Though a lot of Animal Crossing fans were disappointed that the two newest installments of the Animal Crossing series are spin-offs, I am enjoying Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer and Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival.
Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival is a lot like Mario Party. It is a virtual board game based on the Animal Crossing series. The biggest difference is that there aren’t mini-games throughout the main board game (though there are mini-games available to unlock in the main hub). Each board features a different month, with each turn representing a day. Throughout the month, various fun events will happen, just as they do in the main Animal Crossing games.
This game centers around the use of Amiibo. Each player uses an Amiibo to represent their character. The game comes with an Isabelle and Digby Amiibo to get you started, as well as three Amiibo cards. Tom Nook, Mable, and a three pack containing KK Slider, Reese, and Cyrus are also available now (Lottie is scheduled to be released this Sunday 11/22, and more characters are coming within the next few months. The Villager Amiibo doesn’t work in this game.). If you play by yourself, you will have three CPU controlled Villagers to play against (or you can select 2-4 players and play using multiple Amiibo by yourself as though you actually have friends to play with. Not that I have tried that… #foreveralone).
The only controller required for the main board game is the Wii U GamePad. Each player takes turns using it. To roll the die during your turn, you have to place your Amiibo on the GamePad. This does get a little annoying after awhile.
After rolling the die, you land on a space where either something good or bad happens. You can earn or lose Bells and/or Happy Points. The player who ends up with the most Happy Points at the end is the winner. The Bells aren’t completely useless, however. At the end of the game, Bells are converted to Happy Points (1000 Bells = 1 Happy Point). On Sundays throughout the game, Joan arrives to sell turnips. You can sell these turnips during weekdays at the end of each turn to try to make a profit on your investment, just like in the main Animal Crossing games.
As you play more games with a specific character, you can unlock new outfits for them to wear. You will also earn tickets to unlock new mini-games and new features for the game board. You can also use the Animal Crossing Amiibo cards to play these mini-games and let the featured animal move into your town and appear on the game board.
This game is a bit slow-paced, just like the regular Animal Crossing games. The overall mood of the game is incredibly happy and upbeat. It is difficult to be sad while playing this game, even when you land on a “sad” space.