Animal Crossing is a real time simulation game with the games being released for the Nintendo Gamecube, DS, Wii and most recently the 3DS. The most recent title, Animal Crossing: New Leaf received critical acclaim from everyone due to it's simple yet addictive mechanism and interactions with the charming NPCs in the world.
The game also has different layers to it's design with each day having different tasks, items to collect, conversations with the NPCs to be had and challenges like keeping the town rating constant or getting it higher as well as making sure the town budget increases so that the player can start new town projects like bridges, police station and aesthetic projects.
Another major aspect of the replay-ability and addictive nature of this game is that it is catered for perfectionists since there are so many items to collect and badges(basically trophies) for various achievements like collecting all the types of bugs, furniture and fish. The game also has funny and witty writing which are evident through the hilarious conversations the player has with the villagers daily, depending on the villager's personality(Each villager has a distinct personality like Jock, Sloth, Bossy etc), their mood at the moment and external factors like the weather, state of the town or the events happening in the town during that time.
Personally, I spent over 500 hours on my 3DS playing this game and I had a drive to collect all the collectibles and get all the trophies as well as make my town beautiful and villagers content. I ended the game with my town being Lannister themed with a golden house, golden rose hybrids everywhere, Rains of Castamere as my village tune and lions as my villagers. The fact that the game offers the player the freedom to do whatever in the world while keeping him grounded through daily tasks and mission is really what makes this game completely addictive and replayable.
Another layer of the game which really makes it fun are the hints and indirect control for the player to look to the future for upgrades to come for their house, shops which sell items and even projects which can be built in the village. This allows the player to understand what new developments are going to happen in his town without his authorization. For example, Gracie the stylish Giraffe notifies the player when she is upgrading the Nook's Home Center to the Department Store within the next few days so the store would be shut. However, players who are not careful with the approval and beauty rating of the town, could find disgusting Rafflesia growing in their town as a signal that their town is in rough shape.
Another sign of realism which induces immersion of the player into this world is the change in the town overnight. For example, new items are available in the Home Center as well as in the Nook's store. The player can decide on times when he can meet villagers when they fancy wanting to meet you. This feature really destroyed my social life personally. If I had set a meeting with Kabuki at 8pm and was out of the house with friends without my 3DS at 7:55pm, I would run back home just to finish the meeting in my virtual town. This game really had that much of an impact on me.
Lastly, those who wish to check out my village, below is my Animal Crossing Dream Address as well as my 3DS Friend code. Do visit it, in your free time.
Below are also my badges record. Pretty decent in all the categories except for Streetpass collection since there aren't many Animal Crossing players in India.