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Why Animal Crossing: New Leaf Is A Bucket List Game

ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW LEAF is a certified Bucket List game that everyone should play before he or she “kicks the bucket”.

Animal Crossing is one of those series that has enthusiastic players prioritizing the game over real life. So do not be surprised if you miss a real life meeting because you are preoccupied with the in-game meeting you have with a pink pig on Friday afternoon. Welcome to Animal Crossing, yet another worthy Bucket List game!


It is the Nintendo 3DS portable entry in the long running life simulation franchise (titled Animal Crossing) from Nintendo. You control a cartoon-like version of yourself who is the mayor of a town filled with walking, talking animal villagers.

The game revolves around interacting with your animal neighbors, befriending them while also running errands and collecting a ton of collectibles. You can fish, catch bugs, collect fruit, decorate your home, change your wardrobe, build town projects, set town ordinances, go deep sea diving, accumulate wealth, and much more as the game progresses. The free “Welcome amiibo” update released in late 2016 added a substantial amount of content and improvements as well.


A day in the life of Animal Crossing can be fun and addicting. Since the game is real-time (meaning that whatever time and season it is in real life it is also the same in the game), the player is tasked with making the best of the day ahead. Stores do not open until a certain time in the morning so perhaps collecting the daily dinosaur fossils that can be found throughout town beneath ground will fill your time. And do not forget to donate the fossils to the museum if you are looking to complete your town’s museum showcase.

Perhaps you find fun in socializing. Talking to your villagers can be addicting, too. So much so, you might find yourself planning your entire day around meeting an animal in New Leaf (like my spouse has done so many times before). All of the animals in the game have different personalities and can be comedic, or odd, or simply fun to interact with: I have a Wolf that really enjoys coming over to my place a little too much and can often be spotted hanging behind houses; an orange Toad that likes to workout; and a rainbow colored sheep that I think is a French clown—the awesome oddball collection of animals goes on and on.


Your animal neighbors can easily entertain you for hours through conversation and chatter alone; when they start asking you to collect things for them and run errands, that is when I suggest you cancel all other social engagements for your day. This is my spouse’s favorite series so it is not uncommon for her to play the game for up to six hours in a row. Because there is so much to do!

Maybe you like fishing. There is always a fish lurking on the beach or in the rivers that run through the town. How about catching bugs? Try hitting the rocks around town and you might just catch a centipede or pill bug. Is your town looking a little thin? Try planting more trees and flowers in the way that looks best to you. Fruit trees will drop fruit for you to sell and flowers will help improve the overall beauty and satisfaction rating of your town. There is truly something fun and addicting in this game for every type of player.


You can play the game however you like. I play with a daily routine in mind and it takes me about a half hour just to do that. If I want to explore the tropical island to the south for fish and insects that are worth a lot of cash, I need an extra hour or so. The good thing is that you can save at anytime; there is no time limits, no enemies, and no one telling you what to do.

You can play New Leaf anywhere–since it is a portable game–and spend a minute playing while you wait in a line or play for hours when the mood hits you. Each day I play, I figure out what I want to do and I scale my play style to the amount of time I have allotted. For anyone looking for a pick up and play game or a deep dive hearty meal, this game caters to most play styles.


Fans and new players alike will also surely find joy in the features New Leaf and the Welcome amiibo update adds to the core Animal Crossing game. There are more fruit, fish, furniture, and insects to collect than ever before—completionists, this is your Mount Everest so prepare to have the time of your lives collecting the thousands of items in this game.

If you own the Nintendo figurines called amiibo, you can use them to summon villagers to a campsite near your town, buy items that they brought with them, and even ask them to live in your village. New Leaf also makes it much easier for players to keep the villagers they like from leaving town and this iteration also improves on the ability to accrue wealth and items. Chores may be the main focus of the Animal Crossing series but playing the game is far from a chore. The Welcome amiibo update makes sure of that.


So, welcome to Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the game that keeps playing even when you are asleep. You will bond with your animal villagers, fall in love with the DJ dog that plays music every Saturday night, love some animal neighbors while despising others, and create a village that you will call home.

New Leaf truly improves on the core Animal Crossing concept in every way. This is the third game in the series I have put hundreds of hours into and it is as fresh and fun as it was nearly fifteen years ago when I played the first localized entry.

For anyone looking for a good time, hop on a train or the bus and travel to Animal Crossing: New Leaf, a Bucket List game, today.


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