Even if you’re not the biggest fan of Nintendo’s properties (you soulless monster), you’ve likely heard of, seen, or briefly played Animal Crossing at some point or another. The cutesy, cartoony life simulator is a prized gem in Nintendo’s IP (intellectual property) crown, and the company knows it. This year, Nintendo’s cashing in on the continuing craze with two Animal Crossing titles: Animal Crossing Home Designer for the 3DS, and Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival for the Wii U.
Both games occupy the same universe, but couldn’t be more disparate. Home Designer is a town-building 3DS that seems to share much in common with EA’s MySims for the Wii. The goal, it appears, is to meet the individual design whims of demanding anthropomorphised animals. You plop characters’ homes from an overview map, work horticultural magic on surrounding yards, and customize their interiors with lamps, tables, wallpaper, couches, and other furnishings. In classic Nintendo fashion, the inhabitant(s) will do a little jig when everything’s up to snuff.
Animal Crossing Home Designer launches September 25. Additional town residents are added via NFC cards, likely a separate purchase.
Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival is a lot more confusing. It’s basically Mario Party without the minigames: you add up to four specially designated Amiibo to play a board game with friends. Moves are determined by a die roll, and the spaces on which players land either add or deduct currency, musical notes that denote “happiness,” or both. The additions and deductions are justified narratively by activities you might partake in while playing an Animal Crossing game — getting an ugly cut at the barber, for instance, will deduct happiness and money, while playing tag with friends will boost everyone’s stats. Whoever manages to accumulate the highest number of musical notes at the end of their turn wins the round.
Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival comes to the Wii U “holiday 2015.”
Neither look too terribly exciting, quite honestly, but if you if you happen to own either console and can’t wait to get your Animal Crossing fix, they might just be worth a look.