When Nintendo asked if we might like to try an Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer review I jumped at the opportunity – on a number of levels. First, because I know just how much Jolly & Bear LOVE Animal Crossing New Leaf – there was no way they wouldn’t want to try out the new game.
Secondly, I knew with a joyous happy brain, that 12yr old Jolly would write the review for me, and do a MUCH better job than I would.
So the codes arrived, and download commenced.
This was Jolly’s room, 7 that night…
Duvet on the floor, they’d been curled up together for ages, Minecraft and Skype forgotten for a change. And they probably would have stayed that way half the night if I hadn’t insisted on bedtime. SO here’s what Jolly has to say about Nintendo’s Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer:
The Animal Crossing series has swept over Nintendo gamers in the last few years with its fantastic games replicating life. The series has been quirky and charming, simulating choices as a mayor of a town. But the most recent game, Happy Home Designer, has taken us into a completely different storyline altogether.
You play as a new employee for ‘Nook’s Homes’, an interior design company, starting with your first house interior as a tutorial from Lottie. She shows you the basics – from choosing a chair to placing carpets and wallpapers.
After you complete the tutorial, your first customer, Goldie, arrives. The main objective is to decorate her house to how she likes it (the same story follows throughout the first half of the game, until Isabelle arrives from the town hall).
Isabelle, known to be your advisor in the other Animal Crossing games, gives you projects to build for the town. Of course, you can choose between continuing customer houses or you can finish up the projects. Once all projects are finished you’ll attend a town ceremony where the game ends.
The game is nice and fun, but it is very short. It only took me a day to complete, unlike New Leaf, which I’ve had for a year but I still haven’t completed yet. Most of the game is just ‘Decorate this and complete’, which is a fun objective, but there’s no challenge. Even if you decorate the building wrong, the customer will still love it. And gaining furniture is perfectly easy, because there’s no currency within the game to purchase the furniture; you just unlock it instead.
‘Emotions’ have been introduced in this game, but I found them to have no use as there is no multiplayer in Happy Home Designer. You can use it around townsfolk and they’ll use their own emotions in a response, but that’s about as useful as the emotions get.
The game is better for short bursts – if you settle in for a long session it does get repetitive if you’re not attending to the projects. As you progress through the game you rise to Head of Projects and Houses, which is as high as you can go in the game. It’s a shame that the game was so quick, if it were to have a challenge and if it had lasted longer I would’ve loved it a lot more. I’ve never tired of New Leaf, and it would have been great if Happy Home Designer had the same lasting fun.
I’d also like to mention the Amiibo cards and port, which in my opinion are fantastic, bringing the game a whole new meaning. The Amiibo cards won’t work with an older model 3DS, but there is now available an NFC Reader portal which means that you don’t have to upgrade your DS to have fun with the Amiibo.
You simply take your Amiibo card and scan it over the port in front of your Nintendo 3DS/2DS, and it transfers the character on the card into the game.
For instance, on Happy Home Designer, you walk up to a phonebox and scan the Amiibo card over the port once using the phonebox, and it allows you to make a house for the person on the Amiibo card. Cool, right? Just what I thought.
The Amiibo cards are also great for trading around, I’ve swapped a few with my sister and she’s borrowed a few of mine. There are rare and common cards too (they come in packs of three, with one ‘special’ and two ‘regular’), so make sure you hold onto those rare cards for decent trades.
Overall I’d rate the game 8/10 – I really enjoy it, but it could do with a longer storyline and a challenge.
I’d rate the Amiibo cards and port a 10/10, I’d definitely use them again for other games.