Noticeable by it's absence from Nintendo's line-up at this year's LA based gaming-expo, E3, we've heard very little about Animal Crossing for a long, long time. Known as Animal Crossing: Jump Out in the land of the rising sun, the animal based life sim has certainly taken it's sweet time to find its way to release, having been first announced along with the 3DS console itself in 2010 – but with the game set to hit Japan later this year, the wait should soon be over.
Animal Crossing is one of those games that's deceptive in it's depth. Along similar lines to the Sims, the game involves furnishing houses, making friends and earning money – except Animal Crossing has you living amongst a bunch of brightly coloured animals. With less in the way of career opportunities than even in Spain, in order to make ends meet and pay off your perpetually increasing mortgage, you dedicate your time to fetching and carrying for the town's inhabitants, catching fish and insects, and digging for fossils, which you can then flog for funds. But your life isn't as bleak as it sounds – with no 9 till 5 job dragging you down, you're free to do largely as you please as you work on expanding and furnishing your little house.
Customisation is the name of the game for the latest instalment – taking over the role of mayor, you can change how everything about your little town looks, from the designs of buildings, to placing bridges and benches, to deciding which shops are available and the times they're allowed to trade. Not just limited to everyone's favourite exploitative raccoon landlord, Tom Nook's housing service; a shoe shop, a fully-fledged shopping centre, a garden store and more are promised.
Much like it's predecessors, the main draw of the game is the ability to decorate your own house and fill it with as much crap as you can – and this too has been expanded for the 3DS. Whereas before you could freely decide on the interior of your home, the outside stayed much the same, except perhaps the colour of the roof. But this time round, you can also change how the exterior looks, with a range of doors, windows and rooftops to personalise your home, letting you make your abode look like anything from a futuristic space-house, to a building that actually stood in ancient Japan. The Happy Room Academy are bound to be thrilled - especially now you can alter the colours of all your furniture so EVERYTHING matches.
Hitting Japanese 3DSs on November the 8th, Animal Crossing has also been slated for an early 2013 release date in America – so fingers crossed we won't be much further behind. In the meantime, we have a trailer that we can't really understand because it's all in Japanese – but at least the game looks pretty: