Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival Review

There are several Mario Party games on the eShop, just saying

The Verd​ict

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival is cute, but it's more of a sleep aid than a video game. It may be a good purchase for small children that want to sit around with their parents and use the game as a somewhat interactive storybook, with minigames so easy even the old fogies can play with them. Other than that? Maybe some really die-hard Animal Crossing fans could enjoy this.

Charm and character can't save this game from repetitive, boring, boring, random, boring, game play. If you want to play a party game with amiibo, go check out Mario Party 10. That game may be flawed too, but at least it has a lot of solid minigames. Better yet, you can leave your amiibo in their boxes and download Mario Party 2 on the Virtual Console.

In the interest of full disclosure, we received a copy of Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival for the purposes of this review.

The Positives

  • Did you know that the world of Animal Crossing is cute? Well that doesn't change here. It's almost offensively cutesy and happy-go-lucky. If you enjoy watching the characters engage in miniature story book blurbs about happiness and friendship, it's here.

  • The Desert Island Escape minigame is surprisingly challenging at higher difficulties. Each card amiibo character has their own traits, and the grid based maps can become quite large. It's easily the highlight of this game.

  • The associated amiibo figures are the best looking, highest quality batch Nintendo has ever released. They look fantastic, and really put the other amiibo lines to shame in terms of their construction.

  • The manual reveals that Villagers are unable to express emotions. Ax wielding sociopath Villager confirmed!

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival

T​he Negatives

  • The board game is supposed to be the meat and potatoes of this game, but it's terribly boring. This digital NyQuil literally put me to sleep twice in as many matches. Everything is random. You roll the dice, move, and watch a random event play out depending on which space you landed on. We're talking two people can land on the same area and have two different events happen random.

  • Almost every game boils down to the last turns. In the final week, players tend to spend all of their money on turnips and hope to land on a spot that will pay top dollar for their produce. With prices as low as the 30's and as high as 300+ each, even those in last place by over 100 points can win with a good or bad roll of the dice in the last turn.

  • There is no sense of competition. You can't screw your buddies over, everyone gets a trophy, and the game ends on a note of encouragement for the winner of the participant award. Do you know why Monopoly is the greatest board game ever and remains fairly popular to this day? It's the same reason that nobody ever finishes a game of Monopoly: It's competitive. Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival is not.

  • Unlike Mario Party games, you cannot play minigames while playing the main board game. You have to play 1-2 rounds of the board game before you even have to the option to do anything else in the game.

  • There are only eight minigames. Seven out of eight of those minigames are mediocre to under whelming. I wouldn't count off for the requirement of amiibo figures and cards to play Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival, especially because the game came packed with two figures and three cards, but when this “starter pack” isn't enough to play two of the minigames, or 25% of the non-board game content, that's a problem. Luckily, they're not that good so you're not missing out on much I guess…?

  • Being forced to play boring games to unlock more boring games isn't fun. Grinding out Happiness Points to play all of these games didn't take terribly long (I played FFXI, the grind is nothing to me now), it was enough to sap away all the happiness I felt about finding a minigame that was actually kind of fun in Desert Island Escape.

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival is the latest game in the Animal Crossing series. This game was met with a poor reception by fans at its reveal, and that only got worse when people felt Nintendo reneged on the promise that the game would be free. It doesn't matter that the free thing was only a rumor…

In this spin-off of the popular franchise. players participate in a board game where they select an amiibo to be their character, and navigate a game board over the course of an in-game month. One day passes when all players have had their turn. Almost every day a new event will happen, and half the board will be covered in newly populated special event tiles for the turn.

The goal? To gather as much Happiness Points and Bells (money) as possible. At the end of a game, Bells are converted to happiness points at a rate of 1 Happiness Point per every 1,000 Bells, and the player with the most Happiness wins.

Afterward, Happiness Points earned can be saved to your Animal Crossing amiibo and exchanged for tickets, which are in turn exchanged to unlock minigames. There are eight minigames in total, and they can earn Happiness Points as well, providing an alternative to 30-90 minute rounds of farming said points through board game matches.

The board game styled video game can work, as Mario Party is almost always a million seller, so how does Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival stack up to the perennial party game? Let's break it down.

The Positives / The Negatives

The Verdict