Can you believe it actually happened? Was a spin-off of the Animal Crossing franchise actually released? With the release of playable Animal Crossing characters in Mario Kart for Wii U and Super Smash Bros, it’s official that this series is definitely one of Nintendo’s major money makers. However, the question must be asked: was this rendition of the original series worth the hype and effort?
Remember those sweet letters you would get in the mail from the Happy Home Designer team, analyzing and evaluating the design of your home? Well now you’re one of those little f*****s and the interior design world is your oyster, so put on your cute little uniform and get ready to design.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was able to choose the way my character looked. Rather than be bothered with answering ominous questions on a train ride to my destination in order to vaguely determine what my character would look like, I was able to choose that myself. Whether or not Happy Home Designer is a total success, this feature should be an option when playing the next installment of the actual Animal Crossing series. It was so nice not being a googly-eyed, triangle-nosed girl with poop colored hair, FOR ONCE!
Fans of the Animal Crossing franchise will either be entirely thrilled with Happy Home Designer or completely disappointed for numerous reasons. For starters, Happy Home Designer provides a vast expansion to the original designer inventory and selection. In addition, you don’t need bells to purchase anything. Every item, design and addition in the inventory is completely free. For once, we are free from the Tom Nook fascist machine!
Aside from the vast options in designing whichever home you want, the standards for a successful design are pretty low. All your clients ask is that you implement one or two items into your design. There are never limits, parameters or time constraints and the entire process of making a customer happy, is fairly easy to achieve.
Although, at face value, Happy Home Designer is relatively enjoyable, the depth of its enjoyment hardly exceeds an inch. After a few jobs, the emptiness weighs in and the times of fishing, digging up fossils, and catching fireflies will have seemed like a dream come true.
Sure, the world that you create can be wonderful. As the sandy beach areas, lovely homes and modern shacks that you create begin to flood the town and people begin to buzz about, you’ll find yourself feeling extremely lonely. Although I loved what I had made, I almost felt like a child trapped on the other side of the fence, forced to watch as the neighbor kids ate my birthday cake. I wanted to take part in what I had created but I couldn’t and these cute townspeople had lost their unique charm that had made the games so fun to begin with.
It’s undeniable that Nintendo deciding to partake in a spin-off to a series that was once unpopular, is wonderful. However, the unfortunate fact that the game did not deliver much more than a endless bag of inventory items proves that perhaps Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer should have never left the design board or at least, should have never been priced at $40.
This review of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is based on a copy for the Nintendo 3DS which was provided by the publisher.