Review: Animal Crossing New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise DLC for Nintendo Switch

animal crossing happy home paradise

Return to New Horizons and experience the ups and downs of life as an interior designer with the latest DLC, Happy Home Paradise. With the promise of additional design features, such as partitions, pillars, and counters, along with the return of some familiar faces, will Happy Home Paradise be a perfect match for patient and aspiring stylists?

Since arriving on Nintendo Switch last year, Animal Crossing New Horizons has been somewhat of a haven for veterans and newcomers to the series. Launched at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the title has been a relaxing real-world distraction for many, as evidenced by its massive sales, which led it to become the best-selling Switch game Nintendo’s fiscal year from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. Yet while the game has launched with great reviews, ours included, its lack of continuous updates over time has become much more noticeable. Soon, islands full of beauty and care quickly fell into disuse. With players no longer locked inside, wasting time with the daily boredom of the island was a thing of the past.

Then Update 2.0 was announced – placing everything fans wanted in the game (except for the Nook Store expansion), including the Blessed Frog Chair and our beloved Kapp’n. and Brewster. Suddenly New Horizons felt fun to play again. The launch in conjunction with the major update was the Switch game’s first foray into the paid DLC, Happy Home Paradise. Costing around £ 22.49 / $ 24.99 in Nintendo eShop or available for free to those with the Nintendo Switch Online + expansion pack, Happy Home Paradise only requires a one-time purchase for everyone on your island. Switch can take advantage of it. This means that each player has access to their own island, map, and characters through their design profile, allowing them to experience DLC story content at their own pace.

For those who know Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, you will be happy to hear that many features of the Nintendo 3DS 2015 title have moved to the DLC Paradise. From the limitless designs of one- and two-story vacation homes to residents’ choice to employ at the island’s facilities (restaurant, cafe, and school), there is a familiar feel to every nook and cranny. While not a full-fledged Designer suite, Paradise sits squarely in the middle, aiming to appeal to those who yearn to scratch their interior designer itch without leaving the comforts of New Horizons. . The beauty of this is that the game lends itself to new opportunities for design customization, such as the addition of partitions, pillars, and counters, many of which can be reused on New Horizons Island. However, the downside is that Paradise feels, ironically, rather hollow and soulless.

Before delving into our reasons behind this claim, let’s start by setting the scene. Upon arrival, you will meet Lottie, the main developer of the Paradise Planning Resort. His vision is to create a beautiful vacation retreat with lots of happy customers. Luckily, you are exactly what she was looking for after a commendation from Tom Nook. Thanks, Tom, we really wanted more work. After a quick meeting with Niko, another architecture enthusiast, and the rather somber Wardell, you’ll meet your first client, Eloise, who is looking for a relaxing reading room. After a quick overview of the basics with Niko, the rest of the design is up to you.

Similar to Happy Home Designer, Paradise has an “order” menu tab that has everything you will need to keep the customer happy. This includes furniture and housewares, wall items, ceiling lights and hangers, rugs, flooring and wallpaper. At first you will only have access to the furniture requested by the customer, but each time you accept a new design request, all the elements of the previous tasks will also be available in your constantly expanding catalog. As you progress through the storyline you will unlock new features such as the ability to change the background mood, lighting intensity and color, remove windows, and change the size of the lights. parts of a standard 4 × 4 to 10 × 10. Halfway through, you’ll unlock two-story buildings and the ability to design areas for up to two roommates, a new feature in Paradise.

Speaking of new features, Paradise’s connection to New Horizons means you can use the crafts you’ve already learned to complete your home decorations. Head along the waterfront, and you can also purchase some exclusive island crafts, such as the ability to craft a vine lamp. The DLC also introduces partitions to divide rooms, counters that can be placed at any desired height, and pillars to add character to homes. The game also emphasizes using the Pro Camera to take photos of your emerging designs, which can then be uploaded to your Happy Home Paradise online profile, where you can follow like-minded designers and also find out. their creations.

With Paradise, the interior is not the only space you can design. The exterior, including house shape and size, roof type, siding and door, can all be changed in the blink of an eye. Trees and plants, including hybrid flowers, are also available to choose from, along with the ability to change the season and weather. With Update 2.0, fences can now be customized to your liking and any of your current custom designs can also be used for paths and certain types of furniture. In terms of design customization, Paradise is an all-you-can-eat buffet at Disneyland, with five kids on excessive amounts of sweet orange soda, all meeting Elsa and Anna from Frozen for the first time. No, we are not exaggerating.

The good news is that all of these features unlock over time, slowly. In fact, it takes 20 client house designs to unlock pillars and counters. And, just like Happy Home Designer, Installations are making a comeback in the DLC as well. Whether it’s a school or a cafe and restaurant, there are plenty of facilities to put your unique mark on. Plus, you can remodel them whenever you unlock new features or furniture, just like you can with regular vacation homes. Not to mention that you can also receive cooking recipes from the chef you employed in the restaurant. Bon appétit, sir and madam.

The problem with Happy Home Paradise isn’t in the customization – it’s far from it. While Paradise has all the freedom and flexibility you could want in design, it lacks the feel, emotion, and incentive altogether. For example, customers will have three requirements to make their home a home. This is usually furniture, which can be placed inside or outside the property. The game only requires you to unpack these three items to mark the house as a complete design. Not only are there no consequences from the customer (they’re happy no matter what you do), Lottie even pays you the same rate of Poki – the DLC in-game currency – no matter how much time you spend designing. It’s not work, it’s freeloading.

Of course, while you won’t get the same internal satisfaction from a job well done, the game doesn’t even remotely try to entice budding designers. There’s no Happy Home Academy ranking to gauge your eye for color coordination or feng shui, just six underwhelming design headlines that determine how much you get paid based on how many vacation homes you’ve completed. Perhaps the most ironic feature is that the animals will approach you on the island when you have spent at least 20 minutes designing a house for them. They reward you with a flooring, wallpaper or rug that was used in the design. Since it’s time related and only specific items used, cheating the system in this way seems almost too easy. Like abusing the rod market and traveling through time to annoy Resetti. Ah, those were the good old days. No matter how you look at it, the lack of a real ranking system is a missed tip, that’s for sure.

Despite its obvious downfalls, Happy Home Paradise is your first-class airfare to design paradise. While the game does little to entice gamers, it ticks all the boxes intended for a near sequel to Happy Home Designer. Perhaps the biggest advantage of the DLC is that it allows players to have their own vacation islands, so they can experience the story individually. On the flip side, the characters’ complete lack of personality means that Animal Crossing fans can yearn for the foggy days of New Leaf. A classic case of paradise, lost.


A review copy of Animal Crossing New Horizons: Happy Home Paradise DLC has been provided to My Nintendo News by Nintendo UK.

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