Animal Crossing: Wild World (おいでよ どうぶつの森, Oideyo Dōbutsu no Mori, "Animal Forest: Come Here") is a 2005 social simulation video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld game console, and is the second game in the Animal Crossing series.
Wild World focuses on living in a remote village populated with anthropomorphic animals, where the player is encouraged to perform any number of tasks, such as collecting and planting. Like all Animal Crossing titles, the game is synced to the console's clock and calendar, allowing the game to be played in real-time, which affects the occurrence of in-game events based on the current time of day or season. Wild World also utilizes Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, which notably allows players to travel and visit the villages of other players via online play.
The game received positive reviews upon release, gaining aggregate scores of 86 and 86.46% on Metacritic and GameRankings. Wild World is the highest selling game of the franchise, and the ninth best-selling game on the Nintendo DS with 11.75 million copies sold worldwide as of March 31, 2016.
Wild World was additionally released to the Wii U Virtual Console on October 13, 2016.
Like all games in the Animal Crossing series, Wild World is an open-ended game in which the player assumes the role of a human who has moved into a village populated with anthropomorphic animals. During his/her time spent in the village, the player is able to perform a number of various activities, such as collecting items, fish and insects, or socializing with the village's residents. The game is synchronized with the Nintendo DS clock and calendar, allowing the game to be played in real-time. For example, both daytime and night will occur in the village depending on the current hour, and snow will fall during the cold months. Different events occur at particular times of the year, such as holidays and the variation of collectible fauna depending on the month or season.
Wild World features a high level of customization. The player character's appearance can be modified to the player's preference: it can be dressed from a large selection of available clothes and accessories, or players can design new clothing patterns from scratch with help from the village tailor, Able Sisters. The environment itself can be modified: trees can be grown or chopped down in any part of the village, and the players share a house that can be furnished with collected furniture and items. Wild World also adds the ability to draw constellations that are visible in the night sky.
Wild World utilizes the two screens of the Nintendo DS in various ways. The game allows players to interact via the system's touch screen, which is used to manage inventory, write messages, draw designs for clothes, or control the player character. Unlike the previous iteration which had used a top-down perspective, Wild World allows both the ground and sky to be visible at the same time on each of the screens, allowing the players to view events occurring in the sky without needing to switch perspectives. This is done by using a "rolling log" effect, in which the terrain seems to bend and roll beneath the player's feet when travelling about the village.
Wild World is the first game in the Animal Crossing series to feature online play and was the second game to utilize Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, with which players can visit other villages. Because players are required to exchange and register Friend Codes prior to visiting, connection to random players is not possible. Up to four players can explore the same village simultaneously. NWC can also be used to exchange items and custom-designed patterns between players, as well as receiving exclusive gifts from Nintendo while connected.
Wild World is also compatible with its Wii successor, Animal Crossing: City Folk. Players are able to transfer their player character from Wild World to City Folk via a wireless connection between the two consoles.
As of May 20, 2014, online functionality offered through Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection is no longer accessible. The discontinued services include online play, matchmaking and leaderboards in which Animal Crossing: Wild World, as well as many other online DS and Wii games, are affected.
The game was first announced at E3 2004 under the tentative title Animal Crossing DS, where it was revealed to utilize the Nintendo DS touch screen and implement multiplayer capabilities. When development on Animal Crossing: Wild World first began, it was decided that nothing was going to be region-specific in order to make the game easier to localize. Therefore, certain events that were originally observed in Animal Crossing, such as those based on Halloween, Christmas, and the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival, are not observed in Wild World. This rule was also applied to the variety of fish and insects the player is able to collect.
On January 26, 2006, a blank letter was sent to a number of players connected to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection that contained a glitch item called "Red Tulips" that was able to corrupt saved game data. If placed on the floor inside the player's house, the item would create an invisible and indelible "wall" that rendered the spot in which it was positioned useless. Nintendo issued an official statement regarding the glitch, telling players that the bug was not caused by a hacker but was due to an internal error with the upload tool used to send exclusive gifts to players, and recommended that users who received the letter delete it whenever possible.
In 2008, journalists who were sent copies of Animal Crossing: City Folk for review were also sent copies of Wild World that contained existing save data to demonstrate the game's ability to transfer a player's inventory from Wild World to City Folk. On December 3, MTV reported that one of the animal characters in the modified copies of Wild World had its customizable catchphrase set to "Ñiggá." The edited slur had not been caught by the game's profanity detection system, which prevents players from setting character dialogue to anything deemed distasteful. Nintendo issued an official apology and recalled the modified copies, stating that the incident was caused by a wireless function that automatically transfers catchphrases between games.
Animal Crossing: Wild World received positive reviews, gaining an aggregate score of 86 out of 100 on Metacritic.
Some reviews felt that Wild World did not entirely expand upon what Animal Crossing had to offer, referring to the changes as incremental. While some reviews liked the implementation of using either the Nintendo DS buttons or the touch screen for game control, Nintendo World Report felt that using the touch screen for controlling the player character was "imprecise," and IGN felt that "Nintendo did not take the [game] down a path that takes advantage of this touch screen control." The absence of familiar holidays, which were removed to ease the localization process, was also criticized.
The addition of online play was praised by many critics. Computer and Video Games felt that the online play "extends the experience into true social gaming," and IGN stated that "Nintendo gave us everything we were asking for when playing the GameCube version: a much more intuitive way of trading items and enjoying other players' creations. And, at the very least, the company succeeded." However, multiplayer was also criticized for its tedious implementation and questionable restrictions, specifically the requirement of Friend Codes and the inability to send mail to other players unless he or she was visiting that person's village. Other online oddities mentioned include the disappearance of all animal residents during the visit and the fact that North American and European players are unable to connect with Japanese players. Wild World producer Katsuya Eguchi stated that these limitations were due to hardware and memory constraints.
On December 1, 2005, Media Create stated that Animal Crossing: Wild World sold 325,460 copies in Japan in its first week of availability, beating the previous mark set by Jump Super Stars and becoming the best-selling title for the Nintendo DS until the release of Brain Age 2. It is the 29th best-selling game of Japan in 2008, selling 4.7 million copies by July that year.
As of March 31, 2016, Wild World has sold 11.75 million copies worldwide.