None of us could have predicted it — well, okay, one of us could — but Happy Home Designer, the spin-off 3DS game that trimmed Animal Crossing down to just the home decor mechanic, is being added to Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Named “Happy Home Paradise“, this paid DLC is basically a spin-off of a spin-off, which adds a ton of new content, mechanics, and characters to the game, alongside the Version 2.0 free update (if you want to know what’s included in that, check out our round-up!).
Here’s everything we know so far…
Happy Home Paradise is a bolt-on to the main game that has you working in a resort that provides vacation homes to presumably loaded customers. The villagers will have specific requests — much like Happy Home Designer, they’ll have furniture they want to include in the design, or perhaps a general theme they’d like to see — but it’s largely up to you, the designer, to be creative.
Also like Happy Home Designer, there are a bunch of different plots to place the vacation homes on, ranging from sunny beaches, to autumnal mountain ranges, to snowy forests. You can change the season, too!
As you play, you’ll unlock more design options, which can in turn be used back home. Villagers on your island might even request your services for their houses, too…
Importantly, if you buy the DLC through the Nintendo Switch Online subscription, and then you later cancel the subscription for any reason, you won’t lose access to the new furniture, partition walls, lighting, soundscapes, and counters. You won’t be able to visit the archipelago any more, though, but re-subscribing or purchasing the DLC separately will grant you access again.
Here are the brass tacks for you:
- Pre-orders for the DLC begin on October 29th
- The release date is the 5th November, same as the free update
- The DLC alone will cost $24.99 / €24,99 / £22.49
- The DLC will be included with the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack, which also gives you access to N64 and Mega Drive (Genesis) games, and costs $49.99 / €39,99 / £34.99 for a year, or $79.99 / €69,99 / £59.99 for the Family Pass
- You’ll be able to access the Happy Home Paradise content via the airport, by telling Orville you “want to go to work”
- It’s completely optional!
Happy Home Paradise is centred around creating beautiful, lightly-themed vacation homes for characters who are looking for something specific. To that end, there’s a ton of new stuff to discover:
Wendell the Walrus seems to have a distant cousin: Wardell the Manatee, who appears to run the shop inside the Happy Home Paradise HQ. He’s adorable, and we love him.
There’s also Niko, the tiny, cute monkey who’s wearing the HHP uniform, so we assume he’s helping Lottie out, too.
Design Outdoor Spaces
Much like Happy Home Designer, HHP will let you decorate the gardens of your clients. You can put pretty much any furniture outside, and fence in a little front yard, too.
Again, like Happy Home Designer (sorry, we’re going to be saying that a lot), you can design facilities: Schools, theatres, restaurants, and more, which will actually come to life as your villagers do various jobs within them — presumably dictated by the items you add to the rooms. How cool is that?
Change Weather, Season, and Time of Day
Your house looks cute, but it would look cuter in Spring, don’t you think? Or maybe a nice Summer sunset? Your wish is Happy Home Paradise’s command, since you can change the time of day and the season to best show off your handiwork.
You can change the size of your clients’ houses (within reason) to suit your grand designs. You’d think they’d all want the biggest house, but no. Sometimes small is cute!
Partition Walls, Counters, and Pillars
This one will make some of you weak at the knees: Partition walls can be added to divide up large rooms into mini-rooms; counter height can be changed; and pillars are entirely aesthetic, but break up the room a little bit in interesting visual ways.
Light Levels and Soundscapes
If it’s more of a ~vibe~ you’re going for with a design, try lowering the light level, making it a little softer and warmer, and setting up some ambient sound.
This one’s a bit weird, admittedly. You can “polish” pretty much every piece of furniture, which will sometimes give it an extra effect. The trailer showed off furniture sparkling, and butterflies flying around certain things, like plants.
Earn and Spend Poki
You’ll get paid for your home decor work in Poki, which can be spent only at the Happy Home shop. Seems a bit like scrip to us, honestly — but the furniture you can buy with Poki is “rare”, so we can probably overlook it this one time. We just really hope Wardell and Lottie aren’t in league to be exploitative bosses.
Take The New Content Home With You
Once you’ve remodelled enough homes, you’ll be able to take all that furniture and new stuff back to your island, where you can use it on your homes, and even…
Remodel Your Island’s Villager Homes
…other people’s homes. Once you’re a renowned designer, your villagers might finally realise that they have awful taste, and look to you for help. GOOD.
Series 5 amiibo Cards
Series 5 will add 48 new amiibo cards, including… new villagers! And some returning ones that we haven’t seen in a while, or who were previously only in the Japanese Animal Crossing games (in bold). Let’s list them:
- Sasha (Bunny)
- Ione (Squirrel)
- Tiansheng (Monkey)
- Shino (Antelope)
- Marlo (Hamster)
- Petri (Mouse)
- Cephalobot (Robot/Octopus)
- Quinn (Eagle)
- Chabwick (Penguin)
- Zoe (Anteater)
- Ace (Bird)
- Rio (Ostrich)
- Frett (Dog)
- Azalea (Rhino)
- Roswell (Alligator)
- Faith (Koala)
So, there it is! The first Animal Crossing: New Horizons Paid DLC. Quite a lot of content for just $25 — but perhaps not what everyone was hoping for! Let us know your thoughts in the usual place.