Happy Home Designer, first look and amiibo card mania

As I’ve mentioned in my Friday’s Cup of Coffee yesterday, Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer was released in the US (and Europe Oct.2nd/Oceania Oct.3rd). Nice that pre-downloaded games are just ready and waiting on your device (and note that they can be opened at midnight US Eastern Daylight Time). Plus with HHD you’ll get a download code for a special 3DS home theme, but I guess by now that only applies to Europe/Oceania. Time to give you a first look at the game.Happy home designer, Goldie, first job, Animal Crossing

I’ve played the game for a few hours now, and so far I must say it’s stayed true to the original series: no deadlines, no pressure, no difficult tasks. If this is an Animal Crossing kind of 9 to 5 job, then I’ll be Tom Nooks employee anytime! After you’ve been introduced to your colleagues, the first job you do is to design a room for Goldie. No need to earn new items to decorate with, they are just in your inventory, and new items are added with every job you do. It’s nice to see all the familiar furniture, wallpaper and even fruit and paintings, and see them in such detail. And see them all in one place, instead of always worrying as to how you are going to store them all in your wardrobe. The drag and drop system they have in place to get furniture into the room is a vast improvement over the original system of dropping and dragging furniture. Don’t like it in hindsight? Just put it in the bin, no harm done.

HHD, classroom, isabelle, happy home designerAfter Goldie you get a new job everyday. Several animals are strolling around the village square, and you can choose who you want to work for. No need for the Amiibo cards, you can just go ahead without them. It just means you don’t know who will be your next customer. After a couple of decorating jobs, Isabelle will visit to ask you to decorate the remodeled school building next. So a bigger room, some repetition in the furnishings (by the way, holding L or R while tapping an item will replicate it, very easy) and fun new items to use. The scenes that you see of the animals inspecting your work are sweet, and making pictures of your screen is so easy! Either you top the touchscreen (when there’s on outline of a camera on there) or you hold L+R to take a pic.

Judging from what I’ve seen the game does an excellent job of adding new features just when you are wondering if it isn’t getting to be a bit repetitive. And that’s what I mean by it staying true to the original series, it seems to look very closely at what players will want next, and make sure they get it. Having said that, you do have to realize that this is not like Wild World or New Leaf. You don’t get to do other leisurely activities, no watering of flowers, no trying for hybrids, no bug or fish catching. This game wants you to tinker around decorating, adding as much or as intricate as you want. I don’t get the impression that the animals are very harsh critics, they always seem to be happy, but you make their rooms perfect because…you enjoy looking at a perfect room. Am I making sense? And then there’s the online network, where you can display the rooms you’ve made, and look at other’s work. Everyone can rate each others rooms, and I think it’s a great way to up your game and get inspiration at the same time.

amiibo cards, happy home designer, animal crossing, isabelleI’ve mentioned the Amiibo Cards, and I think I can see where that will be going already: they are not essential to the game, but they will stir up a storm of collecting frenzy. Series 1 (100 out of the ultimately 400 cards) is available in the US. And even after one day it seems difficult to get a hold on them. People in the US are lucky too: a blind package of 6 cards costs $6, while the cards in Europe will be sold in packages of 3 for the price of € 5,00 (about $5,50). Both hold one special card. It doesn’t seem fair though that the cards are more expensive over here! I guess that we should be happy though to be able to buy the Card Collector Album in Europe ( although Nintendo has already stated that the album will be delayed for a couple of weeks) and that the cards aren’t region locked!

Enough for now I guess. In my Ladies & Gaming group on Facebook a special Traders’ list has already been made, I guess a lot of avid collectors are having loads of fun! If you are a lady too and would want to join in, just let me know!

HHD, Collectors album, Europe, 2nd October


  1. Have you seen the “Happy Home Designer” special editions of the New3ds and New3ds XL that come with the game preiinstalled? They are both incredibly lovely!

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