Live in a town filled with talking animals. Pick fruit and sell it to a raccoon. Fish, catch bugs, plant and water flowers. Buy furniture. Send letters. Visit other players’ towns. Watch fireworks. Go shopping. Design clothes. Listen to a guitar-playing dog. Watch colours change as the seasons go by.

Animal Crossing is a game that survives on length rather than depth. You play it over a period of time, rather like a game of skill, although there’s next-to no skill involved. You improve by mastering emotions – sadness! Surprise! – and paying off your mortgage. I think it’s fair to say Animal Crossing perhaps isn’t the most exciting game in the world.You'll find this exciting one day

Playing it with friends is even better, and what really lifts this above the Gamecube version. Although the trading sadly doesn’t extend to animals, you can swap patterns, villagers, phrases, constellations, furniture… quite a lot, really.

Animal Crossing is almost impossible to review because it either appeals to you or it doesn’t. I’ve tried at great length to talk two of my best friends into appreciating it, but it’s not a game that can be taught; only learnt.

In short: A parallel, beautiful world of wonder and charm.