Nintendo's 'Animal Crossing' coming to mobiles November 22

Players can decorate and upgrade their pitch and campsite in "Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp."

Third Nintendo smartphone game "Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp" is set for a November 22 launch on Android and iOS following a period of limited availability in selected regions.

Previously released to the Australian iTunes and Google Play stores since October 25, the smartphone iteration of "Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp" is preparing to lay out its picnic blanket worldwide on November 22.

In some ways a streamlined version of 2012's "Animal Crossing: New Leaf" for the portable Nintendo 3DS, in others an expansion on its potential for microtransactions instead of encouraging players to come back another day (by offering microtransactions instead of waiting for a timer to expire), "Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp" has players set up at a campsite and welcome new neighbors.

The only thing is that visiting neighbors need somewhere to sit, which necessitates furniture and decorations: such items can be made by gathering raw materials and then assembling them.

Then there are fish and insects to catch, an activity which requires the correct equipment, another opportunity for incremental progress towards an eventual goal.

Thus players can dip in and out a couple of times a day, or pony up to make things tick along a little faster.

The franchise has been around since 2001, with several entries for Nintendo's home and handheld consoles alike.

But there hasn't been a new, mainline game since "New Leaf," with 2015 bringing an interiors focus in "Happy Home Designer" for the 3DS, and an incentive to collect figurines and cards through "Amiibo Festival" on the Wii U.

Nintendo's two existing smartphone games have both arrived in advance of core console entries.

As "Super Mario Run" debuted December 2016 ahead of "Super Mario Odyssey" on the Nintendo Switch console in October 2017, so too did February 2017's strategy game "Fire Emblem Heroes" in advance of a "Fire Emblem" Switch release in 2018.

So perhaps a fuller "Animal Crossing" experience will follow in due course, as Nintendo widens its audience and presents another case for Switch console ownership.