Note: Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival includes two amiibo. Amiibo are toy figurines that include an electronic NFC chip that interacts with the controller of the Wii U gaming console.
Usually people read a review to see some of the shortcomings of a game, perhaps to gauge how good the game truly is and to make a choice for themselves on whether to buy the title or not. Let me save you the trouble, because Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival is terrible. The game is a just a guise for Nintendo to rob its most faithful customers of their money, loyalty, and time. Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival is bankrupt of creativity, fun, and any sort of heart. In fact, the game makes my heart ache for a truly good Animal Crossing game, considering this is a second in the matter of months to let down. Unfortunately, Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival is so devoid of any merit, that it even makes Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer look like a pinnacle of excellence.
So, what is wrong with Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival? To be quite honest, I think the shorter answer will come from a far simpler question: What is right with Amiibo Festival? Well, I am thrilled to announce that in a visual sense the game is really pretty. However, in the end the graphics just work out to nothing short of a tease. The style of the game promises an Animal Crossing experience, but the final experience is anything but.
How does Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival work? A player begins by tapping their Animal Crossing series amiibo to the gamepad. Once the amiibo is released, a die is rolled and the on-screen icon is moved the corresponding number of spaces. Then, of course, the next person rolls their die and moves the corresponding number as well. The goal is to accumulate the highest number of “happiness points” and “bells,” the currency of Animal Crossing. With each turn, your character will land on either a pink or purple icon. A pink icon is good, and will add to the player’s happiness point and bell totals. A purple icon, on the other hand, deducts points. This mechanic accounts for about 90% of the game. There are no mini-games, no choices, and no fun. Essentially, the only thing the player does is tap their amiibo to the gamepad to roll the die, an act that becomes a complete pain in the neck in no time. Other than that, the player can just sit back and continually tap the “a” button to progress in in-game events. Yes, Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival has barely any interactive elements at all. In fact, I would hesitate to call it a game. Instead, I believe that Amiibo Festival is more of visual and intellectual torture.
The only element that is even somewhat interactive is the “Stalk Market,” modeled loosely after the real-life “stock-market.” Every seven turns, players have an option to buy turnips from Joan, a boar. Then, throughout the next six turns players will be able to sell these turnips back for profit. Once again, this mechanic is pretty much based on luck, because players have no control over the prices of turnips. Nevertheless, I do give the developers some credit in utilizing the d-pad on occasion, instead of just exclusively using the “a” button for the game’s controls.
Outside of the main board-game mode, there are a few mini-games available to play through. This inclusion does beg the question of why the mini-games were not a part of the main board-game mode. Nevertheless, the mini-games are not something to miss, as they are either overwhelmingly boring, or incredibly frustrating to “play.”
Overall, Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival is an embarrassment of a game. I was already disappointed with Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, the other AC spin-off title that released this fall, but Amiibo Festival far overshoots its predecessor in terrible design and gameplay. The only reason to even look at this game on a store shelf would be for the amiibo inside. But then, I would implore you to import the amiibo rather than give Nintendo money for this egregiously-made title. Nintendo fans need to speak with their wallet, and I beg of them to make a statement that terrible cash-ins, such as Amiibo Festival, will not be tolerated.
Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival
- Boring in nearly every possible way
- I can win by pressing the "a" button for 45 minutes straight
- Makes my thumb sore because I had to press the "a" button for 45 minutes straight
- Terrible precedent for future Nintendo titles and use of amiibo
- Reminds me that I want an actual Animal Crossing title on Wii U