When I was in university, my trusty Nintendo DS went everywhere I did. I kept it stashed in my bag at all times, and whenever I needed a break I’d jump into Animal Crossing: Wild World to relax. The life simulation game, where players build a virtual life in a bucolic town full of animal friends, had a sense of aimlessness that made it the perfect distraction. If I had a few minutes in between classes, I could plant some fruit trees, catch a few fish, or chat with my neighbors. It’s a lot like the way I play mobile games today, making steady, incremental progress whenever I’m free. This week’s release of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp on iOS and Android confirms that the series is a great fit for mobile. It makes some compromises, but delivers the core of what I want from Animal Crossing: a nice, slow way to unwind. Previous Animal Crossing games were wonderfully open-ended, dropping your human avatar in a town full of animals and letting you wander. You could make friends, pay off your mortgage, become an avid bug collector, or none of the above. The focus on simply living a virtual life without high-pressure goals was a large part of the appeal. In Pocket Camp, you’re still a human surrounded by talking animals, but this time your home base is campground rather than a house. As in other Animal Crossing games, you can decorate your living space, chat with animals, and give gifts to improve your friendships. The real-time clock also makes the leap to mobile, where some events only happen at certain times or on certain days, and when you pick some fruit from a tree you’ll need to wait a specified number of hours for more to grow back. It’s what makes these games such a satisfying habit, something you play for a few minutes each day, rather than gorging on it all at once. The real-time structure fits mobile really well, since the game is on a device you always have with you. I’ve found myself doing a bit of fishing before bed, and letting the chill nighttime music lull me to sleep. There are some changes and compromises that come with the new format, however, and Pocket Camp feels a bit more like a typical video game because of them. The most obvious example is the