Hokko Life is a straight up Animal Crossing clone. The game doesn’t make any attempt to hide this and people looking for an Animal Crossing game on PC may feel right at home.
You start out the game by customizing your character. The game places you right away into the story without much further ado. You conveniently overslept on your train ride and ended up at the station of a quaint little village full of wholesome and friendly anthropomorphic animals.
From here, you make friends with the owner of what seems to be a sushi restaurant who let’s you use the spare guest room. Hokko Life takes a more hands on approach by giving you a series of very simple quests to get you started and acclimated to the game.
You complete familiar tasks such as chopping down trees for wood, collecting flowers, fishing, and etc. The game does have one unique mechanic in the form of crafting furniture. You can craft custom furniture from blueprints by using basic building blocks. You can unlock more intricate and complex pieces by purchasing them from the carpenter. The game gives you a wide degree of freedom in crafting. You can resize, rotate, and move pieces around freely to create something monstrous or stylish.
The game also has a very loose narrative and end goal. The town has been teetering on the edge of decline as more and more villagers are moving to the city to find work. You are tasked with revitalizing the town so you can attract more people to move into the village and restore it to a more lively state.
As for how the game plays, it doesn’t come close to the level of polish and craft of Animal Crossing. While it does have it’s own sense of charm in both the graphics and music, the game in it’s current state tries to emulate Animal Crossing a little bit too closely to its own detriment. There’s really no reason to play a less polished version of Animal Crossing when you can play the original.
That said, Hokko Life does show some potential to provide a new and fresh experience. The furniture crafting system does provide something new but not quite enough on its own. If Hokko Life can focus on finding its own identity as a game and take some risks to get out of Animal Crossing’s shadow, we may see a fantastic game come into being. As it is now, it is a perfectly serviceable but mediocre Animal Crossing clone, which is not a bad thing at all.