City Folk is a sequel to Animal Crossing: Wild World, designed to take advantage of technical improvements in the Wii compared to the Nintendo DS. Among other things, most events cut from Wild World are reintroduced, including real-world holidays from the original game. Players can now visit a city full of different shops including ones from previous games, as well as some new ones.
The game is the first Wii game to support voice chat and the first online game in the series that supports interoperability between Japanese and Western versions of the game; due to considerable technical differences, the international and Japanese versions of Wild World were incompatible with one another. Local multiplayer is supported by downloading travel data to a DS, referred to in-game as the DS Suitcase, and this feature can also be used to import players from Wild World into one's City Folk town.
This game provides examples of:
- Artistic License Paleontology: Blathers claims Apatosaurus lived in swamps and lakes to support its immense body weight, a theory that was disproven in the 1960s.
- Black Market: Crazy Redd owns a black market in the city. The only way you can get access to it is by receiving an invitation from another villager, including other players.
- Gateless Ghetto: The city consists solely of a shopping center.
- Honest Axe: Serena, the goddess of a fountain that Tortimer can install after donating enough bells, seems to set this up... only to be ridiculously finicky about whether or not she rewards you for your efforts. Guide Dang It! doesn't even begin to cover it, as being honest, flattering her, or even admitting that you hate her is not guaranteed to yield any results.
- Luck-Based Mission: Trying to get a silver or golden axe. It seems to make absolutely no difference what you say; you lose your axe, get your original axe, get a silver axe or a golden axe pretty much at random. So you just have to stock up on axes and keep trying every day.
- Market-Based Title: The Wii installment has the subtitle City Folk in North America and Let's Go to the City in PAL countries.
- Mission-Pack Sequel: City Folk to Wild World; there aren't as many changes as there were going from the original to the DS, or from the Wii to the 3DS, or from the 3DS to the Switch. You can even import your character from Wild World when creating a save file. The differences are the addition of the city which is where most of the previous games' travelling characters were moved, the dialogue, villager interaction and favors, and the return of real-world holidays from the first game.
- Old Save Bonus: If you choose to import your Wild World character, you get to keep the character's appearance and catalog. Resetti will also make a surprise appearance, thanking you for playing both games.
- Renovating the Player Headquarters: The player is provided a small one house at the start of the game, which can be expanded after paying Tom Nook a few thousand bells. A second floor can also be built, but unlike its predecessor, the extra side rooms are absent in lieu of the basement from Animal Crossing (2001).
- Retraux: The furniture pieces in the Mario Set are all 3D renditions of sprites from Super Mario Bros, with mock-voxels in place of pixels. In the N64/GameCube games, they were translations of the sprite art to the games' own art style, and in New Leaf, they were modeled after their New Super Mario Bros. counterparts instead.
- Take a Third Option: One possible conversation that you can listen in on between a Peppy neighbor and a Lazy neighbor is them arguing about which one of them is cuter. Eventually, they'll ask you who you think is cuter. Your options are both of the neighbors involved in the conversation... or yourself.