Happy Home Designer

Happy Home Designer – First Evaluation

After one weekend of playing ACHHD, I can safely say that I played enough to where I can review this game and talk about a few aspects of the series’ fifth game and first spin-off game. I went over a few parts of what I like or didn’t like about the game.

Advantages:

This is my favorite word when describing games. Over the past three days, I found a few advantages of when I was playing the game.

  • No Time Traveling – this may sounds like a bad thing at a first glance, but I find that rather good than bad, at least in the way this game is developed. What happens here is that when you’re done for the day, you can write report and go home. If you choose to save and continue, you can move onto the next day and progress further into the game. In a regular AC game, if you want to move to the next day, either you wait in real life, or you save and quit, then adjust the in-game clock. Although I miss the in-game clock and calendar, I’m kinda getting tired of saving and quitting to move to the next day. This is more like Hey You Pikachu or other virtual life games like that.
  • More items available – yep, more items have been introduced to ACHHD, and it’s not just the ceiling items or rugs. Some Public Works Projects and outdoor plants have been made into furniture. At the same time, stuff like food, shop furniture, and shop decorations are now useable. Plus, I like how they organized all of the furniture, like seasonal items, business furniture, and toys.
  • Game is less of a chore – although a challenge makes a game fun, I found this game less frustrating and tiresome. The first constraint removed was Bells. When there are no Bells, there is no need to catch fish or insects. That means, no more sea basses, fish taking too long at the pole, bugs being scared away too easily, and turnip price gambling. Plus, when there’s nothing to spend, every item is free. You can drag out of the inventory like how you can get scenery outside a scenery menu in Roller Coaster Tycoon 1 & 2, duplicate items with a simple L press and stylus tap, and not even worry about costs. Even discarding items won’t waste money (oh wait, you can bring back what you discarded). Also, ACNL takes up a lot of time to get a task complete. Farming for PWPs, working on house renovations, donating to the museum, and plot resetting are tedious and more of a chore. If we’re talking about cataloging, there’s no need to pick up items and drop them. Items are unlocked in your catalog when you first work on the characters and finish their requests. The most complicated part about ACHHD would be decorating the hotel and department store, which is just as complicated as decorating four full houses in ACNL, and best done when you’re relaxing.
  • Better interior design feature – the purpose of the game is to extend the interior design feature. Although I’m the kind of person who prefers 3D platformers and tycoon games over any kind of game, the interior design feature in the GameCube version brought me into this series. But this game took it even further. You have wall decorations, floor decorations, doors, windows, curtains, and sound effects. Furniture placement has better precision. I did like how you can drag your character or other characters and place them on chairs you can’t access. There are wall furniture, ceiling furniture, rugs, tabletop items, and just regular furniture pieces. And what if you didn’t like the works you have done? You can alter them and work on them again. Another thing I liked is the villager plots. You can choose landscape, move houses around, and pick what season is best fit.
  • The animals – this time, I find it hard to hate the animals. The reason why we hated certain villagers in ACNL is because of their house plots or what they did to other villagers. Now we don’t have any of that. We can also have three villagers in one house. I had Bangle and Diana visit Muffy’s house before. And all of the animals that were exclusively in the GameCube version and the ones in ACNL were in this game. Carrie is one of the animals you are required to decorate for. I haven’t seen her since the GameCube version.

Disadvantages:

People have said that the game is disappointing because it’s not a regular AC game. I honestly felt that a regular AC game would be too much for me, and I like interior designing. But I can’t say this game is downfall free. Here’s what’s troubling me:

  • Not enough Isabelle – you get to see her when she helps you on the town projects, but once you’re done with them, you don’t get to see her again. She won’t appear in your game again unless if you have her amiibo card. And her amiibo card is hard to find. I’m not sure if Nintendo even puts her in the card packs as often. Speaking of that…
  • amiibo Cards – it’s not that you have to use them to play ACHHD. If you have a hard time looking for your favorite villagers, you would have to spend countless money (I mean REAL dollars) to get the cards you want. To get 4 packs at GameStop, you’ll have to spend over $30. But I don’t think the hunt to getting your favorite villager or non-villager is going to be as bad as the Frozen Frenzy from last year (when Disney was having a scarcity of Frozen merchandise).
  • Houses are too small – now we are exploring the more serious flaws. If you’re used to interior decorating in ACNL, you would realize that 6×6 is too small for you, especially in some of the layouts of the villager homes. You can’t decorate 4×4 rooms anymore, thanks to ACNL. Do you want more space? Then it has to be a public attraction and not an animal house.
  • Unlocking Items – at least it’s not as frustrating here as it is in ACNL, all because of the group mechanic, unorderable items, and getting more Bells. It may be easier, but some animals won’t unlock all of the items from a full set.
  • Life Expectancy – this is the worst part about ACHHD. If you’re decorating a lot in one day, it’s not going to last a month (or at least three months). Although the end is a mystery as of now, if you unlocked every item and satisfied every villager, then all you have left is remodeling. That’s one thing, but if it’s going to take you three months or less to get there, then that’s going to be a problem.

My first overall score of this game is 9.5/10, lower than ACNL when it first came out. However, as of now, my current score for ACNL is 9/10, mainly because of the few fatal flaws it had like the luck system and animal moving mechanic. Some ways of improving ACHHD includes adding an undo feature or making some house plots a lot bigger (like 8×8 main rooms and 6×6 secondary rooms). But then again, designing buildings in AC is like building with Legos. The scale of buildings and places are too small, but it teaches you creativity over larger buildings like in reality.

Anyway, the game was fun this past weekend, and I unlocked the ability to decorate all facilities, but it’s going to be endless amounts of fun with interior designing. I’ll be posting more about what I do. I might even come up with something special later this year.

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