At the time of our trip di Japan, in our shopping list there weren’t just Lolita dresses or Rilakkuma plushes: there was also Nintendo DS. And when we went back home with our shiny second or third hand consoles, one of the first games we played (and one of the reasons we wanted the console) was Animal Crossing. It was love – and obsession – at first sight!
A lot of water has passed under the bridges of the village during these years (now there’s a brand new Animal Crossing), but thanks to Nintendo we have the chance to meet again Tom Nook and company, this time as protagonists of the new Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer for Nintendo 3DS! Here’s how it’s going our career of kawaii interior designer (spoiler: we are having a lot of fun)!
One of our gaming obsession is interior design: we could spend whole days arranging our virtual little homes. So, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer it’s a dream come true! Tom Nook, more and more trades tycoon of Animal Crossing world, give us a job at ImmoNook, his estate agency. Our task is to satisfy the villagers creating houses perfect for them, from wallpapers to furniture.
The career at ImmoNook starts with interior design and continue with exteriors and the contracts to decorate public buildings, which are going to enlarge the village square. The interface is very easy to use: moving the furniture with the touch screen is easy peasy and with the console buttons it’s even more handy to browse the pages of the furniture catalogue. Oh, yes… The furniture! There are so many pieces at our disposal and they grow with each client: you are really spoiled for choice! There’s even a rococo set to create a house Gothic Lolita style!
Why we loved it
For some people, Happy Home Designer could be a bit repetitive, but with pied-à-terre to design and public buildings to open each “working day” is full of surprises. We particularly loved to decorate the village buildings, especially the shops. In the catalogue there are some sets of specific furniture (es. the ones to build a jewelry), but it’s more fun to not follow the “instructions” and be more creative (and the jewelry becomes a library).
A plus of Happy Home Designer, at least for us, it’s that the game is more “casual” than the old classic Animal Crossing: even people who doesn’t have so much time to play can enjoy the game without losing special or seasonal events. Of course, part of the fun of Animal Crossing is celebrating Christmas or trying to catch that rare fish appearing only at night, but a game like that can be a little bit limited for people who has just half an hour during lunch break.
Maybe the only flaw of the game is the lack of challenges: there aren’t budget limitations and the clients are always happy with everything we put on their rooms (provided you use the “mandatory furniture” they are giving to you or included in the building plan). But if you like simple and relaxing games as we do, certainly it is a good thing to not feel performance anxiety or to be always without virtual money. At the end of the day, the aim of the game it is not to rack up points or coins but to unleash your creativity.
Another very nice and fun thing of the game is the interactivity, but we will talk about this in the second part of the review, after we finally check our amiibo cards!