Hello everyone, hope you’re good! If you read my recent review on the Nintendo 3DS game Fantasy Life(which you can read here), then you’ll know that I already had an idea of what to get for my next game! Since it was my birthday recently, I decided to treat myself to the latest instalment of Animal Crossing – Happy Home Designer!! Note: There are potential spoilers in this post as to what you can do within the game.
I’ll also apologise for the low quality pictures; they are only a small file because they were snapped directly from my 3DS!
I was incredibly excited to get this game but unfortunately it was out of stock when I went to get it on my birthday but thankfully my work town had the game and NFC reader in stock, so I picked it up the next day! I was incredibly eager to get started, not knowing what to expect as I missed out on getting AC: New Leaf! So you’ll have to bear with me that I only have AC: Wild World for comparison!
So to start the game you must create and name your character, of course you only have limited customisation options but you can alter your look later on in the game if you get bored!
Once you have created and named your character, you will be introduced as the new employee of ‘Nook’s Homes’ (if you ever played AC then you will remember Tom Nook as the annoying rent collector that made you pay loads if you wanted to expand your room, it appears he has decided to expand his money swindling ways by setting up a home remodelling business haha); you will be introduced to Lottie, who will be something of your senior and will guide you throughout the game.
I’m not gunna lie, I’ve been playing goodie-too-shoes on this game and done everything correctly, so I couldn’t tell you what the consequences would be if you designed someone’s house completely wrong or even answered a question negatively!
However since the designing is entirely up to you, you can add pieces of your choice but a good tip is to keep an eye on your client when doing so and you’ll get a good idea of whether you are doing it correctly. A piece of furniture that they approve of might get you a nod, a clap or, if it is a piece they really love, a love heart. Don’t be put off if they seem surprised at something you have put in, this doesn’t seem to change the outcome.
After a bit of playing, you will be able to choose where to locate your clients, Ava here has volunteered to be our example! You’ll be shown a map where you can choose the plot of land to build their house and each plot of land is different, which can give a different feel to the client you are dealing with. If someone wanted a house with the image of ‘a garden the kids can play in’ then you would be looking for a plot of land with a nice big garden that hasn’t been taken up by a river, train track or pond.
Which means you can now design the garden as well! You can plant trees, flowers and furniture outside as well as changing the fencing surrounding the land; you can also change the design of the house including its size and style, its location on the land, the roof colour, the body colour and the door’s colour and style!
The client will be with you whilst you are designing and they usually have their own belongings that they would like you to incorporate into their new home; this is a big indicator as to what sort of furniture they are looking for! For example if someone had a gothic table, then you can be sure that other gothic furniture would suit them nicely (especially since you would’ve unlocked that theme and it would now be appearing in your catalogue)! Oh and don’t get rid of any of their furniture, you might upset them.
Another cool thing is that there are many more objects that your character can interact with! Remember when you created your room and you could turn the lamp on and off? Well now there are far more items for you to interact with and design the rooms with!
Another cool thing is that you design the house with the help of what I’ll call ‘grid mapping’, basically on the touch screen there will be a grid map and the top screen will show you what the room actually looks like; quite like on The Sims where items are placed by square, it is the same on here but you can even move your items closer together onto ‘half squares’ to create more room and add more items! If you want your character to be able to freely move between say the sofa and a tv, you leave a square’s worth of space, but if you want to move it closer together then you can leave half a square’s worth of space – your character can still reach the sofa but they’ll have to ‘scoot’ in between the furniture!
At some point you’ll be asked to head outside and seek out new clients, and luckily for you they are right on your doorstep! You might have 2 or 3 new customers checking out Nook’s Homes, and by approaching them you can see what sort of design themes they are after; after viewing each one, you can choose to speak to whomever you would prefer to do a home remodelling for!Eventually you’ll meet Isabelle who has become something of a mascot for Animal Crossing since her first appearance in New Leaf. She is responsible for bringing you the town development contracts which allows you to expand your town! Whereas before on Wild World, you only had Nook’s shop, the town hall, the museum, the tailor shop and the villager’s houses to visit, HHD allows you to create much more to add to your town! You might be asked to add a shop or even a hospital, you can choose the design of the exterior from the choices provided and then design the interior however you like!
You’ll also receive a handbook at some point where you can choose to learn lessons which will develop your designing skills; you’ll have to pay for them with your play coins (to earn these simply turn on your 3DS, close it and walk around – for ever 100 steps you earn 1 play coin) but they are very useful since they allow you to create more elaborate designs!
Another great thing about this is game is the introduction of Amiibo cards! You can collect these cute character cards AND use them within the game!! You can collect all of the characters seen across the Animal Crossing series and decorate homes for your old favourites!!
The Amiibo cards are used with the NFC reader that you can buy with the game, of course if you have the newest 3DS then you don’t need to purchase this as the reader is installed into the 3DS! The device is super easy to use, simply press the button to switch it on!
Next thing you need to do is make sure that the Wi-Fi on your 3DS is switched on so that the two devices can connect.
Once that is all set up, you just need to make sure that the sensors are facing each other so that they can connect without trouble (oh and don’t be an idiot like me trying to connect the two only to realise that the NFC reader turned itself off and wonder why its not working – it turns itself off automatically if it isn’t used for a while).
Head on over to the Amiibo phone and go through the set-up; next you need to choose the card of the character that you want to contact!
I chose Resetti because he was my first card that came with the game! You don’t need to place the card on the NFC, just hover it over the top where the Amiibo sign is.
So I have a quick chat with Resetti and he decides to come down to the office to discuss the plans…
So he tells me that he’s leaving it up to me to decorate his house…No hints of what he would like, no nothing. Thanks Resetti!
This is what I threw together for Resetti, nothing special but I wanted an outdoor feel to the place since he’s, ya know, a mole an’ all.It is fun but it would be nice if I could explore a bit more; sure I can wander around the town but that’s it, I can’t freely wander and visit people’s houses (though you can visit a client of your choice through your file with all of the client’s details) or even design my own home which I thought I would be able to do considering it is all about interior design and Lottie tells me at the end of a hard day that I can go home, which ofc I don’t I just come back into the office ‘the next day’.
I have only had this game for a few weeks, playing it here and there everyday and the game play is pretty much the same throughout; after just 5 days of playing it, I completed it!! I was quite saddened by this, the game isn’t so much of a game on its own but more of an arcade ‘side’ game, so if you want to drag it out then I advise you to not do all of the town projects.
So overall I give this a 3.5/5 because I think it is a fun game and I do enjoy it, it’s like having a kawaii animal-version of Sims in your pocket, but it’s a shame I can’t go out and explore or create my own house, and that it was over so quickly! Of course I can still continue the game and design people’s houses but the fun of expanding your town is very short lived. Although it was fun, I think I will still purchase New Leaf as I feel you will be able to do more on there than this game because I kind of hoped it would be like the other AC games where you got to explore, not where your only task was to design houses.
Hope you enjoyed my little review of this game; it was recently released in September, so I’m only a little bit behind since I waited until my birthday to purchase it. I have another game in mind that I would like to purchase which looks right up my street but we’ll see! Until next time~♥