Alongside the massive, free 2.0 update to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Nintendo has released the first paid DLC for the game. In this DLC, titled Happy Home Paradise, players are hired to design the dream vacation homes of clients along an archipelago of islands. With a price tag of $25, does Happy Home Paradise bring enough to the table to be worth the entry fee? We certainly think so, but if you're unsure then let us break down just how it works and what you can expect upon purchasing the DLC.
After you've purchased and downloaded the DLC, your character will be called by Tom Nook, requesting that you come to the airport to meet a new visitor. This visitor is a pink otter named Lottie, and she has a proposition for you: come to work for her at her new company named Paradise Planning and design dream vacation homes for clients from all over. Upon accepting this offer, you'll be able to access the DLC content by going to Orville at the airport and requesting to go to work. After making this request the first time, you'll be shown a small clip depicting some of the many islands that are available to be decorated before eventually landing on the main island. From here, you'll be introduced to Niko, a gray langur monkey with an energetic attitude who will guide you to the office.
In addition to Lottie and Niko, there's a shy Manatee named Wardell who is in charge of selling furniture and souvenirs at the office. These furniture items switch every day, so it's advised to check them out as part of your day-to-day routine. Along with furniture, you can also purchase souvenir chocolates. These chocolates, while having the ability to be eaten for one point of energy, are much better off being used as gifts for villagers on your home island. If you gift a villager the chocolates, you'll have the option to invite them to the paradise islands and design their dream homes as well! Another thing to note is that you don't purchase these items with bells, but rather with a new currency called Poki, which you will earn by completing homes for your clients.
Before you can get started with work, you must first get dressed for the part! While the options are somewhat limited, you'll still have some creative liberties when it comes to how you look when on the job. After you have picked the style that works best for you, then it's time to start making Poki! The first client is pre-determined, but afterward, it is completely random who will show up as a client.
This first client acts as your tutorial for the DLC as it shows you the steps toward a successful job. First, you'll have a meeting with the client, where they will divulge an idea of what they want. Along with a title to clue you in on what to design around, the client will also give you a list of items that must be placed at the home. After the meeting, you'll go with Niko and the client to an island (the first one is chosen for you, but afterward, it is up to you to determine where to build the home on a 7x7 grid map) where the meat of the DLC appears. From here, you're more or less set loose to design the home however you think would look best. There are always certain options given to you that fit the design style; however, previous items unlocked from other clients will also be available, so the more homes you design the more options you'll have for customization!
To even further emphasize the ability to customize towards your liking, players have the ability to access all variations of items from the furniture menu. In addition, any bridges or inclines present on the island when you start can be altered, though it seems there is not an option to add or remove them. Also unavailable is the ability to terraform, though paths may still be placed. The home itself can be moved and customized as well; aside from ensuring that you place the furniture required by the client, there really isn't much to hold players back from designing however they please! Once the home is complete both inside and out, simply speak with the client and a short video will be presented where they check out the finished product. It is also encouraged that players take a photo during the video to add to their logs, so they can remember how each home was designed. Those logs are accessible through the Happy Home Network App, received through Lottie after your second successful job.
While it may seem like that's the DLC summarized, there's actually a bit more to it than one might expect. For example, in addition to the client homes, a variety of facilities will unlock after meeting a quota of satisfied clients. These facilities, including a school, restaurant, cafe, hospital, and apparel shop all gain the ability to be designed and filled by residents on the vacation islands. They also each have their own purpose, being utilized not just as a way to introduce a variety of new features when designing, but also as ways to get new recipes or items. The restaurant offers players the ability to learn a new cooking DIY recipe once a day, while the cafe gives players the option to spend Poki on food and drink items that they may not be able to craft themselves yet. The school will allow the player to learn various design skills as they become available, and the hospital will give a special hospital-themed item once a day. Finally, the apparel shop will act as another place to buy new fashionable clothes and accessories with Poki.
We mentioned before that there are new design techniques to be learned throughout the DLC. These include ideas like the ability to change room sizes, the addition of wall partitions, countertops and pillars, and even the ability to add ambient sounds to the homes. The more homes you design, the more you'll unlock! The final unlockable ability is awarded after 30 homes have been designed. At that point, players will unlock the ability to redesign homes on their base island. After that, you'll have experienced all that the DLC has to offer. While it sounds like a task that can be achieved rather quickly, it's easy to become invested in a client's home making sure everything is just right. Do that 30 times (not including the facilities and all the customization they offer as well) and you have a DLC that will last you for quite some time. This isn't even including all of the other tasks that already fill an Animal Crossing player's daily schedule, so the only way you'll find this DLC coming up short is if you're intentionally trying to blast your way to the end. Otherwise, it is an excellent addition that manages to separate itself from the base game while still offering a play style that blends in well with the base game's daily list of activities to fulfill.
If your favorite part about Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the ability to customize your home, then we simply cannot recommend Happy Homes Paradise enough! The ability to customize exactly how you want while also adding new designing possibilities makes this DLC easily worth the $25 asking price.
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