Animal Crossing: New Leaf Remains Engaging Months Later

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It hit me today as I was checking my town of Oakland in Animal Crossing: New Leaf that I’ve been playing this game nearly every day for nearly five months straight. Five months! That’s the passing of Summer to Fall with two vacations, family members getting surgeries, and living life all in between. Yet, no matter how much time passes, I keep finding myself drawn to check in on my neighbors, dig up some fossils, and peek into the shops to see what’s for sale. With a slew of upcoming activities still yet to be experienced, New Leaf shows little signs of slowing down.

While not all of the activities in New Leaf are unique to this particular installment, the abundance of activities to engage in on top of them is stunning. New plant varieties, visiting the island, designing clothes and signs, and smarter neighbors have all been great. Yes, smarter neighbors, as the level of interaction with the local animals has never been more believable. Dialogue is witty and varied, and the new interactions with the neighbors was smartly done. I love how a neighbor can pop into my house at random, and playing matches of hide and seek is ridiculously adorable. Seriously, there’s nothing cuter than watching a neighbor hide behind their own house!

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Going back to the activities, though, I’m still wrapping my head around the joy of turning this game on in October and finding new things to do. Halloween is coming at the end of the month, and I’ve been doing my best to buy candy and find spooky masks to purchase. Explorer’s Day was fun, especially because of the sweet ship model I got from Isabel. In an age of shameless DLC exploitation by developers, it’s wonderful to see Nintendo pack so much content into a game right out of the box.

Let’s not forget the giveaways, either! Each month brings a new item, and Nintendo Zones provide yet more besides that. I’m planning to go snag a sushi platter in the next few days, and am looking forward to whatever else Nintendo has in store. The final thing I’d like to touch on is the StreetPass functionality in New Leaf. Every time I see the blue indicator on my New Leaf icon, I’m excited to see the new house waiting to be explored in my HHA showcase, along with its owner. This game is truly magical, and anyone who has fallen off recently owes it to themselves to pick some weeds and say hi to their digital buddies. Believe me, they’re a forgiving bunch!

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