Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is a spinoff of the Animal Crossing series for the Nintendo 3DS. Don’t go into it expecting a full Animal Crossing experience. Happy Home Designer is still loaded with the charm that you would expect from an Animal Crossing game.

In Happy Home Designer, you play one of Tom Nook’s employees. Your job is to redecorate everything. When you redecorate villagers’ homes, they’ll tell you what kind of look and feel they’re hoping to achieve, and then when you’re done they tell you how well you did. Completing requests will give you more items to decorate with, and you can keep going back to fix things up over time. You also redecorate public spaces, like schools and shops. And it’s not just interior design!

You can design gardens and yards and exteriors of buildings. And you can place all kinds of gadgets and accessories. Redecorating is done with the stylus, and reviewers are saying it’s easier than decorating in traditional Animal Crossing games.

With the Happy Home Network, you can upload your designs and show them to other players. Then you can visit designs created by others and give them star ratings.

Even though it lacks the sprawling village-life gameplay of a main series game, Happy  Home Designer has all the familiar Animal Crossing characters. That means more great, adorable interactions with them. You’ll be able to go back and check on the people you helped and see how they’re doing in their newly decorated homes.

This game is compatible with the new Animal Crossing card amiibos that are also coming out on September 25. More details about amiibo support for Happy Home Designer will be announced later.

This new design gameplay is a great idea because it keeps the charm of the original games without making players feel as if they’re paying money for the same thing again and again. It’s slated for release on September 25 of this year.

This article was written by

Simone de Rochefort is a game journalist, writer, podcast host, and video producer who does a prolific amount of Stuff. You can find her on Twitter @doomquasar, and hear her weekly on tech podcast Rocket, as well as Pixelkin's Gaming With the Moms podcast. With Pixelkin she produces video content and devotes herself to Skylanders with terrifying abandon.