Posted in Gaming, Nintendo 3DS

It’s Winter in Animal Crossing

I read someone who wrote about how they’d logged into their Animal Crossing town yesterday and winter had come. So, of course, I had to go in and check on my little town, too.

Sure enough, everything was covered in snow.


That got me thinking about games that follow real-world seasons.

Seasons in Games

The original Animal Crossing was the first game I remember playing that changed to match the seasons and holidays in the real-life world. I thought it was brilliant!

At the time, I was working at our local game store, Electronics Boutique (now Game Stop). Sometimes our manager would get sample games to try out or use in the display system. He got a copy of Animal Crossing, and figured that my sister and I would enjoy it more than he would, so he gave us that copy.


This had to be on winter break for my university, because I played it soooo much around the holidays. I remember the snowy world in particular. And even now days, when I play an Animal Crossing during winter, it takes me back to my first explorations in the series.

I admit that I have a soft spot for games that change through seasons. I don’t just mean holiday celebrations in MMOs, either (though I appreciate those, too). I’m talking about games that have fairly large make-overs that reflect seasonal change. That’s why crazy little farming apps tend to make their way onto my phone. They help me feel festive and have become part of my own celebration.


Do you have a game that you’ve connected with a specific time of your life – be it a season or just a time in general?

Do games help get you into the festive mood? 

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo 3DS

Animal Crossing: New Leaf Amiibo Update


So on top of all the other games I’m trying to juggle right now, Animal Crossing: New Leaf also had the new Welcome Amiibo update. Now, I don’t own that many amiibo, to be honest. I don’t even have the New 3DS that allows you to use amiibo with your games… though I do have the amiibo reader add-on for the old 3DS on my holiday wishlist.

Still, there are other new features that I wanted to check out. After all, it’s not every day that a Nintendo game of this age gets a new downloadable update. Also, I read that if you haven’t been back to your town for a while (like me), the update will forgive your absence and remove all your accumulated weeds.

That was good enough for me!

Animal Crossing Dailies

So the update opens up with you on the train back to your town. This time, Isabelle is there to greet you and to get you ready for the changes you’ll find back in your town.


So, not only is there this whole amiibo thing, which is somehow connected to this drive-in campground that was tacked on to the side of my town, but there’s town initiatives. As she explained what that all meant, I got a very MMO vibe.

These initiatives are pretty much dailies for Animal Crossing. They usually include things you’re already doing – smash a rock, pick a weed, water a flower, decorate your house – that kind of stuff. You can see a list of them from your profile card, which I forget even existed because I never used that tab before now. So, nice recycling of existing real estate.


So you essentially earn these “Mutual Exchange of Wealth” (MEOW) coupons each day, which you can take to the new campground to buy items that exclusively appear there. The campground only accepts MEOW currency… so you can see the draw of completing tasks rather than just amassing bells to get everything you want.


For a game like Animal Crossing, which gently encourages you to play a little every day, I think this fits quite well. I haven’t seen anything amazing at the campground yet, but I’ve only been playing it again for two days. So I’m going to keep earning coupons and see what comes from it.

New Campground

The new campground is actually an area outside of your town, connected the same way as the shopping district is. It’s totally different from the campsite, which is a public works building you can place. Here, you can buy stuff with the MEOW coupons and talk with random campers who stop by.


From my understanding, you can invite the campers to live in your town, but only if you own their amiibo.

I need to explore a bit more, but I think that you have the ability to purchase/order all the decor within each camper’s RV as well. I know that special amiibos will make special campers appear and allow you to purchase exclusive things from their RV.

Then there’s this whole Wisp thing which I don’t understand yet because, again, I don’t have the ability to use amiibos. I found him trapped in a magic lamp and brought him in my house.


Apparently, you can scan an Animal Crossing amiibo, you can get him to take on the identity of that character. The wiki page notes:

The two wish options are to have the villager he is possessing come play (characters who own Mobile Homes will appear in Harvey’s campsite, while others will move in immediately) or for him to give the player a free item. If the player changes their mind and does not wish for anything, Wisp will return to his lamp and can be summoned again later.

Interestingly, using the “Come Play” wish has a side effect: if your town is full, it is possible to force one of your villagers to move to make room for the amiibo-summoned villager to move in.

So, maybe for the first time ever, we can kinda control who lives in our town?

Again, this would be of more use to me if I had the amiibo to play with. But maybe I can toss those on my holiday wish list. No matter, there seems to be enough here to nudge me back into playing Mayor for my buddies at New Leaf.

I’m so sorry Kid Cat…