(Checking back in with Chicago! Welcome to Janel, a guest poster from Second City who is trying out for the editor's role. Comment away.)
Animal Crossing: Wild World is a game for the Nintendo DS portable system. Originally a Japanese game called “Oideyo Doubutsu no Mori”, Animal Crossing depicts a real-time town that the player moves to and sets up house in. It is an open-ended game, with no way to “win”, but lots of Japanese-style wackiness to explore. The player is a homeowner, with a mortgage to pay (no renovations until it’s paid off) neighbors (both sweet and surly) to get to know, and, most importantly, rooms to furnish!
Yes, a huge part of this game is interior design. Collect furniture (we like the classic Chinese “Exotic” collection), buy wallpaper, floor coverings, plants and art. Goods are obtained at the local department store or through the shady black market dealer who arrives mysteriously once a week. Attendance at the monthly flea market where town folk sell their treasures at great prices is a must. Color and placement of pieces is important, as in-game luck is based on the feng shui score. Adjusting interiors to maximize good feng shui means more presents and money will be on the way.
Can’t find a carpet or wall paper that’s really YOU? The game allows the player to design patterns and apply them to walls, floor, and clothing. Designs can be sold at the boutique and you may see a neighbor wearing it proudly. Just like real life, finding the perfect piece is a worthwhile quest, because the HRA - the Happy Room Academy - will be checking up. Once a week, a letter arrives with a score on the current room design. The HRA is hard to please, so be sure to develop a thick skin, because it’s not always easy to be ahead of the design curve…even virtually. - Janel