Metascore
66

Mixed or average reviews - based on 60 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 60
  2. Negative: 1 out of 60
Buy On
  1. Sep 28, 2015
    89
    The more you play it, the more you're surprised. Be aware: if you expect the typical Animal Crossing, you may be disappointed. Give it a shot, though.
  2. Sep 29, 2015
    83
    It’s not the life-sim of years past, but Happy Home Designer’s successful re-imagining of what makes Animal Crossing tick is a lovely departure that I sincerely hope Nintendo explores again in the future.
  3. Games Master UK
    Nov 3, 2015
    80
    It's naturally limited in scope, but this breezy, likeable spin-off proves a surprisingly captivating diversion. [Nov 2015, p.72]
  4. Oct 9, 2015
    80
    Maybe Happy Home Designer is not better than New Leaf or other 3DS games but it fulfills its objectives offering us deep tools to create and decorate houses in a game limited only by our imagination. We didn’t like the lack of strong objectives and challenges that maybe could be positive steps for this game.
  5. 80
    Happy Home Designer isn't going to dethrone Animal Crossing: New Leaf as the number one game in your 3DS' play log – not by a long shot. In taking away the scant few of the franchise’s stressors, however, it becomes a profoundly therapeutic life simulator that respects and rewards every millilitre of creative juice you pour into it. It’s a stop-gap on the road to Wii U/NX but a detour that won't soon be surpassed.
  6. Oct 5, 2015
    80
    It’s a fun little distraction that doesn’t require too much attention to enjoy.
  7. NF Magazine
    Sep 30, 2015
    80
    With a beautiful presentation and tight controls, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is a game worth considering. [Issue #17 – September/October 2015, p.74]
  8. Sep 28, 2015
    80
    This title has some of the most modest aspirations of any of the Animal Crossing titles, but it delivers on them spectacularly.
  9. Sep 23, 2015
    80
    Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer has a lot of ítems, furniture and options to design a great variety of houses. Maybe we miss more social options, but the game is still funny and charming.
  10. Sep 22, 2015
    80
    Anima. Crossing: HD delivers an interesting concept, different from the main series, but still charming, deep and fun.
  11. Sep 22, 2015
    80
    Animal Crossing's in-game social component seems to be growing at a never-ending rate. Happy Home Designer keeps treading that path and its main activities focus on one of the players' favourite aspects of the series, home decoration. With an enormous wealth of resources and its simple, intuitive controls, this is a perfect introduction to the series and a potential major influence to its next chapter.
  12. Sep 22, 2015
    80
    Utterly charming with a fantastic set of design tools, but it'll make you crave the freedom of more traditional Animal Crossing games.
  13. Sep 22, 2015
    80
    Happy Home Designer gets pretty much everything right when it comes to decorating, encouraging creativity, and exploring different styles.
  14. Oct 2, 2015
    75
    Adorable, but lacking in depth, Happy Home Designer is funny and charming, but ultimately fails to provide motivation and challenge for the player.
  15. Just seems kind of small and limited to me. I think people might expect a little more from an Animal Crossing game.
  16. Sep 22, 2015
    75
    Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer is a blast for everyone who that loved to decorate their home in earlier Animal Crossing games. The options are limitless, however this comes with a few limits in other aspects. As a whole, the game is a blast to play.
  17. Sep 22, 2015
    75
    A more structured and restricting experience than New Leaf, Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer offers similarly addictive mechanics but much less freedom and control.
  18. Sep 21, 2015
    75
    More appropriate for short sessions, part of the magic of Animal Crossing have been lost in the way. A huge amount and options to customize the houses, but is not a game to lose hours with it, at least at once time.
  19. Sep 24, 2015
    74
    Overall, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is a welcome spinoff that helps diversify the Animal Crossing brand and cements it as one of Nintendo’s cornerstone franchises (if it wasn’t already).
  20. Oct 27, 2015
    70
    It will divide the fanbase. After all, is a sort of white canvas where anyone could pour their creativity without any real reason to do it. Unfortunately, is this lack of challenge that makes the game sub-par if compared to other episodes. It's still Nintendo we're talking about though, and this means that the general quality of the product remains pretty high.
  21. Oct 13, 2015
    70
    While designing homes is a relatively fun thing to do, having to do it twenty times with no real challenge makes it seem a little pointless.
  22. Edge Magazine
    Oct 10, 2015
    70
    A spinoff that works unexpectedly hard to win you over. [Nov 2015, p.122]
  23. Oct 2, 2015
    70
    I’m genuinely delighted that Nintendo was able to strip away just one aspect of Animal Crossing and make an entire game out of it.
  24. Oct 1, 2015
    70
    It's not about challenge or winning or competition, but rather about playing interior designer to a host of creatures. While it's mostly very good at what it does, the specifics of what it does won't appeal to most gamers, or even most Animal Crossing fans. Taken on its own terms, however, the only area in which Happy Home Designer falls short of its rather relaxed mission statement is in its social and sharing features, which feel rather anemic.
  25. Sep 29, 2015
    70
    It's definitely a step back from New Leaf: focusing entirely on furniture, this game leaves back a lot of the content that made the Animal Crossing saga shine. On the other hand, the editor is really rich, and some players could enjoy it.
  26. Sep 23, 2015
    70
    Happy Home Designer is the dream of every Animal Crossing fan. Finally we are able to easily design dozens of different rooms with a very easy to use editor. A collection of hundreds of objects awaits us in a game surrounded by the magic only an Animal Crossing game has: music, scenery, characters, etc. Unfortunately the lack of content and variety will stop the enjoyment too soon for many people.
  27. Sep 22, 2015
    70
    An amusing spin-off from the Animal Crossing's family, perfect for bite-size gaming sessions but not another game to live for.
  28. Sep 22, 2015
    70
    Happy Home Designer captures some of the Animal Crossing magic, but not enough to make it an essential entry in the series.
  29. Sep 22, 2015
    70
    Through simulating the good of adult life and the comfort of routine, without complicating things with the pressures of money, Animal Crossing: Happy Home designer is a relaxing, repetitive toe-dip into the working world.
  30. Sep 22, 2015
    70
    Fans of New Leaf - and the series in general - may well be prepared to forgive such sins, but for everyone else this is a likeable but largely forgettable title that will entice young, undemanding players but will be too dull and samey for everyone else - despite the unmistakable charm which permeates the entire package.
  31. Sep 22, 2015
    70
    If finding the perfect furniture for your house in Animal Crossing was your favorite part of the series, then you'll surely get some enjoyment out of this game.
  32. Sep 29, 2015
    69
    Happy Home Designer is a competent but rather boring spin off.
  33. Sep 27, 2015
    68
    It is lovely seeing Nook again, but this Animal Crossing is a disappointment. It is fun to design homes in the upbeat world of Animal Crossing, but there are just no challenges in this game. There is no money system in place, you cannot really collect anything. And customers are always happy with the design.
  34. CD-Action
    Dec 16, 2015
    65
    Despite vast content and high level of polish I actually can’t find any convincing reasons to play it. [12/2015, p.72]
  35. Sep 30, 2015
    65
    Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is an empty shell. Stripped of almost all the features and dynamics of the main entries, it has lost most of its charm and became just a simple yet immense simulator which will entertain a small niche of fans and does very little to justify the purchase of expensive amiibos and cards.
  36. Oct 26, 2015
    60
    Feels like it would benefit from a longer plot, but still fun if you overlook the repetitive nature.
  37. Oct 16, 2015
    60
    Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is without a doubt a really good idea that should be implemented onto future games. As a separate game it’s rather shallow and linear to the point of fatigue.
  38. Oct 7, 2015
    60
    A brand new take on the series that manages to make moving furniture fun, but fails to innovate in a meaningful way.
  39. Oct 6, 2015
    60
    On the whole, it's fair to say that most spin-offs are doomed to live in the shadow of their more popular source materials. Even so, Happy Home Designer did have the potential to stand on its own two legs - the sole ingredient needed to confirm that fact being the element of fun, which it sadly lacks.
  40. Oct 2, 2015
    60
    Happy Home Designer is a nifty little game for creative souls, but it may not hold your attention for too long if home decor isn't your schtick.
  41. Oct 1, 2015
    60
    Just like the numpties on Grand Designs, Happy Home Designer doesn’t really know what it wants, and it suffers for it. It can’t possibly be the newest Animal Crossing – it’s far too small. It’s a pretty good, if simple, home decorating game, but not as a full, standalone release.
  42. Sep 29, 2015
    60
    A stripped down Animal Crossing with a premise so lightweight it can barely be said to exist at all, and yet there’s still an undemanding charm to its no-octane thrills.
  43. Sep 28, 2015
    60
    Nintendo has had better spin offs than Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer; If the core of the game is decent, the overly week challenge removes every ounce of interest from a game that could very well be a simple DLC.
  44. Sep 27, 2015
    60
    This is not a videogame; there is nothing challenging about it, no puzzle element and no way of doing things wrong. As a creative toy it is okay, as there is a big load of furniture to choose from, but in the long run, Happy Home Designer is simply not going to suffice as a proper Animal Crossing-game.
  45. Sep 22, 2015
    60
    Making homes in Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is enjoyable, but it's just not enough to hold up the weight of an entire game.
  46. Sep 22, 2015
    60
    Although it doesn't feel as full as New Leaf, Happy Home Designer is a fine game that should've aspired to more.
  47. Sep 22, 2015
    60
    Home design gets even more captivating with the expanded possibilities of this dedicated installment. But such focus on creative freedom induces the withdrawal of some Animal Crossing's fundamental elements, hence shrinking variety, interest and life as a whole in this world. And rather sadly, the invitational collection of amiibo definitely makes Happy Home Designer look like a decorative addition.
  48. 60
    Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer misses the high mark set by the main series. Taking one aspect of the game and making it the focus helps improve the mechanics, but the end result is far less enjoyable as it removes many of the things that made AC so unique.
  49. Oct 12, 2015
    59
    Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer looks and sounds like the game that fans were expecting; unfortunately it lacks the depth and addictiveness to keep you interested. Even with its cast of adorable characters and excellent soundtrack, the gameplay becomes stale really fast and you’ll find yourself grasping at what little the game has to offer in order to find something to hold your attention.
  50. Sep 23, 2015
    59
    Animal Crossing has always been a peculiar experience. This spin-off, however, with its boring and repetitive gameplay, can't manage to catch the interest of the player.
  51. Oct 21, 2015
    56
    Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer will appeal those love decorating homes and collecting Nintendo’s new amiibo cards, but for the rest of us, it’s a broken home.
  52. Sep 22, 2015
    55
    It’s an absolute feat that Nintendo was able to retain the trademark Animal Crossing charming feel without including many of the tropes that have been present since the series began back in 2001. That novelty, however, is fleeting, and after a few hours of play, you’re left with a shallow feeling that your work has gotten you nowhere. Even when viewed through the lens of “just a spinoff,” Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is disappointing.
  53. 50
    Overall, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer proves to be a substantial disappointment for the franchise. Yes, the game does make large strides in the designing element of Animal Crossing, but it fails to create any sort of experience that is even remotely engaging or captivating.
  54. Nov 7, 2015
    50
    Ultimately, Happy Home Designer feels more like a mini-game from a main Animal Crossing title, albeit one that controls like a dream. As a cheaper eShop release designed to spark interest in collecting the cards it would have been fine, but as a full price game its one-trick-pony style is far too repetitive for some.
  55. Nov 3, 2015
    50
    While Animal Crossing is branching out from simply being a town that players can feel at home in, Happy Home Designer is antithetic in design and scope. It's unlike this series to come up short of ideas, and yet they've somehow managed to run a single one into the ground with Happy Home Designer.
  56. Oct 16, 2015
    50
    While the initial thrill of decorating the game's big spaces is fun, I wish there was something more cohesive that tied Happy Home Designer together--a way to play with friends or an actual village that takes shape as you add more and more denizens.
  57. Sep 24, 2015
    50
    Oddly enough, you aren’t able to decorate a home of your own. You have to live vicariously through your clients as you apparently live out of a car. Happy Home Designer may be fun for people who are ravenous over home design, but without the additional Animal Crossing elements, I never felt like I was putting down any serious roots or working toward a larger purpose.
  58. Sep 22, 2015
    50
    Ultimately, what's exciting about Happy Home Designer is waiting for the enhanced touch controls, yard building, and item catalog to be included in the next main entry of Animal Crossing. Otherwise, Happy Home Designer feels like a standalone expansion that's inexplicably missing the solid foundation that New Leaf should have provided.
  59. 50
    Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer has its moments, but overall it can’t escape the feeling of being a superficial game.
  60. Oct 2, 2015
    40
    I ultimately concluded that it's not meant to be that deep. It's just a boring game.
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  1. Dec 8, 2015
    Given Animal Crossing’s sickeningly cutesy look and feel, it’s tempting to play tricks on it, to fool its adorably simple-minded denizens into living in squalor and liking it. But the game is just too sincere to prank, the way that toys can’t feel embarrassed of how they’re played with.
User Score
7.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 132 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 132
  2. Negative: 22 out of 132
  1. Sep 27, 2015
    2
    This game is not worth 40$. its a terribly shallow game with no replayability. you can't even make your own house or do basic stuff likeThis game is not worth 40$. its a terribly shallow game with no replayability. you can't even make your own house or do basic stuff like change your clothes. there is no rating system so no matter how you design the house the villager will compliment you. their banter is short and is really lazilly done. this doesn't feel like a Nintendo game at all.

    2/10
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 1, 2015
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I downloaded this game because it was Animal Crossing and because I have absolutely loved every game. I kind of figured that home decorating would be the focus here, and since I love that aspect of the AC games, I thought I would like this. I wasn't prepared for the disappointment. The game is not challenging. At all. If a client asked for a blue house and you gave them a pink house... you'd still get raving reviews. I would have liked to have seen some more challenge and thought put into the IN-GAME-rating system so that I could feel like I needed to put effort into playing. There's isn't a risk of getting a bad review and therefore there isn't any real reward. The collector in me feels no joy when new items appear to use. This is because I really don't have to do anything to "collect" items... I could just open up the characters' "must have items" and say "ok! I'm done!" I hate that there isn't a town. I can't walk around a town and see all the houses I've decorated lined up in the places I've put them. The only way to see them is if I drive there. It would have been amazing to decorate a complete town. Alas, no. After completing a home I just have this empty feeling that my work is sitting somewhere I will never really see because I can't see it in a town. You can't interact with the characters. Not really. The conversations all seem to be the same too. I paid the same price I would for a full AC game yet there isn't any player interaction but I have to pay MORE for these silly little cards? No. That doesn't even interest me. In fact it kind of irritates me because of the price thing. Speaking of player interaction... What is the big deal with collecting emotions? I will never see another live player... this just feels like a waste of game space. I could see this game being around $25-$30. It's something you could casually do when bored and the design aspect of it is amazing. I love how they've made decorating so easy. And I love you can decorate exteriors. I would love this idea to be implemented into the next full Animal Crossing game but I never want to see another AC dedicated to just one aspect if it will be this disjointed and un-challenging. In fact it would be very neat if each character you created could have a different job... One be the mayor... the other a designer... etc.

    So if you're looking for something mindless to do to pass the time... wait until this goes on clearance.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 1, 2015
    4
    Although I'm a huge fan of the Animal Crossing series, this game thoroughly disappointed me. There is no real motivation, as you can obtain noAlthough I'm a huge fan of the Animal Crossing series, this game thoroughly disappointed me. There is no real motivation, as you can obtain no items, clothes, or money. It gets very repetitive, as well. After playing for only a few days, I already am finding myself bored with the game. The villager reactions (to your designs) are pretty much all the same. There's not much to do, as well. In the regular animal crossing games, one can go fishing, dig fossils, swim, dive, garden, shop, talk to villagers (who actually have important things to say), etc. In this game, you can only design houses and visit places (where you can literally do nothing, but stare). It's just so boring. Also, it doesn't let you save until you finish up an entire day. So, basically, if you're in the middle of designing a house, you can't save. Which sucks. The only cool things in this game include: you can completely customize your character's facial features/change your skin color, you can add 'sound' (not music, but actual sound effects) to a room, and you can change the design of a store-including the interior and exterior (but you cannot shop there or really do anything with it). This game is not nearly as well done as most of the Animal Crossing games and I wouldn't recommend it. Full Review »