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Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, Starwhal arrive for Nintendo platforms via eShop

A new 3DS-exclusive entry in Nintendo’s Animal Crossing series heads up this week’s eShop update, accompanying newly released digital titles like Extreme Exorcism and Beatbuddy.

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, also available at retail, challenges players to furnish and design homes for their virtual town’s animal residents. Successful designs unlock new apparel and furniture, expanding future interior decoration possibilities.

Happy Home Designer features support for Nintendo’s newly released amiibo cards, which add standout series characters like K.K. Slider and Tom Nook to the player’s list of residents when scanned. Currently, only New Nintendo 3DS hardware has built-in NFC scanning technology; legacy 3DS consoles require an NFC reader peripheral in order to access data stored on amiibo cards.

This week also marks the release of a new Animal Crossing 3DS system theme and a demo version of Mercenaries Saga 2 for Nintendo’s portable console.

Over on the Wii U, indie developer Golden Ruby Games makes its platform debut with Extreme Exorcism, a retro-styled arena combat game for up to four players. Player input in Extreme Exorcism is recorded during battle, and subsequent matches challenge players to avoid a deadly poltergeist that reenacts their performances in previous rounds.

The interstellar marine mammal action game Starwhal also arrives on the Wii U this week, boasting a new 5-player mode exclusive to Nintendo’s platform. Controlling a floppy, sluggish space narwhal, players attempt to pierce the hearts of their opponents using their forehead-mounted horns.

Other new games hitting the Wii U this week include the rhythm-driven puzzler Beatbuddy, side-scrolling platformer Job the Leprechaun, sci-fi turn-based adventure game Nova-111, and the pacifism-themed space shoot-’em-up Hold Your Fire: A Game About Responsibility.

Nintendo’s Virtual Console lineup additionally expands this week with The Ignition Factor, a Super NES firefighting game originally published by Jaleco in 1995.