Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the latest instalment in the long-running life-sim series that has appeared across several Nintendo consoles.
Players take control of a character that has just arrived at a small town to take up the job of mayor (previous entries saw you taking the role of just a new resident). The town is populated by animals that can behave just like humans & they will come & go as they please.
Gameplay is based around the player character exploring the town, talking & assisting other residents. The player can also take part in activities such as fishing, bug collecting & assisting a museum in digging up fossils.
The game has its own currency in bells & can be earned by selling items (fish, bugs, unwanted fossils, gifts from other residents). In return the player can buy many customisation options such as new clothing & furniture for their house. Talking of which…one of the most fun things about Animal Crossing is the renovation of your house. Local business man Tom Nook will do all your renovating work at a cost & once each loan is paid off more can continue.
Filling the house with all kinds of wacky designs is one of the more fun aspects of the game & you’ll be constantly checking the shops daily to see what is new.
You see the game is played out in real time using the 3DS’s internal clock with shop opening times, resident behaviour & events taking place at specific times only.
This also applies to the seasons & certain insects will only be available at a certain time of year as well. There are lots of special events to attend throughout the year & it pays to attend as many as possible.
The role of mayor isn’t exactly intrusive & players could get by never doing a single thing but they would be missing out on important changes that can be made to the town, these are Public Works Projects & Ordinances. Ordinances are basically options to customize certain aspects of your town by passing laws. You can change the opening hours of all your shops or order all residents to plant more flowers!
Public Works Projects will make changes to the town such as adding a new bridge & require funding by townspeople & visitors. The online capabilities of the 3DS allow the player to go & visit other player’s towns & vice versa. Everyone’s town will be different as it is generated randomly & it is always interesting to see how they have set up their house & town.
It’s just even more added features to flesh out an already deep & rewarding game. There is always something to do in Animal Crossing && the inclusion of a nearby island which the player can visit & catch even more bugs & fish (as well as go scuba diving) is just the icing on the cake.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a game aimed at the casual market but there is more then enough depth here for the hardcore player to enjoy. With so much to see all year round you won’t get bored anytime soon.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
The Final Score - 7/10
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