Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp's Big Christmas Event Is A Grindy Letdown

Illustration for article titled Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp's Big Christmas Event Is A Grindy Letdown

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’s first, Christmas themed event is now live. I spent a couple hours playing, and came away with some cute new winter boots, and 15 fewer Leaf Tickets.


Pocket Camp’s Holiday Event is all about one thing: candy canes. Candy canes are a new currency that you can use to craft all the event furniture. You can earn these by completing some new timed goals—some of these event goals will also earn you holiday themed clothing. Most of these goals aren’t too hard. Over the course of the 25 days that these goals are active, you’re likely to complete the event goals which ask you to complete a series of villager requests just by playing the game. Doing so will net you a cool 60 candy canes, as well as two pieces of holiday clothing. As you continue to scroll down the list, however, the rewards get a bit confusing. Why do you earn 80 candy canes for crafting a snow globe, which costs 100 candy canes to make? And once you run out of goals, how are you supposed to get candy canes at all? If you complete every event goal you’ll earn 300 candy canes. The problem is, there are multiple items that cost over a hundred candy canes, and two of them cost exactly 300.

Well, you can sometimes get a candy cane or two from villagers for completing their requests, and you can earn some from going to Shovelstrike Quarry. I didn’t earn any candy canes from my trip to Shovelstrike Quarry today, and you can only visit it once a day. I also completed fourteen quests—all the ones available to me during this three hour period—and got seven candy canes, total. If that’s the average, you can earn a maximum of 56 candy canes a day plus whatever you may or may not get from Shovelstrike, if you complete every single quest and never sleep. Hypothetically, you can earn 1,500 candy canes in the offing over the 27 days this event is active.

Illustration for article titled Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp's Big Christmas Event Is A Grindy Letdown

It’s important to remember that is the maximum amount you can earn in the event. Most likely, you’re going to sleep through at least two of the eight total three hours quest periods, so that lowers that maximum to 42 per day, around 1,110 total. Some players will absolutely log in every three hours and dutifully complete every quest, but some won’t. You have to go to work or school, go to the gym, walk your dog, hang out with your partner, and sleep. It’s also important to remember that how many and how often you’ll get candy canes from villagers is totally random. After 12 quests, I’d earned three total, and then got four more on my last two. It’s totally possible to complete all the quests available to you and only earn one or two canes, or even none at all. You might earn enough candy canes to get the furniture and items you want, and you might lose interest. If you’re the kind of player that wants to get every single item before the event ends, it’s going to be hard for you to do that without spending Leaf Tickets.

You can make it easier on yourself by grabbing stuff from other players’ market boxes, for sure. Or you can use an item that guarantees you get fruit beetles, which costs fifteen Leaf Tickets, buy fertilizer to instantly get more fruit, which costs fifteen Leaf Tickets, or throw nets to get fish, which cost fifteen Leaf Tickets. After not being able to get the six fruit beetles I needed, with the clock on these quests ticking down, I broke down and just spent the Leaf Tickets.

No matter what, it all seems to come back to Leaf Tickets. If you don’t have enough candy canes to craft something, you can, get this, use Leaf Tickets to make up the difference. Right now I only have 15 candy canes, and the crafting screen is telling me I can still make the snowman, which costs 300 candy canes, for an additional 371 Leaf Tickets.


I understand that this is how these events work—they try to make it as hard as possible to get all the rewards in order to compel you to spend money. That doesn’t mean I have to like it, and it doesn’t mean that it’s okay to do. Quite simply, this is taking advantage of people with poor impulse control and can’t help but spend money on the game. Still, I can acknowledge my own hypocrisy. When you open up the game for the first time during the event, you’ll get a Santa hat. I put it on, and put on a cute sweater dress to match, but it wasn’t quite right. So, to earn a cute pair of winter boots, I did some quests, earned some candy canes and crafted a really ugly red and green checked rug. The only other thing I want from this event is a snowglobe. It costs a hundred candy canes. I could complete some more quests and earn enough candy canes to make it. More likely, I am just going to use some fucking Leaf Tickets.


Sometimes I wonder if this game has shattered the thin veneer of Animal Crossing not just being one giant fetch quest.

It just feels like having everything on timers ruins the fun of randomly stumbling upon things to do.