Animal Crossing Amibo Festival review, Wii U

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*All images are captured by myself using a camera and Miiverse screenshot feature

Animal Crossing makes its board game debut in Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival.

Rejoice with old friends and new

Everyone loves an Animal Crossing game, but this one isn’t getting very good press especially from journalists who cover videogames on popular sites.

But people have their own view and opinions on games and can see charm, or endearing, where others can’t.

Here’s our view and opinion.

12348025_438275363035755_8822645321890353370_nThe game has traditional roots for a board game. You can choose 1-4 Players. You have a dice to roll, which the function used here with the Amiibo figures, is not too dissimilar to how it’s done with Mario party 10. Apart from in Amiibo festival, the use of the Amiibo’s is essential to be able to play. You take it in turns to work your way around the game board, collecting cards, items or currency. In this case it is Bells, happy points, and cards, which can be won on special events.

 

 

 

WVW69ipgu-wMrUJQu7Upon starting your game and you have chosen your character from the brilliant Animal Crossing Amiibo figures currently available, (and theres more on the way!) you will get to choose any of the calender months to play through as each game playthrough is based on a month.

Each month is of course seasonal, and… have special events such as New year, Easter etc, and other events seen in The Animal Crossing series.

 

 

The aim of the game in Animal Crossing Amiibo festival is to earn the most bells as the month comes to an end.

WVW69ipgwHQcEvPDcjAs each roll the player has counts as a day in game, it feels like it rushes you a little, but I guess there is on average 30 days in a calender month. For each special day of the week comes a special visitor. You see the same characters returning, and they are restricted with text as they will use the same phrases on each week and does not seem to vary. Some of these characters are:  Katie who will give you chance you win a dice card.  Joan the turnip trader.  Redd the Antique dealer.  Katrina the Fortune teller.

Depending on the event in the calender month you will also have special visitors like Chip to host a fishing competition. The competitions are automatic and are not playable as a bonus game type feature.
WVW69ipgwjwhewPobT (1)The board consists of spaces that change throughout the days and the weeks depending on events and your luck on your turns. Spaces will give you bells or happy tokens along with mini cutscenes, aswel as spaces that will also take away bells and happy tokens. Some swap out to a visiting character which if you land on, becomes a game of chance for an item. On every Sunday of the week Joan will arrive in the village to sell turnips. Turnips only last 5 days before going rotten and non profitable and prices escalate. So one day prices could be high, then the next, low. The turnip prices will also vary on each space. With the other special visitors, every few other spaces will change to a picture of them, so if you land on them you have chance to win a prize.

 
WVW69ipgwOsguaV3fOOn the four corners of the board is a Gyroid. The each have a corner of a stamp set, which if you collect them all will earn more bells.

More variety and introduction of more traders and special events would have been ideal, as well as actually taking part in the events or at least having the option to, rather than it being automatic. The same can be said for the Computer players, having the choice to skip their turn would have been a nice option if you are rushed for time.

 

It may seem repetitive each time you play, but there is a some extra content for you to explore. From playing other game modes with Desert  island escape and the quiz show. You can also unlock mini games where you pop balloons for points, whack Rossetti and card battle. You can also add things to your board with earned Happy Tickets. Items include, characters houses you pass on the board (you add these by scanning Villager Amiibo figures or cards), and features such as fountains, benches and Windmills which the villages will interact with as you play through the board.WVW69ipgucEHaF68oF

The thing would be a great idea for a physical board game, especially for fans of the series, however sadly it won’t appeal to all as a videogame.However not all is lost. Let’s focus on the positive points…

It is extremely simple for children to understand, pick up and play. Catching fish or Butterflies can be a bit of a task for children, or take a long time getting used to how to do it, so therefore, this being automatic isn’t all that bad and still keeps the enjoyment for your young ones. In the full title games, making money is not so sraightforward, so this being a game of chance on every roll of the dice, again keeps the enjoyment for the younger audience.

In short, I feel this game may be more appealing to the under 10s.

There is a few variations of bundles, or you can buy the game on it’s own. But the amazing Amiibo figures that you get starting from an extra £5 for two plus a pack of 3 Animal Crossing Amiibo cards, is a steal… and remember the Amiibo’s are essential to play the game.

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer 3/2DS review

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On Nintendo 3DS

You can be forgiven to think that Animal Crossing happy home designer is not a fully fledged Animal Crossing game, but it certainly is.

It also may not be the full Animal Crossing experience you have been waiting for and have come to know and love over the years, but this game oozes charm and is packed with familiar faces aswell as new ones. In fact, from what I have read regarding the Animal crossing Amiibo cards which we will cover later, there is 100 characters involved with this game one way or another.

The funny thing about the Animal Crossing games, is that you think it’s odd as an adult to enjoy and get into. Fact is my wife and I spent A LOT of time playing Wild World. And my daughter and I spent A LOT of time, playing New Leaf. (We have not spent near enough time playing Let’s go to the city, and I would have to sell a kidney for the Population: Growing! game). There is a surprising amount of Adult gamers that play and love the series, No matter their online status, and here I’m talking especially, The Nintendo life team (also seen to be Tomodachi Life fans :-)).

As a fully fledged villager having dabbled in stocking a museum, being a Mayor, there’s also a crucial role existing in the games.

The introduction to the game introduces you to the Happy home designer team as well as preparing your character. What’s this, Tom Nook again!?? Everyone’s favourite ludicrous business man is your new employer, as you will be working for Nook’s homes.


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There is quite a generous Body feature palette to use to get your desired look.

Once you have constructed your character, reminding Tom and his vague memory of who you are, it’s time to meet your fellow colleagues, Lyle, Digby and Lottie.HNI_0034

The ability to transfer your New Leaf character/s here would have been a great touch, but you are starting from scratch.

Lottie will train you in your role and get’s you straight onto an assignment. But first you need to get into uniform. As well as the changing room being on the next floor, you will also notice a barber chair which you will be able to use to change your appearance when you want to change things up. Your work uniform is supposedly able to be accessorized in the changing room also.

Your first clients home will be immediately recognisable if you are a fan of the series. It’s a basic starter house. The client has a few prized possessions in a box that they would like you to incorporate in the design of the home. The rest of the items is upto to you. Using the items tool you will have a small selection of items. In this design you will learn all the basics you need to know about how to place, move, rotate and discard items. You may want to find out those spare stylus’ you have digging around for a mishap, as using one will certainly make thing’s easier.

When you feel that you have finished the room design, speak to the client who lingers near the door. they will give you hints if the job is not quite finished, and r, you may not have noticed that there are now other items and tabs now available in the toolbox.

Once you have the seal of approval from the client, your work on this home is done.

The previous games have had a different way to save your progress. (And be badgered by  Resseti the Mole if you haven’t saved the next time) So it’s no surprise that the save feature has changed once again. This time around you will need to go to your desk at Nook’s homes and start your  notes. Saving is also automatic after each job you finish.

A mere ten minutes into trying this game, my Daughter is desperate to get on this and try it out. Though she’s wanting a girl character, not a male character and playing as Daddy. So we need to restart the game, or, I would have thought, exit the game and choose a new character at the menu. Creating a new character is not as straight forward as it was on New Leaf. The option to restart your game is somewhat hidden and you are restricted to just one character profile. To create a new character you will need to press and hold YXAB at the same time as soon as the Nintendo 3DS logo appears and before the title screen, a box will pop up asking you if you are sure you want to delete. All of this information will be in the games manual and I do highly recommend you read it prior to playing. If you have the digital game, there is a manual option at the games menu.

Watching my daughter nurturing her budding interior design was eye-opening. Placing objects in a way that at first glance I thought was wrong, but on closer inspection, ways I wouldn’t have thought of that also makes sense as it creates an illusion of freeing up more space while looking like a natural position. I feel this has been more of a learning curve to watch my daughter work away than what I would have learned from filling out the rooms in my own way.

Here’s some of my favourite picks of her creations

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The game may be called Happy Home Designer, but you will be asked to design an array of building’s, not just homes. A face you should certainly remember is the hard-working Isabelle. she will be handling requests for public facilities to be built.

What is a nice touch is that aswell as designing homes for people, you will also be responsible for where the homes will be positioned on the village map. The clients will give you some preferences as to the area and surroundings they feel will be ideal for them, however i get the feeling they are quite easily pleased. Other factors that will be included in the clients needs will be thing’s such as a play area if they have children, amenities a garden and a variety of other things. You will also be s for the design and layout of these so your work will be both indoors and outdoors.HNI_0052

Along the way you will unlock expressions your character can use to interact with other animals. They are accessible on the touch screen by tapping the happy cat icon.

Your main hub will be a town area around your office. Any boarded  will be upcoming projects for you which you can start by talking to Isabelle.

From what I have played you will not be able to quite roam the village, but you will be able to visit existing clients houses. After all, like the weather their taste and needs will change.

I can honestly say, the home design aspect of A C New Leaf was not my strong point, and something I did not care much for. But having playedthis, and in the short space of time seeing my daughters imagination take hold and learn valuableidea’s of her furnishing positioning. It would make me return to New Leaf (and hopefully future A C games) with a new fondness and understanding of layout and design.

12063864_426594980870460_2907434017134793815_n11214145_426594984203793_2819898708684815309_nOn the Super Mario Maker review I touched upon how Amiibo card collecting was a great idea and throw back to yester-year. If this is your cup of tea an you’re an A C fan then you will be delighted to know that A C will have its own range of Amiibo cards, and as mentioned earlier, 100 ofthem so far and a special Animal Crossing Amiibo cards collectors book to keep them in.

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer Amiibo collectors cards are to play quite a big role in the game. You can use them to invite other villagers to a clients home, the animals will interact with each other and should the visiting animal take preference to a piece of furniture they have seen, this will be ‘stored’ on the system memory when you touch the Amiibo card to the NFC, which will be the touch screen on the ‘new’ 3DS, and by using an NFC portal (purchased separately) with the 3 & 2DS systems. The furniture the animal remembers will be added to your catalogue and can be accessed by using the Amiibo phone, located in the Nook Homes offices. The Amiibo phone will also allow you to call clients to offer any further help with their home design. You can also get the visiting animal to remember any furniture you like to be used on future projects.

As usual with a lot of games you can screen shot (take photo’s) pressing L and R shoulder buttons together, be sure to take photos of your projects and whatever catches your eye. Your images will be saved to your SD card so you can put them on your Computer and share via fan sites and social media, and create projects of your favourite moment’s or memories of the Animal crossing series. There is also the option to share to the Miiverse by tapping the icon on the touchscreen.