Nintendo has traditionally been pretty good at providing gaming experiences you can’t get anywhere else. But as years pass and formulas remain unchanging, fans are beginning to ask for more. Recently, indie developers seem to be attempting to give fans what Nintendo isn’t. Temtem recently attempted to revolutionise the Pokémon/monster-capture formula with middling success. Now, ex-Lionhead Studios developer Robert Tatnell is tackling the slice-of-life social sim Animal Crossing with Hokko Life. The announcement trailer dropped yesterday and you can check it out below.
Tatnell describes Hokko Life as a “cozy, creativity filled community sim.” Hokko Life appears to take several elements from the Animal Crossing series. You take on the role of the sole human in a village populated by various animal characters. You can socialize, go fishing and decorate your house. There’s also some material gathering and crafting akin to the upcoming mechanic for Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Hokko Life also appears to take inspiration from Stardew Valley with its farming mechanics.
Though it’s easy to dismiss this as purely an Animal Crossing clone, the game looks to innovate and improve on features that make the Nintendo IP so loveable. Furniture customization seems pretty impressive, with the ability to customize and design existing furniture pieces in a variety of ways, such as adding cushions and changing patterns. You can also change the interior of other inhabitant’s houses, as well as place buildings anywhere in the village. There’s a lot more room for creativity and customization here, which is part of the beauty of having a game like this on a more powerful piece of hardware like a PC.
There seems to be a lot of love being poured into Hokko Life, and we’re sure to expect good things are coming from a former Lionhead Studios developer. Plus, as CCN writes, genre clones can be the best way to innovate formulas we already know and love.
Hokko Life will be available on Steam’s Early Access later this year, with a full release planned for 2021. You can add the game to your wishlist now.