The finest PC games like Animal Crossing when you don’t need to drop cash on a Nintendo Switch

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Nintendo lastly gave Animal Crossing followers what they needed at E3 this yr: a launch date and title for the following entry within the incredible village simulation collection. A Nintendo Switch isn’t free although, and its price ticket may be laborious to justify when you’re solely planning on getting New Horizon in March. Sometimes we will’t reside our greatest lives.

But fortuitously for PC gamers (as a lot as may be; Animal Crossing is a blessing), there are many games on PC that replicate what Animal Crossing does pretty properly. If you’re on the lookout for slightly balm for an AC-less summer time, look no additional; we’ve listed six of one of the best options on our platform beneath.

This checklist focuses on games which are out there on the very second your eyes scan this textual content, so upcoming choices like Ooblets are omitted (although we’ll point out it right here because it looks great – it has dance battles). So choose up a shovel for fossil searching, a internet for bug catching, and a inventive angle for inside adorning: Animal Crossing gives a novel method to leisure and these PC games do a rattling positive job following in its footsteps.

We’re kicking off with a little bit of a historical past lesson. Here’s the collection that began this entire style, although it’s not fairly what it was.

Harvest Moon: Light of Hope

The authentic rural life simulator game was 1996’s Harvest Moon, created by Yasuhiro Wada of Marvelous Interactive. Sadly, the collection hasn’t been the identical since Marvelous cut up from its writer Natsume, that means that the brand new Harvest Moon games haven’t been developed by the identical studio. Marvelous is now making one other simulation collection, dubbed Story of Seasons, and it’s getting a new entry on PC this autumn.

Despite all this drama, you possibly can nonetheless take a look at Natsume’s most up-to-date effort within the collection that also bears the unique title. Many would say it has been surpassed, however Harvest Moon: Light of Hope nonetheless packs a whole lot of nostalgia.

Stardew Valley

Well, clearly. How may we neglect to say this? In maybe the best-known love letter to Harvest Moon – and thus to Animal Crossing – on the PC proper now, you inherit your grandfather’s farm, and abandon the company rat race for a lifetime of sincere work and an opportunity at love. Renovate your farm, increase animals, get acclimated to small city dwelling, and discover that particular somebody.

Eric ‘ConcernedApe’ Barone’s masterpiece of farming and relationship constructing, Stardew Valley, took Yasuhiro Wada’s creation, expanded on each characteristic, and put the agricultural sim again on the map when it launched in 2016. Since then new single-player and multiplayer content material – to not point out a flourishing modding group – has solely enriched its quaint simulation of unhurried rural life.

My Time at Portia

My Time at Portia is a enjoyable amalgam of Rune Factory, Stardew Valley, and Animal Crossing. It’s received in-depth relationship mechanics with mini games, marriage, and dungeon-crawling fight tucked alongside a metropolis constructing simulator. And but regardless of all of the content material it’s packing, Portia nonetheless feels stress-free to play.

You can farm, fish, befriend villagers, and dig for supplies identical to Animal Crossing, however the constructing takes centre-stage. The story begins together with your father working off to be a hoodlum, abandoning his farm and its workshop to your care. You’ll restore them to working order and undertake commissions for the nice residents of Portia, the native city. As you achieve this you’ll restore the city to glory, change into considered one of its mannequin residents, and maybe even meet somebody to cool down with.


While Staxel‘s visuals feel more like Minecraft, with their sharp edges and blocky aesthetic, it’s very a lot a soothing expertise within the vein of Animal Crossing. The core gameplay loop focuses on increasing the village in order that extra characters can transfer in, although as soon as once more, you’re given a uncared for farm to revive. Boasting a voxel-based sandbox world, you possibly can alter your environment as you want. You’ll work together with NPCs, collect sources, construct, and discover, whereas listening to a nifty little soundtrack.

Staxel got here out of Early Access earlier this yr, so it’s had loads of community-driven updates at this stage as developer Plukit pursues its imaginative and prescient. Version quests, new areas to discover, and a complete lot of cabbage.

Garden Paws

Garden Paws is an Animal Crossing imitator during which you are the animal. Not a wild animal, per se, however a really cute one which additionally occurs to have inherited a grandparent’s farm. Playable critters embrace foxes, rabbits, badgers and even a dragon – all painfully lovely. The loop in Garden Paws is a bit less complicated than some others on this checklist: with a view to increase the close by village, you’ll have to open up a store, discover the world to gather numerous wares, after which earn cash to reinvest into the local people.

Created by Bitten Toast Games, Garden Paws was a kickstarter title that raised virtually thrice its aim (almost $60,000 out of a $20,000). It launched late final yr on Steam.

Castaway Paradise

If you’re on the lookout for maybe probably the most direct homage to Nintendo’s collection, Castaway Paradise takes most of the techniques of its inspiration and simplifies them. Villagers, exploration, altering cosmetics, and even bug amassing – all of them occur identical to they might in Wild World or New Leaf. Amusingly sufficient it now appears to be like like Nintendo is trying to developer Stolen Couch Games for inspiration, with Animal Crossing: New Horizons – due in 2020 – ‘borrowing’ Castaway Pardise’s setting of a desert island. This is an efficient game to play with the younger ‘uns.

Developed by Stolen Couch Games, Castaway Paradise initially got here to PC in 2015, then received a 2018 launch on consoles. It’s additionally out there on cell platforms.