A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Animal Crossing: New Leaf Welcome amiibo is a town simulation/role-playing game (RPG) that's an updated, expanded version of the original Animal Crossing: New Leaf game for the Nintendo 3DS. The new version is available as a standalone retail product, digital download, or as a free downloadable update for those who own the original release. There's no inappropriate content. While players have the option to hit characters on the head with items such as a net or a shovel, this causes no damage and isn't necessary to play. There are no language concerns, although inviting other players into a gamer's town could expose them to inappropriate content. This updated version adds support for Nintendo's line of amiibo figures and cards, which players buy separately and use to unlock additional content in the game. It can also be linked to the Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer game to unlock more exclusive content.
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What's it about?
ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW LEAF WELCOME AMIIBO opens up new features, incentives, and entirely new ways to play. This is Animal Crossing: New Leaf Welcome amiibo. As the title suggests, the new expansion to the town simulation/RPG adds support for Animal Crossing amiibo figures and cards. Players can visit the new campground area, where villagers park their RVs and trade their goods with players. Gamers can add new storage options to their homes to hold all their worldly possessions, while new touchscreen controls make decorating their homes a piece of cake. And if the distractions of daily life in your village aren't enough, there are also two new games to be found in the update, Puzzle League and Desert Island Escape, adding even more to the Animal Crossing experience.
Is it any good?
This popular town sim adds loads of new content to a game that's already very large, making it feel like a brand-new game. After more than three years of fishing, bug catching, fossil hunting, and town building, you'd think that you've done everything there is to do in Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Well, thanks to a recent expansion, this has now become Animal Crossing: New Leaf Welcome amiibo, and it's a whole new world to explore. The update adds in-game support for Nintendo's popular amiibo figures and cards, specifically the Animal Crossing-themed amiibo products. After raising their town to a certain point, players are given access to a lamp inhabited by Wisp, a specter who will take the form of any scanned amiibo and grant the player a daily wish. This may be a random goodie such as new furniture or the opportunity to convince the scanned character to take up residence in your town. There's also a new campground area, where players can scan amiibo cards to invite villagers to park their RVs, and villagers will gladly trade their furniture and décor to players in exchange for newly introduced Mutual Exchange of Wealth (MEOW) coupons. These coupons can be earned by accomplishing various "town initiatives": simple mini-quests that involve daily activities such as catching a certain number of bugs or sending letters at the post office.
There are also two new game experiences that can be unlocked: Puzzle League and Desert Island Escape. The first is an Animal Crossing-themed version of Nintendo's popular puzzler game, and the latter challenges players to figure out a way to escape being stranded on an island before a timer runs out. Players can also visit Tom Nook and add a new storage unit to their home, giving them a way to store a whopping 360 additional items. The update also changes up how players decorate their homes. Gone are the days of having to push and pull furniture around. Taking a cue from Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, players can now use the 3DS touchscreen to rotate, slide, and place items wherever they like. It's a much smoother experience and makes it much more fun to switch out your favorite décor. With all these new features and additional content, the Welcome amiibo update expands and improves on just about everything fans loved in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, giving lapsed mayors an excuse to return to their favorite villages while introducing the Animal Crossing experience to a new group of games at the same time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about consumerism. How much pressure is placed on players to purchase additional "add-ons" (amiibo card and figures, other games, and so on) to unlock content in a game? Is it necessary to enjoy the base game?
Talk about interacting with the real world versus the virtual world. Do games featuring outdoor activities encourage players to go outside and play in the same way?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release date: November 2, 2016
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Adventures, Bugs, Friendship, Ocean Creatures, Science and Nature
- ESRB rating: E for Comic mischief
- Last updated: April 8, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.