Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer is not a pure Animal Crossing game, but more of a spin off game…it’s useful to remember this. It sees you become an employee of “Nook’s Homes” an interior/exterior designer if you will. Animals will appear outside the shop each day and it’s your job to pick one customer and design their dream home. They may specify that you must include certain items (most characters unlock more furniture which is then added to your library for use in any home thereafter) but for the most part, it’s up to you. And you literally choose everything, from how the exterior looks, the floor plan, the flooring, lamps, windows and sofas etc. You unlock more design options as you go through the game, and can also design buildings in the town centre too.
Want to design the home of your favourite New Leaf villager? You can leave it to pot luck and hope they show up outside the shop, or you can try your luck at getting them in Amiibo cards packs. The cards can be scanned on “new” 3DS/XL consoles, or via an Amiibo reader and the villager or character will appear onscreen! The Amiibo cards are the only way to unlock the option to design the houses of the shop keepers and other non villagers in the game. (Saharah for example) These exclusives are denoted by the fact that their cards are glittery. Scanning the villager Amiibo figure also reaps a little reward too!
Overall the controls are excellently done and the game strangely addictive, if a little repetitive. You aren’t rewarded for matching items so it can feel a little empty at times, as the villagers are always happy regardless of the type of interior you design for them. However the online feature that allows players from around the world to rate your work makes up for this a little. Limited in scope, but done well, this is a welcome addition to the Animal Crossing franchise.
|Gameplay.||8/10||Immensely fun, but a little repetitive after a while.|
|Graphics.||8/10||Great use of 3D and incredibly cute characters!|
|Sound.||7/10||Limited due to game type really.|
|Music.||8/10||Again limited, but the music stays with me after I save and quit the game.|
|Story.||6/10||Not much of a story, but there doesn’t need to be with the nature of this game.|
|Value for money||7/10||A little limited in comparison with other Animal Crossing games.|
|Network Features||8/10||I really enjoy the rating system and being able to look at other player’s designs.|
|Controls||10/10||Mapped really well, picking up and playing for the first time was easy.|
|Addictiveness||9/10||Relaxed gaming at it’s best.|
|Innovation||9/10||Excellent use of Amiibo. Both the cards and the figure can be scanned in, in an innovative and immersive way.|
Total Score = 80%