Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival just released on Friday in North America, and we’ve given it a try. Read our first impressions on this unorthodox Animal Crossing title!
Unfortunately, Nintendo didn’t offer us an advance copy for this title, so I’ve only been playing since the release on Friday. That said, I want to give an early look at my thoughts on what I’ve played so far.
Right away on the first startup of the game, amiibo Festival throws you off by jumping you straight into a board game. There is no main menu, or any option to play a different game or a different month in the board game. You’re just forced right into the November board game with little to no instructions at all, and it’s a bit strange.
So, what’s the board game like? It’s about what I expected from the previews shown, which is to say underwhelming, unfortunately. Unlike say a Mario Party game, there are no minigames in the board game mode at all. Instead, the game is supported only by an intriguing turnip system, events on spaces, and special visitors who appear often.
The turnip system can be quite enjoyable as you buy turnips at the beginning of the week, then gamble them on spaces you land on throughout the week. That’s not really not enough to carry a full 45 minute game though. Without any minigames or other active gameplay, it’s hard to not get bored after the first half of a game. That said, I’ve only played two of the twelve months available so far.
But wait! There’s light at the end of the tunnel with the Desert Island Escape mode.. After having been forced into playing the board game twice, I was greeted with the main plaza where I could unlock Desert Island Escape. It’s touted as just one of the game’s many bonus mini-games, but from what I’ve played, that’s not doing it justice.
In Desert Island Escape, you play a trio of Animal Crossing characters exploring an island and desperate to escape. By exploring the island, you can find materials to build tools like a Fishing Rod or Net. Building these tools will aid you in the quest to get wood logs and cloth to build your escape raft.
And of course, you need to eat too, so finding food through fish or fruit is important too if you don’t want to die. Different characters look to have unique abilities and attributes too, so there’s strategy in picking them as well.
Even though I’ve only played a single map of the mode, I’m impressed and can’t wait to play more. It’s far more detailed and in-depth than anything else in the game. And if the gameplay holds up, then there’s a real winner here with many maps available.
That’s about all I have to say for my first impressions of Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival right now. I’ve got lots more to say, but I’m keeping this brief until our full review later after having played more. Stay tuned!
Oh and if you’ve played it yourself, share your first impressions with us too in the comments below! I’m excited to hear what others are thinking too.
Full Disclosure: Nintendo of Canada provided a retail copy of Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival to Animal Crossing World for review.