Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS features a big change from previous titles like Animal Crossing: City Folk and Animal Crossing: Wild World. The player now starts the game by becoming mayor of their town instead of just owning a house there and paying off a mortgage. As mayor, some actions players can take include determining the layout of their town, setting shop hours, placing various structures and decorations outside (bridges, benches, roads, lampposts, etc.), creating designs for both clothes and furniture, altering the look of City Hall, and setting up exhibitions on the second floor of the museum. The mayor's secretary, Isabelle, a clumsy, absent-minded dog, is always available to help in the mayor's office.
Other features include the ability to mount furniture (i.e. clocks, picture frames, etc.) on the walls of the player's home, the ability to swim in the town's ocean, visit with multiple animals in a single house, and meet animals that follow or chase the player around the town.
During Nintendo's financial briefing in April 2012, Satoru Iwata hinted at Animal Crossing post-launch downloadable content (DLC) to lengthen the game's lifespan. In October 2012, Iwata clarified that the game's DLC would be free of charge, describing the addition of paid DLC to a game like Animal Crossing as "unwholesome."
Animal Crossing: New Leaf released on November 8, 2012 in Japan, June 9, 2013 for North America, and June 14, 2013 for Europe.
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