Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the latest installment of the popular Animal Crossing series. This version is a little bit different compared to the other games in the series. In previous versions, you move into a town, set up residence and interact with different town folk. In AC: New Leaf, you move in and become the mayor of the town. In the beginning of AC: New Leaf the town folk were expecting their new mayor to show up by train. However, you show up and the original mayor is nowhere to be found. The town folk accept you as their new mayor. As the mayor, you are able to perform several duties. These duties include declaring ordinances where you can: keep your town beautiful, have an early bird town, have a nightlife town, or have a bell boom town. You can only setup one ordinance at a time, but you can change it whenever you like (as long as you have enough currency).
As mayor, you can also build public works projects. These projects can include but are not limited to having lamp posts, water fountains, or buildings like the Roost Café all of which can be built anywhere in your town. Public works projects require you to collect donations from the town folk. However, if you want the project to be built in a relative time, then you would put most of the donations in, if not all, since the town folk take forever to reach the target donation goal. Also, you can only have one public works project up at a time.
When you are not fulfilling your mayoral duties, you’re pretty much running around collecting items for the museum, for your house, or for you to sell to acquire bells. Bells are the currency of AC: New Leaf and these are pretty much needed for everything you do. You need bells for your mayoral duties, to expand your house, and to buy items at the stores. A lot of stuff is expensive, but there are plenty of ways for you to collect bells fast. Besides doing things in your town, you also have the option of going to the island resort.
At the island resort you can go on tours, collect more fruit to plant in your town, catch bugs and fish that are not available in your town, get items from the souvenir shop and sell items at 5% of their value. The island tours consist of a variety of different mini-games that you or you and your friends can play. Just to name a few, you can play Hide and Seek, Balloon Popping, and an Item Matching game. The varying mini-games have a different difficulty level and each day there is a different set of tours you can go on. After you complete a tour, you win medals that can be used to redeem items from the souvenir shop. These items are exclusive to the island.
Throughout the year, there are different calendar events, like holidays, that occur (based on your region). These events allow you to collect exclusive items and play games that would only occur that day. There are also regular weekend events that include the Fishing and Bug Tourney, where you can compete to win a trophy based on the event’s criteria.
Over all, Animal Crossing: New Leaf provides an extensive amount of variety for you. It’s a fairly simple game when it comes to gameplay and its controls. AC: NL makes use of the various Nintendo 3DS features. The Street Pass function allows you to view other player’s houses at the HH Showcase area. You can visit your friend’s town either by local play or over the internet and you can also visit other player’s town through the Dream Suite. The Nintendo 3DS’s Play Coins can be used to buy fortune cookies that can be redeemed for rare prizes from different Nintendo franchises. The Nintendo 3DS camera can be used for scanning other player’s QR Codes of designs they made. You can also create your own QR Codes to be shared. AC: New Leaf would be categorized as a life simulation game. The game play is non-linear and if you are the type of person that enjoys open-ended game play and running a town, then this is the game for you to pick up.
A Gamer’s Opinion:
This was the first Animal Crossing game that I played in the series. After playing AC: New Leaf for a few months, I did find myself wanting more in the game. At times, I was like, “I did this already. Okay, I built a street lamp, I got some bugs, sell this and oh a new chair for my tiny house…” Now after playing the game for almost a year, I find that this is my go to game. I enjoy building my simple little town, Toda. I have a bunch of buildings, a bunch of items, a bunch of town folk, a larger house, the main street is huge and I collected all the fossils for the museum. The game is so simple, but so addictive. It’s even better when you play with friends. The idea of just running around Toda, catching bugs with friends sounds so silly, yet it’s fun! The game is an enjoyable, quirky little game in the Nintendo franchise and I must say… it has charm. The town folk say such silly things and give you presents for just being you. I attend all the holiday events, play the games, got 2 billion bells that I plan to waste on building more Public Works Projects because I can and because I am the mayor! I’ll be checking out older Animal Crossing games, but I feel that this sort of game is best suited for the handheld. The console lacks certain features that the handheld can provide. I’m looking at you, Animal Crossing: Wild World, except I’ll miss being the mayor.
- You’re the mayor of your own town! Yay!
– Extensive amounts of different items and town folk
– The Main Street expands for more collecting and shopping
– Set up different town ordinances based on your gaming style
– Events occur all year
– Special visitors
- Cannot expand the size of your town
– Town folk will set up their houses on areas where you spent hours building roads, planting flowers/trees, or they are too close to your house
– Your town’s folk leave your town if you don’t log on often enough. (That’s if you are not good friends with them)
– Odd animal town folk with weird personalities
– Weeds and roaches appear in your town if you don’t log on often enough