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Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival Wii U Game Review

December 09, 2015

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Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival Wii U Game Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Dec 09, 2015
( Rating: 2 Star Rating)

Nintendos latest digital board game, Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival, is a bit of a snoozefest. Read Kidzworlds full review right here!

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival is filled with charm but a painfully slow pace and lackluster mini games keep this digital board game from eliciting any true competitive excitement.

Collect more Happy Points than your friends.Collect more Happy Points than your friends.
 

Board To Death

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival has two main options, the main board game and 8 mini games. If you don't see the mini games option right away, it's because you need to play about 3 hours of amiibo Festival's board game before you even unlock them. And then after that, you still need to unlock the individual mini games as you collect more points.

This unlocking of modes wouldn't have bothered me if the pacing wasn't so slow. It takes over an hour to complete one board game, which may not sound too bad. But when the events on the board quickly become repetitive and predictable, the experience eventually devolved into pressing 'A' as fast as I could to skip the npc's dialog, in order to finish the game before dying of boredom first. Watch 15 minutes of gameplay in the video below.

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival Gameplay

 

The goal of amiibo Festival's board game mode is to finish the game with more Happy Points than your competitors. Win happy points by navigating around the board and landing on positive spaces. From time to time, quirky characters visit town to offer chances at winning more points or cards with special attributes. One card awards you Happy Points every time someone rolls a specified number on the die. Another turns all the spaces on the board into "positive" spaces.

Get bonus perks with some handy cards from Katrina. Get bonus perks with some handy cards from Katrina.

The only form of excitement came from the Turnip Stalk Market, a returning mechanic from past Animal Crossing games that's put to good use in amiibo Festival. Buy low and sell high to maximize your profit, earning you more Happy Points. After being stuck with a few bad returns on investments, costing me the game, I quickly learned the importance of the turnip. Mastering your stock exchange skills is crucial to winning the game.

Some of the mini games are fun. Island Escape being a favorite.Some of the mini games are fun. Island Escape being a favorite.

The mini games are a mixed bag overall but there are a few that some will find enjoyable, especially those younger gamers out there. One of my favorites is actually the first you unlock, Desert Island Escape. In this mode you must guide 3 stranded characters around an island, searching for food and resources to build tools with. Eventually crafting a raft to make your escape. The Quiz Show was decent as well, though admittedly, way too challenging at times for myself. It's definitely geared towards those Animal Crossing fans that know all the little details.

The Charm Shines Through

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival may not be the most fun kid on the block, but they sure do say some charming things. Remember those 'positive spaces" I mentioned earlier? Well there is also negative spaces on the board and no matter which you land on, you're treated to a quick look into the lives of the characters. Are they having a good time or a bad time? Each and every scenario is cute and made me smile...the first few times they popped up. Check out the picture below for an example.

Amiibo Festival certainly has its charms.Amiibo Festival certainly has its charms.

Music, graphics and sound effects are best described as inoffensive. Nothing stands out in these departments outside of some nice and bright colors. The board itself, which is meant to be a little town, feels a little lifeless. So much more could have been done to make the amiibo Festival more appealing to watch in action.

Fumbling With amiibos

As you would expect with a name like amiibo Festival. amiibos are compatible and actually required to play but you can only use Animal Crossing amiibos, which is a bit disappointing. Their integration isn't all that great either. amiibos have one basic function in the board game mode. You must place your amiibo on the GamePad's NFC reader each time you want to roll, which really feels unnecessary after a few turns. And the mini games use amiibo cards (3 are included with the game), sometimes requiring you to flip through a few quickly and it too was more often than not a nuisance.

I made it off the island alive. Phew!I made it off the island alive. Phew!

Final Thoughts

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival isn't a bad game. It's just a mediocre one. There's a couple good ideas at play, but they aren't realized to their full potential. Long time fans of Animal Crossing will certainly find enjoyment in the familiarity of it and the mini games will appeal to those under 10. But those seeking any form of real excitement and competition from their board game may want to look elsewhere.

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival is available now for Wii U!Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival is available now for Wii U!Courtesy of Nintendo

Pros

  • Charming character moments
  • Turnip stock exchange

Cons

  • Boring game board
  • Slow pacing
  • Lackluster mini modes

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival Game Rating: 2 

Rated E - Available now on Wii U

Have Your Say!

Are you playing Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival? Do you agree or disagree with our review? Let us know in the comments!