Animal Crossing could benefit greatly from one of Dinkum's best features
While the Animal Crossing series aims to continue growing after Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it could find success by looking at some of the indie g...
While the Animal Crossing series aims to continue growing after Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it could find success by looking at some of the indie games that have been inspired by the series. Many indie titles in the life simulation genre have successfully expanded upon the mechanics introduced by the Animal Crossing series, and it is time for Nintendo to take notice and further develop them for its own franchise. One way the successor to Animal Crossing: New Horizons could achieve this is by taking a page out of Dinkum's book and introducing underground mining into the Animal Crossing series.
Dinkum is an indie life simulation game set in the Australian Outback, combining the town-building features of Animal Crossing with farming sim and crafting elements similar to games like Stardew Valley or My Time at Portia. One area where Dinkum truly shines is its mining mechanics, allowing players to extract a large amount of resources from an underground mine. Since many indie games in this genre feature some form of mining system, it seems logical for the next Animal Crossing to introduce its own version of this mechanic.
Animal Crossing Already Has the Perfect Basis for a Mining Mechanic
The Animal Crossing series hasn't delved much into the concept of resource extraction through mining, but it has many elements that could be reworked to develop a complete mining system. Prior to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the most closely related elements to mining were the ability to dig up fossils from cracks in the ground or hit a rock with a shovel to have a chance of earning some gems or Bells. However, Animal Crossing: New Horizons improved upon this mechanic by introducing a crafting system that allows players to obtain iron, clay, stone, or even gold nuggets by smashing rocks. The next installment in the series could further expand upon this system.
Instead of limiting players to harvesting materials from surface rocks, the next Animal Crossing game should provide the ability to travel underground and offer players tools to extract resources there. This feature could function similarly to games like Dinkum or Stardew Valley, where delving into deeper areas of the mine yields increasing rewards but also increased risks such as the threat of the infamous tarantulas and scorpions in Animal Crossing. Since the next Animal Crossing title is expected to expand upon the crafting system of New Horizons, it needs to find a way to make bulk amounts of resources more readily available, and allowing mining for minerals would help in addressing this issue.
Animal Crossing already has the perfect mascot for this feature in Mr. Resetti, who, after being largely sidelined in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, could have something to do. Historically, Mr. Resetti was the mole who would appear and admonish players for not properly saving their game before turning off the console. However, due to the auto-save feature in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, his abilities were redirected to Nook Inc.'s rescue service to assist players who were stuck and to prevent game freezes.
Since Mr. Resetti makes rare appearances in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it would be a perfect opportunity to give him a new role as the manager of a mining operation, providing more screen time for this beloved character and naturally connecting it with this mechanic. With the existing solid foundation for this feature, it seems highly likely that the next Animal Crossing game will include a robust resource mining system for use in crafting. Such a system would not only elevate the franchise to the next level but also bring together Animal Crossing and its indirect successors in the series, such as Dinkum.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available for the Nintendo Switch.