All these cute and casual genres that us PC players used to have to go out and buy a Nintendo console to play are having lots of time in the sun thanks to indie developers. I can name you ten PC games doing the Harvest Moon thing off the top of my head and now here we've got one with its hand in the Animal Crossing cookie jar. Hokko Life, a community simulator full of cute talking animals, has just released a new trailer and plans for early access this year.
This isn't the first appearance of Hokko Life. Developer Robert Tatnell has been working on it publicly for some time, but today's trailer seems to be its big stepping out. The debutante ball, if you will. Hokko Life is now far enough along to get all the official bits wot all young games in high society have—a trailer, a Steam page, and a cautiously optimistic release window.
I confess that despite my investment in many things like it, I've yet to actually play an Animal Crossing game but I understand there's a checklist of bits they often include and Hokko Life seems to have followed in step plus some extra latitude for players to creatively customize the town. It's got house decorating, bug catching, fish fishing, and garden tending. Oh, and the villagers are all animals.
What looks particularly neat is the level to which you can hand design some of your creations. The trailer shows off painting a custom pattern onto a tshirt and using a pared down 3D editing interface to redesign furniture. In a recent update, Tatnell describes plans for players to upload these creations through an in game department store for other players to use.
Hokko Life is planning an early access release sometime this year and, according to its Steam page, is hoping for a full release in 2021. For its eventual full release, Hokko Life is looking to add town events, deeper fishing and gardening systems, and more ways to customize clothes and furniture.
You can wishlist Hokko Life on Steam to hear more about its planned early access release.