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Animal Crossing: Happy Home Paradise DLC Review

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Fast Facts

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Paradise DLC

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Website: https://www.animal-crossing.com/new-horizons/happy-home-paradise/
Genre(s): Animal Life, Simulation, Design, Adventure,
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 05/11/2021
Price: £22.49 or enjoyed as part of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership plan for no additional cost.

A code was provided for review purposes

The day is Friday 20th March. Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been released to Nintendo Switch. The Animal Crossing community are WILD with excitement. Three days later, England is put into lockdown due to Coronavirus. Some say Nintendo timed this release perfectly. An entire country was forced into lockdown with all the time in the world to play Animal Crossing, and I for one couldn’t have been happier. Animal Crossing sold out instantly and was the must-have item for everyone’s lockdown needs. Nintendo Switches were as scarce as toilet rolls and everyone knew someone who had it. Weeks were spent terraforming my island and accumulating the most autumn core villagers. 800 hours later and, just like a lot of users, Animal Crossing burnout was achieved.

A scene of Animal Crossing villagers and players at the beach.
Island life is the best kind of life.

Despite months of new updates and seasons to run through, towards the end of 2021, Nintendo were suspiciously quiet on the AC front. Not an update in sight and the community were fuming. But little did we know, that Nintendo were sitting on a little island of paradise, about to bring Animal Crossing back to life. Today at Rapid Reviews, we are looking at the DLC known as Happy Home Paradise, and I’m so excited to share my thoughts.

My Animal Crossing character in Eloise's room, which I designed as part of my job at Happy Home paradise.
What’s a holiday without friends?

My Favourite Job

I have played a lot of Animal Crossing in my time, with Wild World, being my first. There is no way we can compare one from the other as they are all for different consoles and essentially different games. But I think it goes without saying, that New Horizons has been above and beyond all previous games together. So with the release of the Nintendo Direct, expectations were high for the DLC.

As soon as I had it downloaded, I sat myself down in a little blanket burrito, ready to explore and indulge myself in the new resort where I now had a job. The aim behind Happy Home Paradise is that you assist villagers in creating their ideal holiday home on your resort. Choosing from one of many islands from your archipelago, allows you to create a home perfect for the villager. It’s as simple as that! But let’s not forget, after the gems Nintendo have previously delivered, it’s not just making homes, it’s a whole new discovery when it comes to being creative and the styles you can do.

A happy villager with the new school you can design on the island! along side your new work colleagues.
They say you never work a day in your life when you work with great friends!

When it comes to Animal Crossing, it is the small details that make the game count. From the interactions with villagers, to how items look. So with a new DLC, it was important for AC users, that we would experience new information. Straight away we are introduced to new characters, as seen above, who are your work colleagues. Lottie, Niko and Wardell. All cute in their own individual way. A special appreciation goes out to Niko, the little monkey, who takes yourself and the villager of choice ahead to their holiday home. He is an extra special, adorable friend and I’m glad he was chosen for the job. Often giving out DIYs or advice, he goes the extra mile compared to other NPCs. No offence Orville.

How to Design the Ideal Holiday Home

When designing the ideal holiday home, there are a few steps that must be taken. First up, is choosing which villager you wish to assist. How it works, is that villagers chill out on the beach and have thought bubbles with suggestions as to the type of style house they would like. Villagers are randomized and could be any character, not just the villagers you have. The themes they think about can range from diverse schemes such as cottagecore, disco gym, or even just straight “green dream” (this was honestly harder to create than it seems).

What I particularly loved about this game is that you can invite your own villagers to the resort and give them an ideal holiday home. Of course, I chose to invite Poppy. She is my favourite villager and her current decor on her home on my island is Autumn, which I am completely obsessed with. So you can imagine my shock when she wanted a toy room filled with stuffed animals. We compromised.

Finding the Right Island for the Job.

Once you have chosen the villager and discussed over mimosas the style, you choose the island. For real, you have a sit-down meeting with Lottie and the villager and discuss their style. It’s things like this that all come together to build this idyllic paradise experience. Plus who doesn’t love a job with light drinks and chit chat? The island choices vary from small beached areas, woodland, cherry blossom, or rocky areas. There really is a location for every weather, season, time of day and environment. Except for fire. Thankfully. Once you have chosen your island, you can also choose to change a lot of other features. Found a rocky island, perfect for a nightclub but it’s too light? Let’s change the timer! You can change the season, the weather and the time of day. When Nintendo said the options and opportunities for creativity were endless they were not lying.

The map showing all the different types of islands to pick from.
The perfect archipelago.

Superior Interior Design

So you’ve chosen who to deliver the perfect holiday home to, alongside picking the ideal location. Up next, putting it all together and designing the interior! With every request for a holiday home, villagers will provide a theme. With that theme, they will request three items that must be included, and a list of potential items they will particularly appreciate. As mentioned above, some can be quite random, but others can be super cute. How you design it, and where you put everything is completely up to you!

I have particularly enjoyed the designing element on Animal Crossing so the fact there is an entire DLC dedicated for it, oozes serotonin and fun. When you first begin you have a selected choice as to what you can use. But as you progress through and do numerous amounts of properties you unlock elements. After three jobs, you unlock polishing. After eight jobs you are introduced to partition walls- which are life changing! The more you do the more rewards/quirks you can unlock!

One of the rooms I designed. this theme was "green dream" so I filled it with a lot of green items.
The infamous green dream.

As the island progresses, and the number of jobs completed increases, island life becomes more sustainable. With more people, you need a better business model, so Happy Home Paradise also renews old abandoned buildings to useful architecture in the form of schools and hospitals. I really enjoyed this element as it allowed my creativity to expand. I am thoroughly enjoying decorating properties, but it does get very repetitive so to have a different idea and outcome improves the motivation to carry on playing. Side note – Lottie often sends reminders to have breaks and not work too hard (aka the perfect boss) which I particualy loved. Again Nintendo with their little quirks. It’s as if they know players will binge the game, so sending out little reminders offers the opportunity for a self care stretch and breath of fresh air. Real life air, not island air.

A view of the school you have the opportunity to design.
I wish my school was this cute in real life.

The Final Conclusion

Without fearing as if I am dragging on this so called “rapid review” to a ramble, it is time we draw a conclusion on the Animal Crossing: Happy Home Paradise DLC. Buy it. Thank you for reading.

A glimpse at one of the themes. Pudge's pretenious palace filled with plenty of golf items.
Pudge clearly had a big budge.

A Thank You Letter to Nintendo

In all seriousness, I feel an emotional connection to Animal Crossing and the joy it has bought to myself and to many throughout the months of lockdown. Bonding with friends, and providing the ultimate self care has never been quite so cosy. So with the release of Happy Home Paradise, Nintendo took everything there is to love about New Horizons and made it bigger and better with this little DLC. So I write this today as a thank you to Nintendo. For bringing out all the stops with the DLC. For including everything we already love about this simplistic game, and the wholesome content it continues to bring to millions. For providing home and serenity on an island off the coast of who knows where.

I haven’t touched the surface with the different abilities and opportunities the DLC adds, but that would be spoiling it. Happy Home Paradise won’t change your island experience, but without it, you are missing out on a whole new adventure and the stories villagers bring. Thank you Nintendo for a serotonin-filled, joyful gaming experience.

Yours gratefully,

Rapid Reviews.

Rapid Reviews Rating

5 out of 5

5

You can purchase Animal Crossing: Happy Home Paradise here!

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