A personal Animal Crossing: New Leaf experience.
I’m happily sitting on the train driven by a strange monkey and have a short conversation with a cat named Rover. It’s a weird start to my day, but I’m looking forward to becoming a mayor in my very own town. Rover and I talk about who I am and what my new town will be called. Rover gives you a selection of map layouts to choose from, so personalization begins from the very start. I’ve obviously named it ‘TURTLES’ and before long we’ve arrived at the train station in this adorable brand new town in Animal Crossing: New leaf.
As I jump off into this new world, I’m greeted by the local townfolk who welcome me to the town. But I have no time for pleasantries, and I’m whisked away to meet Tom Nook at Nook’s Homes in the main street. Tom Nook seems a fairly reasonable villager, and explains all about owning your own home, describing renovation, remodeling and expanding my new home and that I’m going to need many, many bells to create anything impressive. At this point, I’m pretty excited at the prospect of working hard and earning bells to create a beautiful house of my own. I’m asked where I want my home to be placed and I’ve decided next to the sea, a convenient spot where a slope branches out to the glorious sands below.
I’m feeling relatively comfortable in my new environment and my new home will arrive tomorrow. But then I realize that all I have is an empty yellow tent. Luckily the town’s assistant Isabelle drops by to hand me a lantern, so I can at least see where I’m going if I decided to get up in the night and explore. Still, I’m quite content flicking the lantern on and off and on and off to create my own disco effect.
The next morning, I wake up to glorious trees and flowers moving gently in the breeze, and I head to the main square, where I’m asked to plant a small sapling to commemorate the fact that I’ve now become the town’s mayor. All the townsfolk gather around me, some confetti is thrown and everyone is clapping at this small ceremony for my arrival. I feel happy and can’t wait to see what else this new town has to offer.
It’s time to investigate my environment and I’ve already discovered someone new has set up home beside me. Their home is bigger and more impressive than my little tent, which strangely enough has it’s own mailbox. The mailbox is flashing an icon to indicate new mail has arrived for me. Opening the letter, I find it’s from the local townsfolk welcoming me to the new town. Brimming with excitement, I run past my home and immediately fall into a hole. Later on, I realised I had fallen foul of a pitfall seed that had been randomly placed on the ground.
Looking stupid and slightly embarrassed at this point, I manage to scramble out of the hole and meet my first neighbor. Papi, a cute little brown and white horse, greets me and says ‘Hay’ many times. Papi tells me I should explore the environment, greet any townfolk I meet along the way and drop into the town hall to chat with Isabelle.
After this short conversation, I decide to explore the beach, as I can hear the waves in the background. There are two stone slopes that allow you access to the beach, and it’s exciting to think what might be there, aside from the sea. Walking along the beach, I see fishes swimming in the sea, coral and shells gathered on the beach and a small pier that juts out into the ocean. After gathering all of the shells, I decide to investigate this strange wooden pier, upon which sits a small wooden box. I try to open the box, but the lid won’t budge so this is a mystery for later in the game.
Wandering further and exploring the town, new faces come and greet me and I shake every tree that I find, being rewarded with bells, furniture, fruit, or more often than not, being stung by bees. I have been stung so many times, that I must have scared the local townsfolk, who were continuously expressing their shock and dismay when I approached them with two swollen eyes. Shaking trees is fun, but having to purchase medicine every five minutes isn’t, although the local townsfolk obviously took pity on me and donated so much medicine that I could have opened my own pharmacy.
After meeting everyone, I took a stroll to main street to meet with Tom Nook once again at Nook’s Homes. He informed me that in return for 10,000 bells, I could have a brand new home. 10,000 bells is a whole lot of bells, but in the interest of being comfortable and having somewhere to store my worldly goods, I accepted the loan and my new home will be built by the morning. The prospect of paying off my loan seems a little bit daunting, but it’s something I need to do in order to move forward in the property market. Tom kindly explains that I need to drop into the post office and pay my loan off at the ATM machine. The ATM machine allows you to deposit and withdraw your bells, gather savings and pay off your loan at any time.
Wandering onto main street, I notice a photo booth where I can sit and have my photo taken for the small price of 500 bells, and this will be my new photo ID. I’m glad I’m hiding behind a curtain, because my photograph has been taken with two bulging swollen eyes.Damn!, where’s my make-up when I need it most?
Meeting my new neighbors is fun and rewarding. Not only can I meet and greet them, occasionally they invite me over to their homes to swap fashion tips and offer new advice. Today I meet Scoot, who is a duck with what looks like a head injury as his head is wrapped in bandages. I later discover that it’s his hat, but I won’t tell him he looks a little strange. Scoot invites me over to his house which is filled with interesting items to play around with. Before long I’m rummaging around in this wardrobe and chest of drawers, hoping he won’t discover my personality flaws. He’s a wise duck and even though he catches me in the act, he’s nice enough to offer me a gift. Most of the characters will offer you gifts at random, or if you perform a good deed such as finding an item, returning a lost object or delivery a gift to a local neighbor.
After finishing up with Scoot, I head to the town hall to meet Isabelle, who looks a little foreboding sitting behind her big desk. She asks me how I’m settling in and informs me of the various tasks I need to explore to make the town a happier and more fulfilling experience for the townsfolk. I’m required to get my town to an approval rate of a 100%. Once I have, I can then work on public work projects and ordinances. The public work projects are tasks for you to complete, including various constructions and objects you can build in the town. These can be anything from building a fairytale bridge for your town to completing a campsite. All of these public work projects cost many bells to complete and you can’t begin another project before you’ve completed the first one, although you can demolish projects if you wish. You’ll need to work very hard to complete some of the projects and they aren’t constructed on the same day, so you have to wait until at least the next morning to see your new public work project in all it’s glory. If you have friends who play the game, they can offer to come into your town and help with donations. It’s exciting to see new constructions in your town and it’s worth all of the hard work to gather enough bells to pay for them.
After I finish with Isabelle and she is done showing me my new office seat directly behind her, it’s time for me to gather some more bells, shake a few more trees and return to my tent until morning…