Are you seeing a deluge of Animal Crossing: New Horizons from streamers, YouTubers, writers, and your friends? The answer is likely yes. Do you have the money? In these hard times, the answer could be no. But that’s okay, as there are games like Animal Crossing out there that won’t break the bank. Here are a few titles you can check out on a budget. Tom Nook won’t win this time!
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. This life simulation game from the one man developer Eric Barone received wide spread acclaim during an Animal Crossing-less generation, and it’s had numerous free updates since its release!
You play as a farmer who inherited a farm from his/her grandfather, and you progressively grow this plot of land to a bountiful valley. Unlike Animal Crossing, however, there is basic combat, and there are over 30 people you can meet through dialogue; 12 of the people in the village are romanceable!
While not 3D, Stardew Valley has a beautiful pixel art look. You can definitely chill out to this game, just like Animal Crossing and for a quarter of the price!
Rune Factory 4 Special
Rune Factory 4 Special is life simulation with an RPG twist. There’s a battle system, there’s JRPG mechanics, there’s magic, there’s farming, there’s monster raising: it has a lot to do!
Our reviewer of the game, Jason Capp, said it was a “jack of all trades but a master of none, but that necessarily isn’t a bad thing.” He enjoyed the variety of the gameplay, and he said all of its elements are done well. You can check out the video review below:
Harvest Moon: Light of Hope
This is another life simulation game from XSEED, but it is more focused on the farming than anything else. You find yourself in a ghost town, and you are given the task to rebuild it from nothing. You collect materials to improve the area, complete tasks from villagers to get rewards (like the Nook Miles from Animal Crossing: New Horizons), and you can grow crops and tend to your livestock to keep your farmland running.
Like the previous two games, you can also marry a villager! It’s also co-op. You can read our review here.
And that’s that until Summer in Mara comes out this Spring! Have you tried any of these games at all? They may arguably not be as good as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but they’re cheaper games and are Animal Crossing-like. Let us know what you think in the comments below.