Mobile Games Hotspot: 'Animal Crossing' Introduces Subscriptions; 'Brawhalla' Punches Onto Phones

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Nintendo

Elsewhere in gaming-on-the-go: Winter comes to 'Mario Kart Tour'; more 'Best Fiends' on the way; and 'Minecraft Earth' expands to more territories.

Mobile Games Hotspot is a curated weekly roundup of the top stories in gaming on-the-go.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp celebrated its second anniversary by announcing the Pocket Camp Club, a new service that provides monthly subscription service across two different plans. The first, named Happy Helper plan, allows players to invite a villager they've already met to come to their campsite and act as a caretaker. This special villager will complete menial tasks and collect items while the game is turned off. Other incentives are also available to subscribers. The Happy Helper plan costs $2.99 per month.

The next service is the Cooke & Depot plan, granting players five in-game fortune cookies only available to members of the service. Cracking open one such cookie will give players a chance at unlocking furniture or clothing items, while certain limited-edition items not available elsewhere can also be unlocked. Additional storage is also granted to members, giving them room for 5,000 different items. This plan is a bit steeper in price, offered at $7.99 per month.

Members of either service will gain access to the exclusive Pocket Camp Journal featuring articles on campers and a first look at upcoming new items. Crafting times will also improve (a typical craft that requires a full 24 hours would take just 30 minutes under the new plan). Both plans are currently available. 

Here's what else is happening in the world of mobile games:

Winter Comes to Mario Kart Tour

A new round of characters and tracks arrived in Mario Kart Tour this week as the Paris Tour came to an end and was quickly replaced by the Winter Tour. For the next two weeks, players have a chance of pulling Mario (Santa) and Pink Gold Peach out of the Warp Pipe, provided they have 45 Rubies (the title's in-game currency) to spare. The new arrangement of tracks and challenges also include DK Pass, a Mario Kart DS track making its first appearance in the mobile game. Decorative Christmas trees can be found in the background of various tracks. While a tour typically lasts two weeks, the Winter Tour will include three variations, making for a total of six weeks of content.

Brawlhalla Joining the Mobile Scene

The 2D-fighting game Brawlhalla is making the jump to mobile sometime in early 2020. With a roster of 47 characters, Brawlhalla plays similarly to the Super Smash Bros. series where players fight and rack up damage to make it easier to knock opponents off the map. Downloading the game is free, but individual characters must be purchased using coins earned in-game. The mobile version will support cross-play with Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC. You can sign up for the closed beta here.

More Best Fiends Incoming

The world of Best Fiends is getting a little bigger. The series revolves around a casual match-three puzzle gameplay style where matching objects allows you to fight various monsters and enemies. This new game, Best Fiends STARS, retains much of what made the original a success but adds new characters, levels and gameplay mechanics. Developer Seriously currently boasts over 100 million downloads and 1.7 million daily active users for the Best Fiends series. 

Additional Countries Added for Minecraft Earth

After launching last week in several different countries, including the U.S., MineCraft Earth made the jump to a number of new territories this week. They include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.