In the Nintendo DS era my longstanding best friend was an albino rabbit called Ruby. We hung out at the beach. We exchanged gifts. We would even catch a KK Slider show at the museum sometimes. She called me Lil' Ears. I thought this was cute but also anatomically accurate. Then one day she moved away and promptly appeared in the village of my friend Hugh. She calls him Lil' Ears now. To this day Hugh posts the world's cutest ransom pictures on my Facebook wall.
I have not entirely forgiven him for this.
It is invariably this kind of experience that defines Animal Crossing. It's a game without traditional goals and with no hint of a score. You reward comes purely from your simple existence in a town filled with frequently crazy, anthropomorphised animals. With Animal Crossing: New Leaf for 3DS the usual zen activities of fishing, fossil collecting and bug catching return. This time round however players also pick up mayoral duties letting you dictate what kind of village your bizarre critters will inhabit.
Animal Crossing is pure charm from top to bottom. The beautiful papercraft art style looks amazing on the new handheld's 3D screen. Interactions with the village inhabitants are characterised by a seemingly endless stream of whimsical non-sequiturs. If you are not already discussing turnip prices with an enterprising boar on a weekly basis I wholeheartedly recommend you pick up a copy of New Leaf.
I'm expecting Ruby to move back any day now.
Tell us your Animal Crossing experience in the comments :)