Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise DLC by developer Nintendo.
ACNH- Happy Home Paradise DLC: (The Explanation)
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has just had its horizons expanded further with the new paid DLC Happy Home Paradise. This DLC expansion allows players to show off their interior designer skills by designing the vacation homes of other villagers looking for their very own place in the sun.
The premise of this DLC may seem very familiar to experienced Animal Crossing players who may have played Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (AC:HHD) on the Nintendo 3DS. The difference being that Happy Home Paradise is NOT a standalone game but an expansion to Animal Crossing: New Horizons and requires players to own the base game either physically or digitally.
In the Happy Home Paradise DLC, Tom Nook introduces you to a friend of his who is opening up their own vacation planning business on a nearby archipelago. The friend in question happens to be Lottie who some players may recognize from AC: Happy Home Designer. Lottie requires the player’s assistance in order to decorate homes for her clients and join her team of decoration planners.
The gameplay itself in Happy Home Paradise is no different from Animal Crossing: New Horizons but you will learn new techniques that you never learned in the base game. As you design villager’s homes, you will learn to add petition walls, add accent walls, expand the living space. polish objects to make the shiny or give them other effects and much more.
The best part is that you can take the skills that you have learned and implement them on your home back on your island. There are a few exceptions though. You can’t expand the size of the rooms in you home, and any petition walls that you want to add to your home, you will need to make them first.
Your main goal is to attract potential customers and design vacation homes for them. You can find villagers wandering around the beach in front of the office. You will be then tasked to select and ideal location for them and design their home around their needs. One particular villager may like a home surrounded by greenery. Another villager may like to be in a nice cool area with the comforts of home. Each villager will also request a particular set of furniture will be used in their homes. These items will be already boxed up at the designated vacation home but it will be up to you to place them around the home and add any other furniture that they may appreciate.
You won’t be restricted to designing just villager’s homes either. As you facilitate the needs and wants of each of your clients, you will also be given the chance to spruce up some of the facilities on the island. You will be given the chance to renovate a school, open a Café, and refurbish a restaurant. You will then be tasked to designate some of the villagers that you have helped to take up positions in each facility (so much for a vacation if they end up having to work during their vacation).
When you finish designing a villager’s home or a facility on the island, it is back to the office for that all important paycheck. It is always nice to be paid for one’s efforts and Lottie knows how to keep her workers happy but before you expect to be handed bags of bells, the currency is a little different on this island. Lottie pays her workers in Poki. this is the local currency on the island and can only be spent on the island.
That might feel like a cop-out but Wardell, one of your co-workers, sells furniture that you can’t get back on your home island. Much like at Nook’s Cranny, the items change daily so while there may not but much to take your fancy one day, you might find something you really like on the next. Any furniture that you buy from Wendell can be used on your own island.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise DLC is available to purchase from the Nintendo Switch eShop. It is also available for free as part of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscription. The slight catch with the free version is that it is only free and usable for as long as you have an active Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscription. If you decide to let the subscription lapse, you will lose access to the free version and will have to pay for it in order to use it again. However, if you pay the full price ($24.99) for the Happy Home Paradise DLC, you will rightfully get to keep it with or without the NSO+EP subscription.
The Happy Home Paradise DLC for Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a much welcome addition to the game and while you do have to pay for it one way or another to get it, I do feel like it is worth the price. While it does feel like Happy Home Paradise could have been a standalone game on Switch, I can understand why Nintendo decided to make it an expansion instead. It offers more hours of replayability to Animal Crossing: New Horizons and it gives players even more customization options to keep decorating their islands that they have already invested hundreds of hours into. Another little bonus is that if you have any Animal Crossing amiibo cards lying around, you can use them with the Happy Home Paradise so you can design homes for those specific villagers too!
As someone who has certainly invested a good amount of time into New Horizons, I did find myself coming away from the game and have rarely came back to it over the last six months or so. The Happy Home Paradise DLC is truly a welcome accompaniment that has brought me back to the New Horizons once again and allowing me to take my decorating skills to the next level.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise DLC: (The Gameplay)
Tags: animal crossing, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, EXPlay, Happy Home Designer, Happy Home Paradise, Nintendo, Nintendo Switch, review
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: November 5, 2021 (EU & NA)
File Size: 598 MB
This post was written by Mike Scorpio