Parent’s guide to Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer
Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is a spin-off of the life simulation Animal Crossing series, in which you design the interiors and exteriors of villagers’ homes and community buildings based on thematic requests from animal clients.
You play the game on a 3DS, with the top screen showing the inside or outside of the building and the bottom screen a grid to which you add furniture and other objects that you can then drag around and rotate to create the layout you want. The more buildings you design, the more new projects and objects you unlock.
Players can also use Amiibo cards to unlock houses for characters from the series like Tom Nook, and invite Animal Crossing characters to visit newly designed homes.
While other simulation games like The Sims series incorporate interior design, Happy Home Designer is probably most similar to Animal Crossing: New Leaf, though in New Leaf you’re only able to design your own home.
The story is that you are a new employee at Nook’s Homes whose job it is to design the interiors and exteriors of villagers’ homes and communal buildings like a school.
Happy Home Designer was developed by the team within Nintendo that also developed Animal Crossing: New Leaf as well as lots of other games.
Happy Home Designer is only available for the 3DS, and costs £34.99/$39.99. Those wanting to use the Amiibo cards who don’t have a New 3DS or New 3DS XL will need to buy an NFC Reader for around £19/$24.
Amiibo cards are available in packs of three in the UK for around £3.50, and in packs of five in the US, and will also be supported in Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival for the Wii U.
5. Duration and Difficulty
Because you can’t fail, Happy Home Designer doesn’t really have a difficulty level. It’s more of a relaxing experience than a challenge, in which the reward is your own satisfaction at a job well done.
6. UK Rating
In the UK and Europe, PEGI rates Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer as appropriate for those aged 3 and older.
7. Other Ratings
Though you have access to a catalogue full of furniture and other objects for each project, different clients have different requests that reflect their personality types. Happy Home Designer is a game about individuality and how that can be expressed in the design of our environments.
9. Why people play:
Happy Home Designer isn’t challenging, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s a relaxing game conveniently split up into chunks so there might be players who design one building a day or play on their commute. It’s also a way for players to express creativity, interpreting the instructions from clients in their own way and then taking screenshots of their creations to show their friends.