Animal Crossing Should Take Inspiration From Palia’s Most Charming Feature | Games Rants
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Animal Crossing Should Take Inspiration From Palia’s Most Charming Feature | Games Rants


  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been a huge success, but future entries will need to offer more to keep players engaged amidst growing competition from other cozy games.
  • Palia, an upcoming MMO, features collaborative gameplay as a core aspect, with tasks like cutting down special trees requiring multiple players to work together in real-time.
  • Animal Crossing could learn from Palia’s collaborative mechanics, introducing tasks that require assistance from friends and allowing players to recruit villagers for help, without taking away from the single-player experience.

Animal Crossing has become not only a staple of the cozy game genre but a staple of Nintendo’s roster of exclusive franchises. Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been a smash hit for Nintendo, selling over 40 million copies and falling only behind Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in Switch game sales. While the long-running franchise has always found a way to change and innovate, the next entry in the series will face higher expectations than ever before. Cozy games are also more present than ever, so the game will face stiffer competition than previous entries have. Animal Crossing will have to learn from the other games in the genre, and one key feature of Palia could be perfect for Nintendo to borrow from.

Palia is an upcoming MMO centered on life simulation. While many cozy games like Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley have featured multiplayer modes, these modes have typically been limited in scope. While players can visit their friend’s islands in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, collaboration is largely limited to sharing fruits and designs or traveling to sell turnips for more bells elsewhere. Palia, on the other hand, is built from the ground up as a multiplayer experience. Players live in a shared world, and resource gathering and other activities are best completed with a group of friends. In Palia, collaboration is key.

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Palia’s Flow Trees Are A Game Changer

Palia key art

Palia‘s focus on collaborative gameplay is best embodied by its flow trees. Some trees in the world are imbued with a magical ether; this magic makes the tree stronger and impossible for one player to cut down. Two or more players are needed to cut these trees, working together in real-time. While this mechanic best embodies the game’s approach to collaboration, certain recipes for cooking and crafting similarly require multiple people, either due to time constraints or the necessity for simultaneous completion of tasks. Palia is in beta, but it has already shown that the multiplayer functionality in other cozy games is woefully underutilized.

While the MMO nature of Palia necessitates its focus on collaboration, it doesn’t mean that other cozy games outside the MMO space can’t learn from it. Multiplayer in Animal Crossing is limited, so adopting some of Palia‘s collaborative tasks could give players more of a reason to play together. Visiting a friend’s island is fun, but it doesn’t take too long to run out of things to do. Animal Crossing has a lot of room to implement the collaborative features that make Palia special, and it could do so without ruining the single-player side of the game. Implementing such features would allow Animal Crossing to thrive as a co-op game as well as a single-player one, pushing the franchise forward.

Animal Crossing Should Add Collaborative Tasks


The next Animal Crossing game could borrow the idea behind Palia‘s flow trees and present players with tasks that require aid from friends. This would give players more of a reason to play with the people they know and to do so more often. Furthermore, Animal Crossing‘s iconic villagers fill its world and could be included in collaborative tasks. Usually, players complete errands for the villagers and are rewarded with items. An entry in the series with collaborative elements could allow the player to recruit villagers to help them complete these tasks. This would allow for people to play the game alone while forming deeper bonds with villagers. By limiting the amount villagers can do daily, Nintendo could still reward multiplayer collaboration without taking away from single-player.

The next Animal Crossing game needs to take some notes from Palia. Animal Crossing: New Horizons kept gamers together during self-isolation, so multiplayer is a big part of what fans love about the series now. While New Horizons‘ multiplayer helped to make it a big hit with fans, it is limited in scope, and future entries will need to provide players with more to keep them engaged. Borrowing from Palia‘s flow trees and other collaborative elements would allow Nintendo to flesh out all aspects of the Animal Crossing experience and would keep fans coming back to the game.

MORE: Why Animal Crossing Will Likely Never Get This Palia Feature

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