Animal Crossing: New Leaf Review (3DS)

Shape your town like never before

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the latest in the laid-back, life simulation series by Nintendo.

In Animal Crossing you play as the only human left alive in a village filled with humanoid animals who always seem to never settle in one place and move houses a lot. You become the mayor of your town and can create structures (called public works projects) and change certain laws (called public ordinances) such as when the local stores close.

When you first start the game you are prompted to enter all the standard details. Are you a boy, girl? What is the name of your town etc… Then you are thrown into your town with a tiny little tent and told to suck it up and get on with it. Also you owe Nook money so better pay up chum!

As luck would have it the previous mayor has decided he really can’t be bothered mayor-ing anymore so he up and leaves the town leaving a lovely new job opening for our player. Now we can pay the bills! WRONG! Being a mayor doesn’t mean you can be an evil overlord and shake those pesky villagers for all their hard earned bells! Go out and get a real job like the rest of us losers.

Now, your character thinks they are a bit too special to hold a proper job so instead embrace their hipster side and earn money through fishing, bug catching, fossil collecting, odd jobs, buying and selling or even a simplified version of the stock market (called the stalk market….. ha….). Eventually you can earn enough bells to pay of your loan to Tom Nook and upgrade your tent into a mansion*! *after a LOT of paying

New Leaf brings a whole new experience into the Animal Crossing series such as managing a town and being able to place structures in the world. It makes your town feel truly yours and immerses the player in the town life.


  • The player has overcome their aquaphobia and can now swim! Explore the sea and hunt for shiny shells and rare fish.
  • A new tropical island for the player to explore, catch rare bugs, play mini games and collect rare items
  • An active main street which opens new shops as the player plays the game. This gives the player a quicker feeling of accomplishment than paying off loans forever.
  • A Mii plaza to view other players houses and buy furniture
  • Fully integrated amiibo support (for new 3DSs)


New Leaf is a fresh take on the Animal Crossing series giving the player more power to shape their game than ever before. So many new features have been added and improved upon. The perfect way to unwind!

A lovely game and a great improvement on the series. Highly recommended!
  • Fresh new take on the series
  • Loads of improvements on the series
  • Great use of the 3DS mechanics
  • Pushes the Miis and Amiibos a bit too much
  • Can take a while to get through the basic introduction
Gameplay - 7
Replay-ability - 9
Innovation - 8

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