Gardening has come to Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp today, and with it more things to spend Leaf Tickets on.
I never really got into planting flowers in the console versions of Animal Crossing. I’d always forget where I planted them, not water them, and then they’d wilt and die. Pocket Camp makes gardening easier. Instead of planting flowers across the world, you find a garden plot if you walk all the way to the left of your campground. There you’re greeted by Loid, a gyroid who gives you a brief tutorial on how gardening works.
As you might have guessed, you plant flowers and then, after a couple of hours, they grow. You can trade these flowers to Loid for furniture and clothes. For one red tulip, you can get a potted red tulip. For 25 pansies, you get a floral tee. The items you can earn are actually pretty cute. They’re all in different floral patterns, and I definitely at least want a floral shirt.
The trickiest part of gardening is cross pollination. You can do more than just plant and pick flowers—you can use your already grown, picked flowers to cross pollinate with another planted flower to grant you seeds. Sometimes you’ll get a rare seed; sometimes you won’t get seeds at all. Seeds are pretty cheap to buy, but as of right now, they only come in four varieties. Loid offers different rewards for four different colors of tulips and pansies, so if you want the floral chair, which costs 35 black tulips, you have to cross pollinate. It’s all pretty tedious. When I cross pollinated an orange tulip with a pink tulip ten times, I got a rare black seed once. So, you also have to cross pollinate a lot.
Flowers grow pretty fast, or at least fast enough that I was happily surprised when they had bloomed after not playing the game for several hours. You can’t see the timer unless you want to speed up flowers’ growth, which you can do using plant food. Once you get into that menu and see that you have a hundred something minutes until you have flowers, using plant food seems reasonable, especially given that it’s only one Leaf Ticket per flower. Or at least that’s what I thought until I actually used plant food on my full plot of freshly planted seeds. To bring it down from 177 minutes to zero cost 58 Leaf Tickets. Yikes.
There’s a part of me that wants to dive back into this game and cross pollinate until I get every seed and make the most elaborate garden ever. There’s not a huge design aspect to this, as you can’t rearrange the plot, though you can visit other players’ plots. I definitely judged people for not having a variety of flowers and then realized I was only planting red tulips myself. Still, that impulse to garden is tempered by knowing that, again, it all comes back to Leaf Tickets. Even when Pocket Camp gives you a fun thing to do, there’s a secret hook.