Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival

animal crossing amiibo festival box art review
4.5 Overall Score
Graphics: 4/10
Sound: 4/10
Controls: 5/10

Party game with seasonal themes

Not very innovative, plays like the Life board game without the fun

 
Game Info

Game Name:   Animal Crossing:  Amiibo Festival

Developer(s):   Nintendo EPD

Publisher(s):   Nintendo

Platform(s):   Wii U

Genre(s):   Party Game

Release Date(s):  November 13, 2015 (US)/November 21, 2015 (Japan)

ESRB Rating:   E

animal crossing amiibo festival stamps board game screenshots gameplay

Which way to go?

The inhabitants of Animal Crossing are having a party and playing a game to celebrate.  Head out and try to collect as many bells and loot as possible.  Everything in town is always changing.  Be it the latest trends in furniture, fishing contests, or visits from Joan or Redd or Katrina could turn a normal day into a day of fun or misery…it’s all up the roll of the dice!

Animal Crossing:  Amiibo Festival (often written as the stylized Animal Crossing:  amiibo Festival) is a party board game.  The game was released with the 3DS spin-off game Animal Crossing:  Happy Home Designer and both followed Animal Crossing:  New Leaf for the 3DS in 2012.  The game was packaged with two Amiibo figures and was released to largely negative reviews.

I am not one for party games.  It always seemed to me (for the most part), a board game where you can’t hold and control the dice yourself seemed too automated.  That being said, Nintendo really pioneered the video game board game with the Mario Party series which featured fun minigames that utilized classic video game style play mixed with board games…Animal Crossing:  Amiibo Festival feels more like a traditional board game.

animal crossing amiibo festival skunk screenshots gameplay

There may not be a skunk farm like in the game of Life…but there is a skunk

The game is for one to four players (the other spots are filled by computer players).  The players have one calendar month to cross the board and make as many bells as possible (money is converted to bells in the end of a month and the bells can be accumulated with the Amiibos).  The open board features gyroids which give stamps which equates to bonus bells and money.

With this as the basic set-up, the game pretty much plays out like the classic board game Life.  Your character walks around and hits “good” cards or “bad” cards.  You don’t own a skunk farm, but it is almost identical.  The game finds more variety when it has you bump into characters (sometimes even losing money in the situation).  I kept expecting more from the gameplay, but it never developed.

The graphics for the game are in line with any of the Animal Crossing games and don’t really improve upon games for the Wii or the 3DS despite advances in the Wii U.  The environment of the game (like in Animal Crossing) is affected by the month where you are playing and after the first game, you are allowed to select different months (aka different boards)…and you get all the obnoxious Animal Crossing sounds for a bonus!!!

animal crossing amiibo festival stamps board game screenshots gameplay

Which way to go?

Even if you are playing Animal Crossing with a group of friends, the game quickly gets tedious.  There isn’t enough variety to boards and the week-by-week aspect of the game doesn’t always mean you are going to have variety (more holidays can mean more fun).  If you are playing with the AI characters, it can be maddening with them constantly rolling higher, selling better, and having more luck (plus, you pretty much need to follow their path if you want to get all your stamps).

Animal Crossing:  Amiibo Festival is a quick game (it takes a little over an hour a game), but it feels like you could spend better time with friends by playing something like one of the multiple Mario Party games…or actually just pull out a board game.  With the release of the Switch, it will be interesting to see what direction Animal Crossing goes (and if this game gets some sort of Switch rerelease)…I’m sure you’ll get to visit the village again sometime.

Related Links:

Animal Crossing:  City Folk

Animal Crossing:  New Leaf

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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