This post is produced in paid partnership with Nintendo UK and Animal Crossing.

If there were ever a way to keep calm cool and carry on this sweltering summer, then it’d have to be with the much-anticipated Animal Crossing: New Leaf launch. I am absolutely thrilled that I’m working with Nintendo UK(!!) again over the next few weeks. This time, to share my Animal Crossing: New Leaf diary as I become mayor of my own town and attempt to build a ‘Perfect’ town.

I’ve been a huge fan of Nintendo games almost my entire life. Mum would frequently take the Gameboy away from my brother and I because we’d play on it (and later, our own Gameboy Advances, etc.) after homework time up until bedtime. The Animal Crossing series is one of the most cosy, heart-warming ones I’ve experienced yet; New Leaf being the fourth in the franchise. The concept of Animal Crossing: New Leaf is simple: you’re the town mayor and must continually improve the town according to villager requests. You can catch bugs and fishes, excavate fossils, and more, to earn Bells and build your town from the ground up.

But less of the talking and more of the doing…! Without further ado, here’s a glimpse into my first week as Mayor Mish!

Day One

The first few days of any Animal Crossing game are always the most frantic, I find. When you first open up New Leaf, you’ll be asked to create a new save file. I chat to Rover, who gets the game set up with my name, gender, town name and map choice. Controversially, I reset a few times so that I can get a map I like! It isn’t perfect, but I think it’s the most practical that I’ve seen and I *think* I can polish it up.

I pitch my adorable little tent! It’s tiny, but I can’t wait to decorate it. I’m, historically, awful at decorating, but I really like collecting cute items and furniture that I’d buy in real life given any money… Excitingly, Isabelle (my assistant, ooh la la!) kits me out with all sorts. Like I said, the first day of gameplay is always manic and you end up hitting A a LOT just to get through the story.

After planting the Town Tree and chatting to some of my first villagers, I save and head off to write a blog post. One of the best and worst things about Animal Crossing is that it effectively limits your daily playtime because everything resets overnight, and there’s only so much you can excavate from your town in a day!

Day Two

My main objective today is to flex my bug and fish catching muscles. Tom Nook wants 10,000 Bells from me in order to build my house, so I do that and am pretty much told by Tom to head to Isabelle, so I visit her at the Town Hall and am equipped with tools and advice.

Today, I end up focusing on catching bugs for Isabelle. It’s quite nice to be guided through the first few steps of the game, and after running what feels like a billion errands for her, I manage to nab a Watering Can so that I can get started with making my town look cute. I only play for an hour or so today, as after the onslaught of requests, there’s not a whole lot to do except from catch bugs and fish and my attention span after work is shot.

Day Three

Damn this game is addictive… I actually took my Nintendo 3DS XL to London with me today for the commute! Today, I’m sorting out my town’s approval rating for Isabelle. It took me ages to work how I could do this, and a quick Google tells me things like changing the town tune, putting something up for sale, pulling weeds and donating things to Blathers’ Museum all help. So, I start working on getting to 100% approval. I reach about 45% by dinnertime and then basically run out of weeds to pull and flowers to water, haha.

Day Four

On Day Four, I focus all my efforts on getting to 100% approval. I also finally go to the dock and speak to Tortimer, unlocking a cheeky tropical island that I can visit! Now that Isabelle approves of my town (and why wouldn’t she?!), I can create Public Works Projects and pass Ordinances, which is new to New Leaf, to my knowledge? I opt for Night Life Town, which changes the overall opening hours and curfews within your town. I figured this might be best for my lifestyle, as I spend all day at work and don’t get home from my commute until around 7pm.

My First Impressions of New Leaf

After my first week of playing New Leaf, I’m sold! These games have a curious ability to completely take over your life as you know it. From the beautiful music to the hidden secrets that you can unlock without even realising, I’ve always adored Animal Crossing gameplay. I’m a big fan of the Night Life ordinance that I’ve instated, because I was worried at first that I would be playing ‘slower’ due to the real-time gameplay. Now that’s not even a problem for this working gal!

Have you ever played any of the Animal Crossing games? Will you be investing in New Leaf? Tune in in a few days’ time for my next post.

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