and collectibles, and purchase dozens of different expansions that add more content to your game. And if you’re on the PC platform, there’s thousands of mods you can use to breathe new life into your game, and many different features.
Available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, MacOS
6. Garden Paws
One of the easiest ways to describe Garden Paws is that it’s like Animal Crossing if you played as animals instead. You can pick from a list of different animals such as bunnies, dragons, cats, birds, badgers, horses, dogs, foxes, and even chipmunks, and all of the animals are fairly customizable. You start off by inheriting a farm which used to belong to your grandparents, and you will soon find yourself working into expanding the farm and befriending the mayor to develop the town surrounding you further too.
You can customize your house, the town, your farm, and you can also explore the game’s beautiful world to find loot and rewards which you will be able to use to expand your properties further. You will also be joined with more residents once the town is bigger, so you will be able to befriend them and make more connections.
Available on: PC, Nintendo Switch (upcoming)
7. Little Dragon Cafe
Little Dragon Café is definitely among Animal Crossing alternatives, but it has a unique touch to the formula that makes it a great game of its own. The game features gorgeously detailed graphics and a large world to explore with different types of terrain, but the main job you will have is to run a café that belonged to your mother before she fell in.
You will be managing customers and customizing and expanding your café, and then you will get your hands on a dragon egg as you progress. You will then be able to look after and raise the dragon, and it can accompany you as you embark on journeys within the game’s world to craft ingredients, make friends, find new recipes, and so on. You will even be able to fly on your dragon for faster travel when it’s old enough!
Available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
8. Castaway Paradise
Castaway Paradise is one of the best games like Animal Crossing and that becomes obvious as soon as you begin playing it. While 3D, its graphics are a bit blocky which may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But if you are fine with that, the game’s graphics are pretty relaxing to look at and the amount of customization and the detail put into it is very rich.
You’ll start with a tent and explore the island you find yourself stranded on, and eventually you’ll be making friends and unlocking more parts of the island to explore. You’ll also run into humanoid animals similar to Animal Crossing and you’ll be able to help them out with their everyday lives. The usual activities are all here, such as fishing, growing corps, catching bugs, and so on – and they’re just as fun as they’ve always been.
Available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, Android
9. Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles
The very first thing you’d notice about Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles is its amazing graphics and breathtakingly beautiful world to explore. It’s a relaxing game that takes you on a Breath of The Wild-like beautiful journey as you will roam the island and do whatever you want, with no enemies to fight or be interrupted by. You will meet many people who live on the island and even help them with quests, and you can be part of many different professions such as being a chef or a tailor.
You’ll also get a very customizable farm which you can grow crops in and look after, and every part of the game’s world is distinctively different to each other so no one part will feel like the same as the other. On top of everything, you will also be able to befriend creatures in the game’s world who will become your friends and join your journey with you. It’s a gorgeous and relaxing game that you really need to play after a long day at school or work.
Available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
10. My Time at Portia
If you’ve played My Time at Portia, you knew it was going to be on this list. And if you haven’t played it, then lucky you because you’re in for a treat! The game has relaxingly pretty graphics and is very customizable, and offers many different types of places to explore which all have a distinctive look. You start off as a builder who makes things for people to complete quests and earn money, and eventually you’ll be able to have a farm of your own where you can grow crops and raise animals as usual.
But the game’s world holds a lot more for you to do besides just farming, as you will be free to explore the game and progress in its storyline and will find yourself learning a lot of lore and fighting tons of enemies if you wish to, which even includes boss fights. However, what sets My Time at Portia apart from the usual games like Animal Crossing is the fact you have complete freedom to live your life how you want.
Don’t want to have a farm? Just go fighting. Don’t want to fight? Just work on your farm and send contractors to find items for you instead so you don’t have to fight for the loot yourself. It’s a game that continues for many, many hours and offers unlimited freedom to how you wish to approach its world. It’s definitely one of the best simulation games you can play right now even if you didn’t enjoy Animal Crossing too much.
Available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
These were the 10 best simulation games like Animal Crossing. Did your favorite game make it to the list? Did we miss any important games that are similar? Let us know your thoughts and opinions below and we hope you managed to find the game of your preference here. Make sure to check out some of our other helpful lists as well.
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