A game similar to Animal Crossing but for PC? That is what Hokko Life offers us, a community simulator that traces a large number of playable characteristics of the Nintendo title. The question is: are you doing it right? We found out after testing your Early Access.
I was always told that trying to emulate other people’s style was usually a bad idea. For starters, disadvantaged parts. Even though you will be doing something recognizable and knowing that many people have liked it, you are under pressure to improve it. And of course, that depending on the case can be a real feat (and sometimes even counterproductive). That is precisely the feeling I have had when trying Hokko Life, a community life simulator, very similar to Nintendo’s Animal Crossing.
The game of Wonderscope he is not cut off even when copying his approach. We arrived on a train to a town in its lowest hours. The place is secluded from everything, and our job is to make this shabby rural town a nice place to live. Does it sound familiar to you? You will have to collect a lot of materials, build as if there were no tomorrow and thus get more and more neighbors to come to the place. Neighbors who by the way belong to different animal species, in case the similarities weren’t already evident …
Hokko Life is currently in early access and it is quite noticeable that it needs a polish in almost all areas. In my tests, I have found an interface that is sometimes somewhat sloppy, Spanish translations not yet integrated and a control system (especially with remote control) that requires urgent revision. However, I can’t deny that the game has charm, and that with a little work – quite a bit, actually – it can become an alternative within this nice genre.
PC Animal Crossing
The first thing the game asks you to do is customize your own avatar and give it a name. The typical: skin tone, haircuts, eye color … and little else! A editor very basic that serves as a pretext to start playing, which you are doing at the moment. It is something that I personally appreciate. There is not much conversation and the uploads are really fast. Being a technically austere game, the fluidity also accompanies at all times.
Shortly after playing you have already acquired an ax, cut down your first trees and discovered the possibility of making crafting to design your own home and urban furniture. It is a gameplay of expansive possibilities, in which you start from very little to enjoy more and more construction options. And of course we also have a store, with objects as common as the insect hunter. What did you think? There is a lot of Animal Crossing, and more in particular of New Horizons, to include a forest and even a beach.
At first I was broke for quite some time, until I helped a couple of locals and things got better. I caught a few butterflies to sell, and that’s when you feel your progression going up. You get a pickaxe, you go mining. You get a rod and go fishing. You improve the inventory so that it has more capacity. And when you think it’s time to quit and start a new day, then you go to bed to rest for a while. As you can see, there is nothing strange in Hokko Life, everything is very familiar. Almost too much.
It is this lack of creativity or conformity, I don’t know what to call it, that has caused me the most doubts. Perhaps one of the most notable advantages of this release (compared to Animal Crossing) is the control system. Being in Pc, you have the support of the mouse and therefore greater versatility when building. In general, it is a fairly fast game, in that the charges when entering or leaving rooms are almost immediate. Likewise, tasks as basic as placing a bench in the middle of the street benefit from the “point and click” characteristic of a computer mouse. If you have played the Nintendo title, you will know that these issues significantly slow down the action, so it is an aspect to take into account.
Another interesting aspect has to do with the object editor. You can create furniture by putting together the different pieces that you find, thus giving free rein to your imagination. Although the handling of the editor is somewhat rebellious, you can still manage to design your own creations, giving a significant boost to the customization factor of Hokko Life. And that’s okay. I thought that I was not going to find any characteristic element, but the truth is that you can spend hours and hours designing bridges, statues and a long etcetera.
More interesting facts? The town has been confirmed to have 24 neighbors, there are weather events, seasonal changes and at the moment it is an experience completely focused on the individual experience (no multiplayer plans). The developers do not think about deadlines when it comes to exiting Early Access, and they have already affirmed a strong willingness to listen to the community to improve the game as much as possible.
The question I’m asking myself about Hokko Life right now is: will it be enough? It is clear that it is something like Animal Crossing for PC, and there it can find its place. However, I consider that its finish – right now – is not the best, has to improve many things. So more than a present bet, it is a possible alternative that we will see if it is worth it in a few months. Everything will depend on whether a powerful community is formed around this Early Access and if the developers know how to respond to requests.