Animal Crossing: New Leaf could very easily become an addiction again. The Welcome amiibo update is live and happens to be incredible. This doesn’t just add the ability to scan amiibo into your game to shift around your town’s population. It doesn’t only offer you a wealth of new furniture, some of which you had to attempt to acquire via Retail or other tricky means. It changes everything. This update gives a reason to visit every day, what with the promise of MEOW coupons for accomplishing tasks like planting fruit trees or catching certain bugs. It makes decorating our rooms and collecting easier, with new touch screen controls and more storage. It even gives us extra activities in the form of more minigames. Animal Crossing: New Leaf feels like it’s been rejuvenated with an update that makes the absence of a Nintendo Wii U installment in the series easier to bear.
Harv’s Campground is the biggest addition to Animal Crossing: New Leaf with the Welcome amiibo update. An RV park has opened to the side of your town, with people able to stop by every day. MEOW coupons, earned by completing initiatives that appear on your character’s ID card and other activities, can be spent on items Harv and the visitors are selling, as well as by talking to Wisp once per day. It’s a valuable way to influence your game and earn new items by checking in daily and engaging in typical activities. For example, an initiative could ask you to visit another town, get a new ID card photo, update your town’s dream, wear today’s lucky clothing item, or visit the island to buy some souvenir’s. None are ever too taxing, and you’re often given a few days to complete certain goals.
Of course, getting Wisp’s lamp is a priority once you know about Animal Crossing: New Leaf’s campground. He’s the one who can summon a second van there. (One random van with a special NPC will appear each day.) The day after you acquire the update, meander around your town. I read the instruction book Nintendo sent to my character before hand, but it doesn’t seem necessary. Eventually, Wisp will begin to talk to you. His lamp will appear, and you’ll need to take and place it in your home. You can now scan one amiibo figure or card each day. Scanning a non-Animal Crossing figure or Animal Crossing card will let you either get a random gift item or invite that character to your campground. Scanning an amiibo figure brings that person to your campground, having Wisp replace them at their job that day. (This means if you summon Reese, Retail will be closed that day and she’ll be in her RV.)
Probably the first thing any amiibo owner will do with Animal Crossing: New Leaf’s Welcome amiibo update is get the Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo New 3DS in his or her game. Fortunately, Nintendo made it easy. While it is possible to get these two items, and the Nintendogs statues, from fortune cookies sold at the Nooklings’ store, you can more easily get the in-game consoles from the Animal Crossing amiibo figures. Tom Nook, Isabelle, K.K. Slider, Kicks, Blathers, and all the rest all offer those two minigame unlocking items, as does the Super Smash Bros. Villager amiibo.
Once these two items are placed and added into your home, Animal Crossing Puzzle League and Desert Island Escape are playable. As a nice bonus, both games kick off with a Nintendo 3DS or Nintendo Wii U intro. Animal Crossing Puzzle League feels like the more robust of the two, as it has Story Mode, with multiple difficulty levels, Score Attack, Time Attack, Garbage Attack, and Candy modes available. Many of these offer furniture or clothing items as rewards for clearing or accomplishing specific goals in the game. It plays much like standard Puzzle League, with players clearing blocks by matching them with similarly colored ones. Desert Island Escape is the Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival strategy game plucked and ported from the Nintendo Wii U game to here. You start with an easy difficulty level and a handful of stages, but earn more as you work your way up. While I haven’t noticed any furniture unlocks for my progress, I have found it gives 2 MEOW coupons every time I beat a level.
After that, getting items from special characters or inviting in specific villagers is a good idea. I recommend going through a special character first, like Viche from the Splatoon Marie amiibo. When she’s summoned, you can talk to her and buy Splatoon costumes and items from her. (Note: these are different from the items Inkwell the octopus, who comes from the Inkling Boy, Girl, or squid amiibo, will offer.) Now, summon her as much as necessary to get the items you want from her. Once she moves in to your town, you can’t scan in her figure to do more shopping. But, once you have acquired every item, go ahead and move her in, if you’d like. If you have a vacancy, she’ll pop right on by. If you don’t, you’ll be able to choose who’s forced out of your town so she can move in.
As a quick refresher, here’s who can stop by with the non-Animal Crossing amiibo you can scan into your game. Cece and Viche have similar catalogs, though each has clothing for their respective Squid Sisters, Inkwell has unique Splatoon furniture, and each The Legend of Zelda furniture has some unique furniture and items. Each character will also reference things from their respective series.
- Splatoon’s Callie summons Cece the squirrel.
- Splatoon’s Marie summons Viche the squirrel.
- Splatoon’s Inklings and squid summon Inkwell the octopus.
- The Legend of Zelda’s Ganondorf summons Ganon the pig.
- The Legend of Zelda’s Sheik summons Epona the horse.
- The Legend of Zelda’s Toon Link summons Medli the bird.
- The Legend of Zelda’s Wolf Link summons Link the wolf.
- Super Smash Bros. Villager summons Wisp with Nintendo furniture.
- Monster Hunter Stories’ Nabiru and Riders with One-eyed Rathalos figures summon Felyne the cat.
Of course, these opportunities to get so much extra new and unique furniture make another Animal Crossing: New Leaf Welcome amiibo addition even more awesome. Tom Nook can sell you a secret storage upgrade if you’ve added a second story to your house. This adds an invisible storeroom to your home, which you can access by tapping the icon on your touch screen while inside the house. This gives you four sections, each with nine pages worth of space. That means room for 360 more items. Also, it isn’t connected to your standard in-house storage, in case you were wondering. For 158,000 bells, it’s absolutely worth it.
The nods to Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer are lovely as well. Besides the inclusion of items from that game, which appear in Harv’s Campground either as pieces he’s selling or that you can buy from animals’ RVs, the oversized contest reward items and touch screen controls have been added to the game. The oversized furniture has all been added to the Nooklings’ store catalog, letting you get larger than life pieces like huge ants or Resetti inflatables for 8,000 bells each. The controls are introduced via a brief tutorial in Nook’s Homes, with Lottie taking a few moments to explain how everything goes. The decorating is a bigger factor, since it allows for customization options that weren’t previously available. (Some rotation options are amazing.) But it also allows for decorating abilities like cushions on stools and flat-screen TVs on low tables. It’s extraordinary.
But, it’s about more than the major additions. Animal Crossing: New Leaf’s Welcome amiibo update includes the quality of life in so many ways that we might not realize. Remember how hard it used to be to catch bees? If you’re holding a piece of equipment that only uses one hand, you can still shake a tree with it equipped. That’s huge! You can sit on a rock or floor cushion, as well as use things on a table if they’re facing you while sitting there. I recommend a cushion in front of an in-game Nintendo Wii U or a chair in front of a New Nintendo 3DS. Villagers who are moving out give you a week’s advance notice, so you have more time to change their mind. You can even share any screenshots you take from within the game by tapping on icon on your touch screen, sending them off to Twitter.
Nintendo has done something truly incredible with Animal Crossing: New Leaf. They’ve taken an amazing game and added enough content to make it feel new again. The initiatives make you want to stop by each day to earn MEOW coupons for the extra items found at Harv’s Campground. The amiibo cards and select figures let you create your town entirely to your liking, choosing who moves in and out. The Animal Crossing Puzzle League and Desert Island Escape minigames are robust adventures that easily could have been sold separately for $5-10 in the eShop. The inclusion of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer’s touch screen decorating controls and larger items offer more opportunities to improve your homes. It’s an amazing addition of supplemental content, and everyone with Animal Crossing: New Leaf is going to appreciate these niceties.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf and its Welcome amiibo update are immediately available for the Nintendo 3DS.