It’s a brand new year and I’m finding my way back to playing video games again. The tough part is figuring out which games I seriously want to sit down and finish all the way through. I managed to be good by not buying too many games during the holiday sales and I haven’t received too many games as Christmas gifts. The few I did receive came from friends and in the form of Nintendo 3DS games––Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Between the two shiny new games I received, I decided to give Animal Crossing a whirl.
When Animal Crossing: New Leaf came out, I was aware of its popularity. Many friends and people I knew seemed to really love this game. I didn’t really understand the appeal, other than it has cute animals and an open world feel. The game starts off with your character on a train headed for a town. The player gets to name the town whatever you want it to be. Once the train arrives at the town, the townspeople made up of animals greets you at the station and mistakes you for being the new mayor they’ve been expecting. Any attempt at clearing up this confusion is futile, and you begin your journey as the new mayor of this friendly little town you decide to move to.
I’ve spent a few hours with the game so far and I enjoy it. One of my friends who is really into the game decided I needed to get on the Animal Crossing train and thought it’d be the perfect Christmas present for me. I was on the fence about getting the game myself. It seemed like too much of a time investment to care for the town, build it up into something great, and to have to earn money to finally replace your tent with an actual livable house. The game has a sort of The Sims like quality to it, but more family friendly and without being able to couple up with anyone to have a family to care and provide for at some point in the game.
The game allows you to customize your character from the outfit she wears to the hairstyle she has. Being a total sucker for customization options, I’m looking forward to eventually changing my mayor’s look a little bit. I’m also eager to earn enough to buy my house in the town, so I can better customize the interior to my liking.
I would classify Animal Crossing under leisure games. My friend did say it’s the kind of game you can play at your own pace and come back to whenever you want. The only problem with coming back whenever you feel like playing it again is apparently the townsfolk kind of freak out when you’ve been gone for so long. At least that’s what one of my friends who played the game for much longer has told me. Despite feeling really guilty about not paying enough attention to the townsfolk if I were to let the game sit for months, Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a nice addition to my small collection of leisure games.
This isn’t a review of the game by any means. It’s just my initial first impressions of the game after spending two hours on it on New Year’s Day and twenty minutes on it at the end of each day after that. I have yet to uncover what makes this game an addictive game playing experience that many of my friends have found it to be, but I look forward to discovering it this year. Not a bad way to start off 2014 as the first video game I played in the new year.