E3: First Look at ‘Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer’

© Nintendo
© Nintendo

Fans of the Animal Crossing series will be ecstatic to get their hands on Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. Instead of playing the role of Mayor in the latest game in the series, this time get ready for an entirely new experience as a home designer happily working at Nook’s Homes.

Lottie, a new character with the quirky personality you’d expect from Animal Crossing, is your guide to your new career as a home designer. You’re tasked with fulfilling your client’s decorating wishes, and thanks to the usability improvements to the game, it’s never been more fun to design a home in Animal Crossing.

© Nintendo
© Nintendo

You don’t only take control of the look of the inside of a villager’s house; you get to decorate the exterior as well. The UI has been streamlined by taking full advantage of the touchscreen. Use the stylus to place a house, trees, plants, and items outside, and then further customize the color and look of the walls, roof, and more with just a few taps.

© Nintendo
© Nintendo

Next, go inside to place furniture and decorate to your heart’s content. The leaf icons that made the items in your Animal Crossing inventory a mystery have been replaced with full-color icons, so it’s much easier to find the item you’re looking for. And there’s no need to stand in the exact right spot to place furniture: Just select it and drag it in place with the stylus. You can even rotate the object quickly with the stylus as well.

Add to that a search function that immediately finds all items related to your customer’s requested theme, and you’ll be decorating the house like a pro in no time.

© Nintendo
© Nintendo

As you take jobs requested by the same 300+ villagers who populated Animal Crossing: New Leaf, you’ll unlock facilities in your town. You can even give your favorite villagers their own jobs in town at the school, hospital, and more.

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer also introduces new amiibo card functionality. (A New Nintendo 3DS is not required to use this feature; an accessory to use the cards is also planned for release soon.) Pick up the card for your favorite villagers and special characters, like Isabelle or K.K. Slider, hold it to the screen, and you can fulfill their design requests as well. Cards have unlimited use and are sure to be another hot collector’s item from Nintendo.

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer features many exciting UI improvements and fun new ways to experience the eccentric, familiar characters of Animal Crossing. The game is planned for release September 25, 2015.

GeekMom attended a preview event courtesy of Nintendo.

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Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in Seattle, WA, where she contributes to local parenting magazines. She also writes for StarWars.com, Geek & Sundry, and more. You can find crafts and art projects for geeky families at her blog The St{art} Button.