Main Series

Similarities and Differences between all Animal Crossing games

Last time on Animal Crossing Spin-offs, I went over how the main series of Animal Crossing improved over time. At first, we have a few limited features as it was Nintendo’s first attempt at making an Animal Crossing game. Now we have many. But what was left intact with each game? That’s what today’s entry will be about. This section is titled Similarities and Differences in each game. There won’t be any opinions on the changes or negatives in comparing and contrasting (negatives meaning there wasn’t this in one game, but there was in another).

The four games are called Animal Crossing, Wild World, City Folk, and New Leaf. But since the name applies to the entire series, I’ll call Animal Crossing (the game) the GameCube version. Even if they are completely different games, there are some things that all four of them have in common. This entry will describe what they all have in common, what three of them have in common, what two have in common, and what were exclusive in each game. Even if we like to introduce new stuff or throw out old stuff, some things couldn’t go away or be changed, either for a long time, or forever.

What all four have in common:

These are the stuff that stayed the same the whole time in Animal Crossing history. While some of them I felt needed to be changed in the next game, others I felt that are better off if left untouched, but we can still have more items or features to each.

  • All four of them had character customization, interior design, house renovation, fish encyclopedias, insect encyclopedias, and collection. Even if some have been updated, those were core features to begin with.
    Furniture groups like the Cabin Series, Green Series, Backyard Theme, Construction Theme, Apple Set, and Pear Set were present in every game.
  • Blathers, K.K. Slider, Sow Joan, Katrina, Saharah, Pelly, Phyllis, Pete, and Resetti were in all four games with the exact same duties. Even if Tom Nook was in control of house renovations, Booker was in charge of the lost and found, Gulliver was a lost traveler that gave you random items, and Redd sold paintings, their roles have been slightly different in each game. Gracie, Kapp’n, Rover, Wendell, Timmy, Tommy, Tortimer, and the Snowman were the other green-tag characters to be in all four games.
  • Some villagers like Goldie, Peanut, Amelia, Poncho, Bob, and Camofrog were in all four games.
  • The 55 K.K. Slider songs in the GameCube Version were in all four games.
  • The furniture store remodels after enough Bells have went through transactions.
  • K.K. Slider came every Saturday, and Joan came every Sunday.
  • The furniture store always sold furniture, carpets, wallpaper, stationary, and tools. It also had a catalog.
  • All five of them had the apple, orange, pear, peach, and cherry as town fruits. The local one was worth 100 Bells as the imported ones worth 500 Bells.
  • Villagers can ask you to do favors or change their catchphrases.
  • Certain features like town deletion, character deletion, Resetti’s lectures, and character creation were the same.
  • Tulips, Pansies, and Cosmos were flowers you can plant, as well as fruit trees, oak trees, and pine trees.
  • Gyroids, fossils, and pitfalls can be found underground. They all had the same purpose in every game.
  • The Museum only accepted fossils, art, fish, and insects.
  • Shovels, nets, fishing rods, and axes were in all four games. They even had golden tools.
  • Some fish like sea basses, red snappers, barred knifejaws, carps, barbel steeds, and bitterlings appeared in all four games, as well as insects like the common butterfly, bees, and darner dragonflies.
  • Fruitless trees can hold furniture, bells, or bees. If a beehive falls, you can get stung by a bee, and it leaves an ugly eye.
  • Money rocks were present in all games.
  • The river had waterfalls, the big lake, the source, and the mouth. There were also two bridges.
  • Mailing letters, saving letters, and depositing Bells were always a feature.

There are other things in all four games, but this pretty much I could list.

What three games have in common:

Even if a lot of features have stayed in most games, some games don’t have features that other games do. As I name what three games have in common, I would give a description of some of them and what they mean.

Absent in New Leaf:

As the games progressed, some things that were in all three games prior to the 3DS version did not appear in New Leaf. Although we miss some of them, we’re glad that most of these features are gone, and hopefully, they will never come back. Here’s what all three of these games had in common:

  • Oak trees had full rings.
  • The season change patterns were the same – in New Leaf, we no longer have the gray grass at the dead point. Instead, we have a point where the grass is brown, as well as the leaves.
  • The graphics had flaws – in my opinion, New Leaf was the only game with good graphics. The GameCube version looks too saturated, Wild World was pretty choppy, and City Folk was blurry.
  • Tom Nook was in charge of the furniture shop, gardening items, turnip trade, and remodeling.
  • The furniture shop, the post office center, the museum, and the Able Sisters were all in town.
  • Animals had to rely on moving their houses on sign posts.
  • You can save your game at your house.
  • Jellyfish were a fish to catch.
  • There were only six fruits in each game – those were apples, oranges, pears, peaches, cherries, and coconuts.
  • The beaches and grass blended.
  • Tortimer was the mayor – now that he has retired, you’re now in charge of town in ACNL. Isabelle takes the job as the event runners.
  • The Cabana Series was an orderable furniture series. The Gulliver items, holiday items, and music, were not.
  • Items were disposable at the public dumps – and you have to wait before they disappear.
  • The town tune modification was always part of the post office area.
  • You had to work for Tom Nook as tutorials to play the Animal Crossing games – although Isabelle doesn’t require you to do this, she does recommend that you follow her advice as part of the training.
  • Your first debt expanded your house for the first time – look how greedy Tom Nook has become in ACNL. You begin at a tent, and your first debt will only build a new house, which is 4×4 spaces.
  • Paying your debts always had linear results – you have more choice in New Leaf when expanding your house.

Absent in City Folk:

It appears that almost everything that were in three of the four games appeared in City Folk. However, there were some things that the other games had in common as City Folk did not.

  • All three games were the first games to introduce new hourly music.
  • Every building was in town – although New Leaf introduced Main Street, you didn’t have to travel by bus to switch between city and town. City Folk was the only game to have city life.
  • It was practical to have more than one town per household – even though City Folk and New Leaf both had the one town per unit concept, it was more practical to have more than one 3DS than to have more than one Wii. The GameCube had every town on memory cards, as Wild World had every town on game cartridges.
  • Resetti doesn’t appear until after first reset – if you have noticed, once you load up your game for the first time in City Folk, Resetti pops up, even if you saved your game. He doesn’t get mad at you, but he does warn you to save your game.
  • The HRA/HHA was required to join – you could also remember how it was a liability in previous games. Not only it was required to join, but they send you letters all the time. In the GameCube version, they send you a letter every time you update your room. In Wild World, they send you a letter every Sunday. In New Leaf, they only send you letters when you break a point barrier, which is good. At least this was optional in City Folk.
  • All three games were in the top ten highest selling games for their systems – the GameCube version of Animal Crossing was part of the top ten highest selling GameCube games. Even when it wasn’t as popular at the time, it was still an honor to be in the top ten for its system. Wild World was one of the ten games of the highest selling DS games. And as of now, New Leaf was one of the top ten most sold 3DS games. City Folk, unfortunately, didn’t even make it to the top 15 highest selling Wii games.

Absent in Wild World:

As Wild World tried to improve what went wrong with the GameCube version, it also removed some features, mainly to fit on one small cartridge. Some of these changes were negative, and have been reverted in City Folk. This section will explain what the GameCube version, City Folk, and New Leaf all had in common.

  • All three games had real holidays – most holidays in the GameCube version was removed in Wild World, and were replaced with fake ones. This was a problem, so City Folk brought them back, as New Leaf retained the new holidays.
  • Balloons and pinwheels were collectable.
  • Chip held the Fishing Tourneys – in Wild World, Tortimer held all of the events.
  • You can have up to three bridges.
  • There were two levels of elevation, including two waterfalls – except for some towns in the GameCube Version, which had three levels of elevation.
  • You can travel beyond town without traveling to other towns.
  • Everyone had their own houses – this is true in Wild World too if you choose to have only one character.

Present in recent games:

These features are what the last three games had in common that the GameCube version never had. If you went back to playing the GameCube version, you would realize how much it has aged badly. You’re probably thankful that they haven’t returned to Animal Crossing since the GameCube days.

  • Some paintings can be considered counterfeit – and fossils can be identified at the museum instead of by mail.
  • Camping items like the propane stove and lantern were orderable – you could only get them from tent campers in the GameCube version, which are unorderable at the time. In New Leaf, the lantern was the very first furniture piece you can get.
  • Lamps can turn on and off.
  • TVs had changing channels.
  • Medicine, the watering can, and slingshot were all present in these games.
  • Flowers can wilt or breed flowers.
  • Money trees can be grown by a golden shovel.
  • Some characters like Lyle, Pascal, and Shrunk were in all three games.
  • Sharks and palm beetles can appear near the beaches in the summer.
  • Tarantulas and scorpions can randomly crawl in town.
  • Animals will appear in boxes when they are moving in or moving out.
  • You can save your game anywhere in town.
  • You can deposit to your bank, even if you haven’t paid your debts.
  • You can change your hair, hats, and accessories.
  • The Able Sisters sold clothes.
  • You can befriend Sable.
  • The Café was a building/attraction in all three games.
  • The Museum music was the same.
  • You had town gates that can open or close – in New Leaf, the gates were part of the train station.
  • You can play Animal Crossing online – nowadays, this is only true for New Leaf, since Nintendo has shut down the WFC connection.

What two games have in common:

There are going to be six lists in this section. There are also features that were present in two games while being absent in the other. You can also see a pattern in what these four games had.

  • Sandwich pattern – the GameCube version and New Leaf similarities represent nostalgia and revival while Wild World and City Folk represent what was lost in time or added then removed. An example would be the town entry and exit. The first and last games had the train station while the town gates had that role in the middle two.
  • Stripe pattern – the GameCube version and City Folk were both for home consoles as Wild World and New Leaf were both for portable handhelds. An example would be that towns were a lot bigger with two levels of elevation in the GameCube version and City Folk while they were a lot smaller at one level of elevation in Wild World and New Leaf.
  • Two-layer pattern – the GameCube version and Wild World show how the series was just at the beginning, waiting to grow, while City Folk and New Leaf show how they have improved over time. An example was that all patterns had to be designed at the Able Sisters in the first two games as you can only design pro patterns at the Able Sisters in the last two games.

Here are the similarities of each two games. There will also be a description on how they were different as well.


  • Both had the train station – that’s right. The Train Station was used in both games. The differences were that the GameCube version’s train station was more like a statue to go through and the train was a classic train. New Leaf’s train station acted more like a building than a statue, and the train was a modern train.
  • Both had the Island – one of the most popular features in the GameCube Version that didn’t make it to Wild World was in both the GameCube and New Leaf versions. You still had to find Kapp’n at the dock and ride with him, plus listening to his songs. The differences were that the island in the GC version required the GBA connector, had a flag, had an islander, and your own personal hut. The one in New Leaf didn’t require external devices to go, but you had to pay Bells to get across. It also had Island Tours, good way of making money, and Island gifts.
  • Island Items were unorderable – since they retained the island items while removing the island, they were orderable for a while. Tom Nook even sold them. Now that the island is back, they are back to being unorderable.
  • Both had the post office, town tree, and police station – and do you know what else? They also had random campers in town, either igloo campers or tent campers. They occupied sign posts in the first game, but once you build a campsite in your town, they will appear in your town in New Leaf. The differences were that the igloo campers in ACNL weren’t villagers in your town while you can win villagers from the campsite.
  • Redd’s tent had no restrictions – in the GameCube version and New Leaf, you can freely enter Redd’s tent without permission. However, there were some limits. In the GC version, Redd’s visits are completely random. In New Leaf, you can only buy one item from his tent, as he only sells art. On a related note, he sets up a stand during the Fireworks Festival. In the GC version, he sold fans, balloons, and pinwheels. In New Leaf, he sold cookies that can win you random prizes like the Ultra Hand, Love Tester, and Ten Billion Barrel.
  • Both had extra activities you can do with the shovel – in all four games, you had money rocks and buried items each day a new day passes. But in these two games, there was something else. The GameCube version had random shines that you can dig up, which can give you 1,000 Bells, 10,000 Bells, or even 30,000 Bells. In New Leaf, one of the rocks appear to have ore. If you break it, you have another item to sell, or you can use it to modify furniture.
  • Both had mini-games – I’m referring to the NES games and Island Tours. It’s so amazing that these two games at least had these games while Wild World and City Folk didn’t.
  • Both had a light switch at home – you don’t need lamps to light your house in both the GameCube and New Leaf versions. You can turn on/off the lights through the light switch. But in New Leaf, you have both this and lamps. Plus, the lamps glow in different light colors (which is exclusive to New Leaf).


  • Kapp’n drove you to town – he was the Taxi Driver and Bus Driver in Wild World and City Folk, respectively. Ever since the island was removed, he was reused to be a driver that you’ll see when you create a new character. You can hear his theme played in strings too.
  • Both had Town Gates and Town Hall – in both games, the Town Hall had the Civic Center and Post Office Center, as well as a dumpster. And do you know what else? There were town gates, guarded by Copper and Booker, dressed like British Soldiers during the American Revolution. The few differences was that the City Folk Town Hall had the ABD as the Town Gates in City Folk had a bus station in front.
  • The background music, jingles, and sound effects were the same – people say that City Folk is Wild World with grass decay. It is actually true that City Folk didn’t change much that Wild World had, and the music or sounds is one of them. Notice that the 24 hourly BGMs were the same in both games while the GameCube and New Leaf versions had their own. The Museum and Café had the same music ever since the Wild World days. The Able Sisters had the same music the whole time, but the instrument was an accordion in D Major rather than the piano in G Major. Tom Nook’s stores also had the same music with the exact same instruments. The Town Hall music was the same too. So in terms of music, I’m guessing whoever said that City Folk is Wild World with grass decay is right.
  • Both had the point system – now this is one feature I liked about Wild World and City Folk that didn’t make it to New Leaf. Every 100 Bells you spend, you get 1 point according to the machines. Each time you break a barrier, you will earn discounts and a store model.
  • Both had donation systems – although Wild World had Boondox, both games had the feature where you can donate Bells for feathers.
  • K.K. Slider played in the Café – I remember when he played in front of the Train Station. Do you think I am old? Actually, I have a very good sense of memory. It’s almost nine years since I last played the GameCube version. For two games in a row, K.K. played in the Café. Although it is disappointing that there’s no concert stand anymore in New Leaf, I still liked the New Leaf Café.
  • The Museum had the Observatory and Café – speaking of Café, I decided to add this to the list. It’s a shame that we no longer have the observatory in New Leaf, but the Café is still in existence, and on its own in Town. So even if the Museum is in Main Street in ACNL, the Café is still in town. In both WW and CF, both the observatory and café were in the museum (sorry for my inconsistency of capitalization).
  • Redd’s Tent had restrictions – in Wild World, you can’t enter without knowing the password, ad in City Folk, you need authorization before entering.
  • Both games had an attic you can save your game in – and lay down to save and quit. Plus, you can change the bed.


  • Both games were for the consoles (GameCube and Wii) – although Animal Crossing is more suitable for handhelds, at least consoles had more per town.
  • Both games had larger towns – larger towns mean there were more villagers per town, longer river, and more trees to plant. This was one advantage both games had over the other.
  • Holiday items were unorderable – since Wild World didn’t have the Spooky, Harvest, or Jingle Series, and New Leaf had all three of these sets sold at the Nooklings’ stores, the two console games are the only games to have these items as unorderables.
  • Both are built on two levels of elevation – although Wild World is the only one without ramps, the towns in the GameCube version and City Folk had two levels of elevation, and some buildings can be on both levels of elevation.
  • You can travel to other towns without active people playing – town traveling is done by two memory cards or through DS suitcases. I personally don’t like traveling without a host. I like seeing two or more humans on the map at once.Wisp was in both games – and he can pull your weeds for you.
  • Both games had small houses – but at least everyone has their own house.


  • Both games were for the handhelds – like said before, Animal Crossing is better off for handheld systems than consoles, despite its console origins. What happens is that you’re kinda used to playing everyday, and if you’re out of town (reality), then you may have to neglect your town. This is not true if you bring your DS or 3DS with you.
  • Both games had smaller towns – unfortunately, the portable games have smaller towns than the home games. Wild World was even worse. The problem with cartridges is that they can’t hold as much memory as discs do. Animal Crossing: New Leaf may have more features than any other game, but the towns stay small. This also means that the villager limit in both ACNL and ACWW is lower.
  • The Hair Salon requires unlocking – unlike City Folk when it’s always available, it requires some unlocking of some stores. You must have Nookington’s to get the hair salon in ACWW while in ACNL, it requires spending a total of 10,000 Bells at the Able Sisters and having the shoe store open for ten days.
  • Both are built on one level of elevation – although New Leaf still had two levels of elevation (town and beach), all of the buildings, houses, and trees (minus the palm trees in New Leaf) were set on one level of elevation. That means, there’s no need to go up or down ramps to get from house to house.
  • You can travel to local towns with hosts – the cool thing is that you can host visitors or visit other towns. In both Wild World and New Leaf, there are two options, which are local wireless and faraway wireless.
  • You can collect villager pics – this appears to be exclusive to the handheld games and not the console games.
  • Both games had large houses – on the handhelds, you notice that towns are a lot smaller. Ironically, you can have bigger houses in Wild World and New Leaf. The large house in Wild World was there because everyone had to share a house. The additional rooms were meant as one room per character. It didn’t turn out to work that well, as in New Leaf, everyone had their own house, but the orientation in Wild World was still the same. It means there’s more room for creativity in New Leaf.


  • All patterns require designing at the Able Sisters – and those are simple ones, for 350 Bells each. Although this wasn’t that bad at the time, this became rendered as unplayable due to the newer games, especially New Leaf.
    Towns were saved onto cartridges or memory cards – in both the GameCube version and Wild World, it’s possible to have more than one town per unit because of this.
  • Roaches were insects you can catch and donate to the museum – they’re still the worst insect. Notice that Tom Nook only pays 5 Bells per roach.
  • Resetti only pops out if you reset – and he gets angrier after each reset. He’s always profiling you in these versions.
  • All humans have to live close to each other – either in different houses in the same acre or share one house. You should be grateful that we’re done with this.
  • Both had a restriction to expanding Nookway to Nookington’s – if you don’t know what this means, the older games had this bullshit mechanic where you you need to have a visitor from another town to shop at your store. I don’t know why they do this, but it’s seriously flawed. I hated this restriction, especially since Nookington’s had Harriet’s hair salon. While I’m glad that we no longer have this, New Leaf already has worse problems, but we’ll go over that on Thursday.


  • Both games had pro patterns – simple patterns can now be designed for free and anywhere.
    Both had GracieGrace, same holidays, and Golden Furniture – while City Folk was the worst game, it at least had something good. New Leaf retained what was good and made it better. And holidays were improved in City Folk compared to the GameCube version’s.
  • Roaches were only pests – and a jingle is played once you clear your house from these ticklers.
  • Both had grass deterioration – while some issues from previous games are taken care of as of City Folk, more problems have been introduced. One reason why City Folk was widely known as the worst game is because of grass deterioration. Not only that, but it was horrible. Grass wears down extremely fast, and it takes a while to recover. It doesn’t even do that when the Wii is off. New Leaf, on the other hand, significantly slows down grass wear and speeds up grass recovery.
  • All humans live alone – in their own locations in town. We are on our own. But in New Leaf, you can still place human homes together. It’s just that we don’t have to worry about living close to others.
  • Both have the ABD, town projects, and model homes – these were great additions. While the ABD was for house payments and bank, New Leaf enhances the other two features.

What all four games have different:

There are still other similarities I haven’t covered, but I already said enough. How about I discuss what’s available in one game? I’ll list what’s exclusive to each feature. Yes, all four of them had their own ways of getting the golden axe as well as the different puns when a human catches a fish or insect, but there are other things to talk about.

GameCube Version:

  • Universal codes
  • NES games
  • Dock in the big lake
  • Soccer balls, basketballs, and volleyballs randomly appear in town
  • Limited storage space
  • Villagers can repaint roof
  • Grid system
  • Shines in the ground
  • Town Models
  • Redd never sold counterfeits
  • Raffle tickets
  • Fossil identification by mail
  • Villagers randomly bury objects

Wild World:

  • Town of Boondox
  • Acorn Festival
  • La-di Day
  • Yay Day
  • Bright Nights
  • Flower Fest
  • All of Nook’s stores had the same opening hours
  • Redd came every week
  • Insurance
  • Red Turnips

City Folk:

  • City
  • Auction House
  • Nook’s optional downgrading
  • Shopping cards
  • Lighthouse attracted rare fish
  • Serena’s fountain near town gates
  • Shoeshine

New Leaf:

  • Furniture Modification
  • Dream Suite
  • Perfect Fruits
  • Characters like Isabelle, Reese, and Leif
  • Island Tours
  • Animals recognize time traveling
  • Five store expansions rather than four
  • Main Street
  • House Customization
  • Catalog machine

And that’s it. It’s an unusually long entry for my blog, but hopefully, I won’t have as much to say in the future.


2 thoughts on “Similarities and Differences between all Animal Crossing games

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