Space World 2001 hands-on: Animal Forest Plus

We've got hands-on impressions of Nintendo's "communication game" for the GameCube.

Dubbed as a "communication game," Nintendo's Animal Forest Plus for the GameCube is scheduled for release this winter in Japan. The game was released originally on the Nintendo 64 in Japan but did not make it to the overseas market. The GameCube version of the game was at the press day of Nintendo Space World 2001, and we have hands-on impressions of this unique game.

You will become one of the inhabitants in the Animal Forest, living everyday life and communicating with your fellow neighbors. There is no final objective to the game per se, since you will be living a life in a virtual world and just doing whatever you like--like fishing, designing your own clothing, decorating your bedroom, or maybe just simply chatting with neighbors.

The N64 version let you play games such as Donkey Kong, Tennis, and Balloon Fight from the NES. Though it was not shown in the version we played at Space World, it is hoped that this feature will remain for the GameCube version. One of the new features introduced by Shigeru Miyamoto at yesterday's press conference was the connectivity with the Game Boy Advance. The only requirement is the link cable, and it will not require a separate cartridge on the GBA. You will be able to leave the forest (GC) and go to a separate island (GBA) by taking a boat. Though specifics were not given, you will be able to decorate other people's bedrooms (you couldn't in the N64 version), as well as design your own clothing (it opens up a paint program and lets you draw textures pixel by pixel) in the GBA portion of the game. You can also visit a different island by taking your GBA to your friend's place. This feature is similar to the N64 version where you can visit a different forest by using your saved game on a friend's cartridge. It is not known whether this can also be done on the GameCube version through the use of Memory Card 59.

Animal Forest Plus is scheduled for release on December 14 in Japan. No plans for a North American release have been announced at this time.

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