Don’t be fooled by how cute Animal Crossing looks. With over 70 million copies sold, it is the sixth best-selling Nintendo series. Even though games like Animal Crossing don’t use these numbers, they can still give you a similar experience. Animal Crossing: New Horizons was a big hit during the “climax” of the pandemic in 2020. It was the kind of open-world, social, multiplayer experience the world needed at the time. Still, you may have already spent hundreds or even thousands of hours playing the game. Or maybe you don’t have a Nintendo system. No matter what, we’re looking at other games like Animal Crossing that you can play on other platforms.
Choosing Games Like Animal Crossing
To find games like Animal Crossing, you must understand how multiplayer works. Next, we will look at the elements that make up Animal Crossing: New Horizon.
Co-Op – Up to 8 players can play together on a single island in person or online.
Open-world Sandbox – New Horizons is a sandbox game with no set goals. Players can go out and explore the world and do many other relaxing activities. Some of these are gathering things, fishing, planting, and decorating the house.
Social Simulation – The social elements of Animal Crossing games are very important. In the villages, players can talk to many NPCs that look like people. Also, at the beginning of their journey, they can change some things about the NPC towns.
Real-time Mechanics – The mechanics of New Horizons work in real-time. This has a cycle of seasons and a cycle of day and night.
Farming Simulation – The latest title in the series has a fair farming system. Players collect the island’s seeds and then plant them in their homes. There are also recipes for cooking with the crops.
Crafting System – You can also use the crafting system. Players can use crafting recipes and materials on workbenches to create tools and furniture.
Customization – There are a lot of ways to change the series. Players create an avatar that looks like them and goes to an island. They can make the character develop and change in any way they want.
Art Style – The game’s art style is creative, cute, and simple.
Gameplay – Just like the story, the gameplay is easy to understand and simple. It’s fun for everyone in the family. Also, it’s especially fun for kids and women who have never played video games. It’s a game you play with your partner, children, or parents.
These elements broke some important records. New Horizons is the best-selling game of all time in Japan and the second best-selling Nintendo Switch game. The top games like Animal Crossing offer a mix of these elements. More importantly, we looked at other games focused on casual, social, wholesome, and family-friendly play.
12+ Top Games Like Animal Crossing 2022 To Play
Games Like Animal Crossing 2022 to play.
1. Cozy Grove
Cozy Grove is just as charming as its name sounds. The game takes you to a snowy world that was drawn by hand. Cozy Grove is a single-player game with side activities that will keep you busy for months and a campaign that lasts over 40 hours. You play through the forest as a Spirit Scout running for hidden secrets and wandering ghosts. When you find a spirit, you discover what happened to it and bring color and life back to the town.
Back in town, you can do the usual activities that casual, fun games let you do. You can make things, collect spirit animals, decorate your camp, cook, fish, and do quests for the ghosts. Here, players will understand that the game happens in real-time, just like Animal Crossing. The many NPCs and characters all have schedules and cycles that they stick to. Also, they each have their own stories that you can learn about over time.
2. Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley looks and sounds like an old-school RPG, just like Animal Crossing. In the title, a man who used to work in an office moves to Pelican Town to run a farm. Like Animal Crossing, the experience is about getting to know the people there. The NPCs are the most important heart of the title, and the overall tone is wholesome, family-friendly, and easy to figure out.
Its primary gameplay loop, though, is the farming simulator. You can plant crops, use machines, gather materials, make tools, and raise cattle. Also, your character grows in a fair way, which makes farming easier. Other activities are looking for materials in a cave, which gives the game a light combat system. All in all, Stardew Valley is like Animal Crossing, but on a smaller scale. For instance, you can only play the game with up to three players instead of inviting eight players to your island.
3. Hokko Life
Hokko Life is a peaceful social sim game that Animal Crossing fans will enjoy. Most of the time, this is because players enter a world full of people who look like them and are eager to make new NPC friends. You play as a foreigner who falls asleep on the train and wakes up in Hokko. You can change your character, customize it differently, and wear different clothes and hairstyles.
Then you get a house when you get to the city. There are, of course, many different ways to decorate your house. This system works for the rest of the town so you can create the city of your dreams right down to the villagers’ houses. And when you’re not crafting activities or decorating, there are many things to do. You can fish, hunt, grow crops, mine, dig for resources, talk to villagers, and do more. Overall, it’s just like Animal Crossing, but without the multiplayer features.
4. Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town
Story of Seasons is a well-known anime and video game series. The latest land in the series is called Olive Town. It takes place in a place where the seasons never change. But it’s too bad that this game doesn’t have multiplayer. Instead, the title is about a playable character who gets a farm in Olive Town after they inherit it. You’re a calm, friendly community member; your job is to grow the farm, get to know the other people and build a new house.
It’s a very common way to play gameplay; it might be just what you need. You use your crafting and farming skills to help a town that is having trouble and enjoy a lovely social simulation with many NPCs. But, then, there are many different activities you can do. You can grow crops, care for pets and animals, make clothes and food, and more. There is also a small home decorating system that lets you customize how your farm and house look.
5. Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles
Yonder is a fun, open-world game about helping people. Like most of the games like Animal Crossing on our list, the NPCs are the main focus of this one, so social simulation is a big part of it. In the same way, the art style, details, and graphics all play a big role in Yonder, which looks good from start to finish. You play as a person who survived a shipwreck and made it to Gemea. Gemea is a tropical island that has eight different types of ecosystems. Here, you try to figure out what’s going on with a mysterious fog called “the Murk” to stop pollution.
You will soon be Gemea’s hero. As the hero, you tame wild creatures, manage multiple farms, learn jobs, and solve puzzles. All of this happens in real-time, with day and night cycles and events that change with the seasons. As for farming, it’s not too hard. You can have farms in different parts of the world, but you don’t have to manage every detail. Instead, they make items you can use in cooking and crafting recipes.
6. The Sims 4
The Sims 4 doesn’t have anthropomorphic friends, but it does add more social features. The game is about creativity, freedom, and NPCs you can talk to. Not only that but The Sims 4 is also selling well, just like New Horizons. The game is about making your avatar and going through life with it. You can get a job, go to school, learn new skills, make friends, date NPCs, make money, lose money, eat, sleep, go to parties, and jump in the pool.
You buy clothes, food, and materials to build your house with the money you make. As for your home, the game gives you a full building of tools to build and customize it in a system that’s dangerously addicting. You can make a house from scratch and create a new character for the new house. Your different characters can meet each other and become friends and family. Last but not least, you can choose what kind of life you want to live. It can be bad, leading your Sims to be lazy, or it can be good, taking your Sim to the top of your chosen profession. Unfortunately, there are way too many DLCs for The Sims 4, but you can still experience the base game.
The Ooblets is a casual farming and social simulation game with bright and unique graphics. On top of these main elements, the game also has a big selling point: collecting. You manage a farm and train “ooblets,” which are silly creatures you can collect. As a result, you’ve a lot of freedom to improve, grow, and customize your farm. Also, you can customize how your character looks, what they wear, and how their hair looks.
Outside the farm, you can explore the world of Oob, which you can learn more about over time. There are a lot of friendly NPCs in Oob, just like in games like Animal Crossing. The people are friendly, wholesome, and already have charming stories to tell. But, then, the Ooblets, which give the game its name, are so weird and fun that they can only level up by dancing with other Ooblet Keepers. Overall, this game is calm, strange, and good for the whole family. It’s like Animal Crossing, but in a different world, and the portal to get there is just down the street.
8. Garden Paws
Garden Paws has many of the same elements as Animal Crossing but has a more relaxed tone. So, it has charming visuals, an easy gameplay experience, and a slow pace. Like always, your grandparents leave you a farm. Also, the mission was to improve the town around them and help its people. As you expand the city, you’ll get more quests, items, and residents to live there.
You can’t customize the character’s look, but there are many cute ones to choose from. A person, a dragon, a dog, a cart, and a horse are all playable heroes. Of course, the world is full of animals that look like people who want to be your friends. Besides getting to know the locals, you can do many other things to improve your game. As a side activity, you can raise animals, grow crops, mine, fish, go on treasure hunts, run a shop, do a side quest, take part in seasonal events, make furniture, do home decorations, and more. These extra jobs bring in money that can be used to buy tools, craft supplies, and clothes.
You play as the Spiritfarer, who runs a boat for the dead. The game is heartwarming and wholesome because it takes experience in such a place. We recommend this indie sandbox management sim. Stella, the newest Spiritfater, is the main character of the book. Your goal is to get the spirits to the next world, but you can’t do that until you’ve fulfilled their last wishes. Yet, you get closer and closer to the spirits, and taking them to the otherworld is never easy on the heart.
You use a boat to get the job done. And like other the games like Animal Crossing, you can customize the boat, expand more services, and meet the passengers’ needs. Well, there are tons of activities to do outside of the house. You can cook, fish, mine, harvest, and take care of a garden in addition to taking care of the spirits. Also, you explore many islands on an open-world map to find resources. You also learn how to open up new areas, find new spirits, and make new friends.
10. Castaway Paradise
Animal Crossing and Castaway Paradise are both based on the same idea. You play outside with the job of reviving a foreign town. Along the series, you help many animals and residents discover a plethora of strange stories. With a good crafting system, you can build and decorate structures similarly. A farming system also lets you grow crops while cleaning the land and sea of trash, seaweed, and other problems.
During the day, the residents in the town can send you random side quests that give you XP. Also, holidays like Christmas change how the gamer’s house looks. During these times, you help the people on the island decorate it. Castaway Paradise is a sandbox game with an open world and no clear main goal. Overall, Animal Crossing fans will enjoy this fun and wholesome experience. But it can’t be played with more than one person.
11. Happy Street
Happy Street is a social simulation title for mobile devices only. So, it’s an alternative for people who don’t want to use a smartphone. Here, you play as Billy, a small fox who likes to put goggles on his head. Billy comes down in a hot air balloon and lands in a strange land. Here, a world traveler named Pepin meets him.
The main quest giver is Pepin. He gives Billy a quest to build a new home, help the town develop, and make new friends. Then, players can go to a small open world to get resources. Then, you can build buildings and improve the town with these resources. The game combines exploring, building in a sandbox, and free-roaming. Happy Street is an open-ended game where you can build all kinds of shops, talk to the residents who live there, and do side missions.
12. Alchemy Story
In the adventure game Alchemy Story, you grow a garden in a magical land. You can take care of a magical pet, grow a garden, make potions, and make friends with NPCs. You play as an apprentice alchemist and follow a storyline about helping the village. The residents there have been turned into animals by dark magic, but you can lift the spell with your potions and knowledge.
The experience occurs in a friendly setting with simple gameplay mechanics and cute visuals. Also, making potions, which you can sell for money or use to finish quests and side quests, is a big part of the game. Furthermore, this game has a minigame that would take up most of your time. Lastly, there are other activities to do to finish the game. Besides taking care of the garden, you can fish, hunt, mine, and make friends with the locals. Well, once you lift the curse, the animals turn into people, and you can marry, befriend, and marry your favorite NPCs.
13. Little Dragon Café
Little Dragon Café is also a social simulation game that is fun and easy to play. The experience is about running a coffee shop while raising a dragon. So, it has a strong sense of community, and the story is full of heart and charm. You play as either Ren or Rin, the twins who run the shop after their sick mother. You also find a dragon egg you must take care of and raise. The final thing you need to do is find out what happened to your mother.
All of this goes on inside the shop and outside the shop. It’s a store simulator behind the counter. With your dragon friend, you can explore the world outside the store. You can get items for your shop, make friends with NPCs, and find recipes there. All in all, it’s a casual game with a fun story, cooking minigames, and nice characters. But I saved this game for last because the main way to play is to find recipes and cook them.
Animal Crossing is not like Minecraft, so it is at the bottom of our list. Still, the overall feel of the block builder is just as casual and fun as that of Nintendo’s game. On Minecraft, you play as a blocky avatar that you make yourself. The avatar goes into a nearly limitless open world for an adventure that can go in any direction. Well, that does sound like it. You can build anything in this world. Still, building structures involves collecting materials, which requires the right tools. So, to meet these requirements, you need to be able to handle a complex building and crafting system.
Besides building, you can also fight and explore, depending on the game mode. Bad creatures in the world, like skeletons and big spiders, come after you at night. Deep caves and portals on the maps lead to other worlds where you can explore great crafting materials. Fighting is pretty simple and easy enough for kids to learn. Lastly, you can manage a farm with pigs, horses, cows, plants, and other things. If you want to play with other players, up to 30 people can join a server (depending on mods and game mode). Split-screen mode lets up to four players play at the same time.
Final Thoughts: Games Like Animal Crossing
This is our list of the best games like Animal Crossing that you can play in 2022. Further, please let us know if you know of other games like Animal Crossing. And I hope you have a great day.