Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise DLC Review

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While Animal Crossing became one of the most sought-after games during the dreaded lockdown. By now most people have got as far as they can on their islands.  Although there has been a massive free update that has added a lot of longevity to the game. The desire for more content is always there! Enter the Happy Home Paradise DLC.

Happy Home Paradise Meets Grand Designs

The new Happy Home Paradise DLC can either be bought separately or is included for free if you take out/upgrade to the new Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership. Let’s see what the one and only paid for DLC adds to what we have already!  Remember to like, share and follow us for more awesome reviews!

Gameplay

Happy Home Paradise is activated via the airport where you meet Tom Nook who introduces us to Lottie. Lottie runs Paradise Planning that creates holiday homes for a group of islands.  You are offered a job to work for her whereby you will be in charge of renovating and redesigning existing holiday homes.  None of the work takes place on your own island and you will use Dodo Airlines to visit the several islands that are available on a map.  You get paid in Poki currency for your efforts instead of Bells. More about that later.

Flying to your “work” island you are greeted by Nico who will later help to take you to the islands to do the designing. On the beach, you meet prospective clients who each have their own requests/needs for their dream holiday home.  Donning your work clothes and chatting with Lottie in the office you can then chat to your customers before selecting a home idea to proceed with.

Animal Crossing Happy Homes DLC
Lottie’s office has some cool items to buy.

The main work island has abandoned buildings that Lottie allows you to turn into facilities such as a school, restaurant, and beachfront cafe.  These are for the holiday visitors to use as well as an opportunity for them to work in.

Requests from potential holiday homeowners are specific and there are usually 3 items/criteria that you need to achieve. For example “I would like to relax and play the piano all day”.  The items would then be a grand piano, music stand and piano stool.  The items are delivered in boxes to the holiday home that you select from the map. It is worth noting that each of the islands on the map has its own environment therefore you need to also be wary of any requests for sunshine, hot or cold climes.

Animal Crossing Happy Homes DLC
The map of holiday locations.

Once you have chosen the holiday home that you are going to renovate you can begin to get creative. Anything from the location of the house within the allocated plot, exterior looks such as the walls, roof and door as well as the general design can be tweaked. Inside the property, you begin with one large room that you can edit as usual however you can make the room larger as well as adjust entryways and windows.  The lighting can be changed to different hues and partition walls can be built along with counters.

Animal Crossing Happy Homes DLC
Home designing templates for the outside.

While there are elements to the DLC that is similar to games such as Sims. There are no sprawling out rooms nor is there a massive interactive element to it all. Two-storey holiday homes do come later on. It is worth noting that DIY creations that you have learnt on your main island can be built for the holiday home. As you progress through the DLC you can unlock new features.  Your designer status increases leading to new work clothes. There are also other items such as soundscapes that help create an ambience within the room such as waves crashing, birds calling, etc. Waldo teaches you have to dust objects to make them sparkle!

Animal Crossing Happy Homes DLC
Another satisfied customer!

Once the design is finished you can take photos of your creativity that are then included in your portfolio.  Other gamers can look at your portfolio for ideas and inspiration. The Poki currency that you earn through your successful renovations depends on the type of property that you have worked on. This can be spent in the office shop to buy items that you can take back to your original island.  Anything from furniture, plants, and decorations are available. As well as souvenir chocolates that when gifted to your islanders, may lead to inquiries from them to have a holiday home.

Animal Crossing Happy Homes DLC
Make sure to include the criteria items into your design!

Graphics & Audio

With the Happy Home Paradise DLC there is not a massive change graphically from the original base game that you all know and love.  There are additional cosmetics/items and characters that add value to the game but other than that there are no differences.

The home planning island has its own soundtrack. whilest there are other fanfares throughout with the final holiday home reveal being a little game show-like. The soundscapes feature is a good feature to change the ambience of a holiday home. However, it takes a lot of game time to finally unlock. Still, it is good to not have everything available at the start as progression is fun.

Animal Crossing Happy Homes DLC
Be as funky as you want!

Longevity

As with Animal Crossing, the Happy Home Paradise DLC is fairly contagious when it comes to playing it.  There doesn’t appear to be that much of a limit when it comes to the number of holiday homes that you can have.  There are many features, designs and enhancements to unlock via your progression. You are only really limited by your own creativity.

Final Thoughts

Animal Crossing Happy Home Paradise DLC brings a lot more to the original game as well as the recently free update. It feels as if there is a lot more purpose as you have another reason to play the game. While many had redesigned their main island several times over and collected all you could find. This is a welcome final chapter to keep the game alive for a lot longer.

Animal Crossing Happy Home Paradise DLC receives the Thumb Culture Gold Award.

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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