After a packed Animal Crossing presentation, the Happy Home Paradise DLC has been released. Nintendo states that the paid DLC is the last of New Horizons. This DLC offers players the opportunity to start a new career as vacation home designers. The experience costs $24.99 on its own, but if you pick up a Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership, Happy Home Paradise comes bundled in for no extra cost. Is the design experience worth it?
With several hours, multiple happy vacation home clients, and even a promotion under my belt, my biggest takeaway is that this expansion holds little for you if you don’t love designing spaces. Happy Home Paradise may not suit you if you’re looking for a way to make a living in Animal Crossing, or to find treasures at the Stalk Marketplace. However, if you get giddy thinking about pulling together the perfect themed room, this DLC will let you design to your heart’s content.
The expansion starts with the easiest job interview I’ve ever experienced. Lottie (a comic strip character who debuted in Happy Home Designer six years back) calls me to offer me a job at Paradise Planning. Despite my lack of experience, and ridiculously half-scuba/half-chef look, she offers me a position. The aquatic culinary look didn’t cut it for long, though, as Lottie had me change into a uniform after meeting my new adorable co-workers, Niko and Wardell. The process of creating dreamy vacation homes and finding clients is predictable after the initial trial.
Armed with my official company clipboard, I comb the expansion’s hub island for would-be customers, a task made much easier because everyone on the island is dreaming about their perfect vacation home. Just stand close to a vacationer to get a glimpse of what kind of design they’re looking for. Don’t like the idea of building a robot factory or a home filled with mushrooms? You can move on to the next villager. When I eventually discover someone with an intriguing vision, I consult with them, pick a location for their home, and learn about their décor requirements.
Then it’s off to the site to gussy up the home’s exterior and interior. Before you even enter the home, there are many options to landscape and change the appearance of the property. You can change the appearance of bridges and weather conditions, switch building types, set up fences or plant flowers. Once inside, the customer’s required décor – which has been conveniently shipped to the location ahead of your arrival – is waiting for me alongside a helpful list of recommended furniture pieces and design options that match the client’s creative concept.
But don’t worry about straying far from these suggestions; it’s almost impossible to disappoint the would-be homeowner. As long as I had the mandatory items in the house, I had a happy customer – even if I didn’t decorate anything. After several successful jobs I began to unlock additional features such as polishing furniture to shine or a unique DIY recipe. At the end of each project, I’m also rewarded in Poki, an in-game currency that only works on the hub island.
I’m not a fan of Poki. I can use it in Paradise Planning’s small store to nab unusual household goods, but I can’t directly spend it on my home island, which limits its usefulness dramatically. Likewise, taking pictures of my interior design masterpieces for the company’s portfolio is weirdly restrictive. The game only allows me to submit the last picture I took, and I’ve lost a few of my favorite shots by accidentally taking another photo. However, like some oddly frustrating features in the base game, these aren’t enough to stand in the way of having a good time in the DLC.
Besides a few hard-to-find materials – like glowing moss and vines – a handful of fresh furniture items, DIYs, and decorating techniques, it doesn’t seem like players will miss out on too much if they skip Happy Home Paradise. Especially since the free update that released last week has introduced so much to the game, like cooking and boat tours with Kapp’n. Animal Crossing users who enjoy creating creative homes can use Happy Home Paradise. This is an excellent way to get your creativity flowing without having to do all of the tedious work of customizing or crafting.
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