Friday, 16 October 2015

Animal Crossing: happy Home Designer (Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS)


Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game
Image from Nintendo Website
Ever since we played Animal Crossing: New Leaf from Nintendo, I've been eyeing on the next installment. We really like Animal Crossing and the Harvest Moon series! I kind of expected it to be very similar to Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which kind of is when you think about it, but it comes out like a completely different game and I had so much fun (eh-heh, Abby will be able to play the game when half term starts) that I couldn't put my new Nintendo 3DS down!


Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (RRP starts from £34.99 depending on bundle; all bundle comes with a Free Nintendo 3DS Kit; Pegi 3), as mentioned above, is very similar to the other games in the series, where you play a character that has just arrived town to take up a job, help town animals with their requests while helping with the town's development.

Other features such as creating your own design and patterns, sharing it through QR code, gaining "emotions", play dress up are still there, but instead of decorating and expanding your own home, you do that for the town buildings and town animals' home. Here are some of my designs (I've been working hard!):


Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game
Interior and exterior designs for town animals
Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game
Interior designs for town public buildings including a shopping mall, school and hospital
The game started off with a simple tutorial, and you'll pick up the rest of the features through doing a few design projects and unlocking the design handbook. The more different projects you do, the more items (furniture and decoration pieces) you will collect, which can be used in future projects as well, giving you more flexibility with your designs.


Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game

Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game

Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game

Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game
Left: The town being built up. Right: The road expands as more building facilities projects are opened up
To start a project (this is after the learning stage), you can either talk to town animals outside your office Nook's Homes, Isabelle for new public facilities, or her brother Digby for rebuilding a facility. You can also call special clients (such as Nook's Homes staff and Isabelle) using amiibo cards (see below), visit your previous clients to remodel their homes, and even dress them up and assign jobs for them!


Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game

Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game

I would recommend learning new lessons at the beginning of the day (the day starts with a new project and ends when the project is finished) so that you can immediately apply it to that day's project. Each new lesson will cost (currently, at my stage) between 1 to 5 Play Coins (which can be earned by walking around with the Nintendo 3DS. You earn 1 Play Coin per 100 steps and can earn maximum 10 coins per day. Play Coins can be used within other games as well). I love how Nintendo keeps their players active!

Another reason why you should learn lessons at the beginning of the day is because you can't preview what each lesson is about. And as far as I know, you can't undo your choice (based on my own experience), but you can easily reboot your day, as each day ends with it being saved, and reset your choice that way.

If you have some skill in designing your own patterns as well, you can design your own patterns (for wallpapers and clothing for example) by learning the Custom Designs lesson, which unlocks the Edit feature.


Project example:

Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game

1. Speak to a client (Isabelle or Digby for public facilities) to help them design their new home


Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game

2. Select the location for the home (you can assign the same plot of land to different clients), and change the season by clicking on the plot. Choose layout.


Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game


3. Design the exterior of the house (you can always start with the interior of course)

You can change the size and shape of the house, materials and colours used, and the fences too. Then add outdoor (or even indoor!) furniture.

The idea is to create something that matches the client's vision. If you struggle, simply click on the magnifying glass icon to see new items added that will match the theme.


Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game

Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game

4. Design the interior. Again, you can change almost anything in here, from the walls and windows, to furniture and even sound (I felt a bit cold after adding the Wilderness sound to the rooms!).

Clients sometimes have particular items they want to add to their house, which you can use as a starting point. By clicking on the Vision icon, you can make sure that everything is checked before you finish a project.


Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game

Apart from themed items, there is a basic selection of items already included in the designer, which you can freely mix and match with the required theme. I created a graphics designer office, where each designer have their own style of furniture, and I think Isabelle wasn't too pleased haha (judging from the emotions she gave me when I chose an unmatching furniture).


Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game

Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game

After a 360 degree tour, your client will tell you what he/ she thinks. I think I have a super happy customer here!

So far none of the clients were unhappy with my designs, although one did mention that my design was a bit different from what she expected even though she liked it. Maybe I should try a design later where it's completely the opposite of what the client want and see how they react!

Honestly speaking though, as long as I've designed something according to the theme and checked everything off the vision list, I'm free to design anything I think is suitable. i even challenged myself to get out of my comfort zone and design something that isn't really my style! That's what design is about isn't it?


After every project (town animals requests) you'll earn a new emotion, which you can use for lovely pictures or when you meet friends and clients.

You might also want to share your design with your friends, which can be done in-game through Facebook, Twitter, Miiverse, or through the Nook's Happy Homes Network where you can share each others' design and take part in design contests, just make sure that Internet access is allowed on your Nintendo 3DS. You can also simply transfer your pictures onto your computer like me!


Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game

Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game


Another nice feature for Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is the amiibo cards! They are basically the same as amiibo figurines, but much handier to carry around with your Nintendo 3DS. With the new Nintendo 3DS and new Nintendo 3DS XL, you can use the amiibo cards directly with the touch screen when prompt. With Nintendo 3DS, 2DS and 3DS XL, you can buy the game bundle that includes the NFC Reader/ Writer for RRP £39.99.

The amiibo cards allow you to upload characters on the card to the game, and you can either use the amiibo phone in Nook's Homes to call them (to remodel their homes), or call in a party into someone's house! Last time I checked they were still there partying!


Nintendo 3DS/ 2DS, Animal Crossing, Exterior and Interior Design Game

Last but not least, you can also play dress up with your own character. You'll need to unlock the machine that changes your hair and facial features through the handbook, but it's certainly worth the 5 Play Coins if you like to style your character every so often.


Unlike the previous Animal Crossing, there is no money earning involved, and you can design the most luxurious home without spending a single penny! There is a lot more freedom to design a place, and you don't have to face the same layout over and over again. The more you play, the more items you can use for your designs, which opens up a lot more new ideas (I started out creating somewhere and needed a drinking water dispenser but I didn't have it, until the office project was unlocked. Now I can add it back to my design!). If you feel like it, you can always go back and redesign a place too.

As I said, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designers is still very much an Animal Crossing game, but also quite different! It'll be perfect for those who likes to design, and it encourage kids to get their creativity out there and see their designs with their own eyes. You'll never know, I might just like one of Abby's design so much I'll implement it into our house! it'll be nice to see what Clay comes up with too!