I was given Happy Home Designer for Christmas but was pretty much over it within two weeks which was pretty disappointing to be honest. While super cute and being able to see more of the AC characters we know and love, the game is very limited in comparison to the old true and tested formula. You don't get your own house (or rather you don't get to see it). You don't get to explore the town beyond walking around the outsides of the buildings you help design. No fishing, collecting shells, catching bugs, and no events. Overall, the game gets very repetitive and boring quickly.
Don't get me wrong, I had fun with it. I was able to interior design restaurants, hospitals and shops, and schools, and different houses and that was a lot of fun for a while at least. It would be a great game for young children. The issues for me were with no sense of challenge whatsoever. Nothing costs you anything so you don't have to work for it like you do in way with the previous games - selling things to pay off your mortgage and expand and decorate your house - and it literally doesn't matter what you do, as long as you keep the things they provide you with first up (usually 3 items) they seem to love it. You're provided with a brief but it seems that it doesn't matter if you don't follow it at all.
You're called to design houses for various residents and first off you're supposed to pick a plot of land on a map to put the house on. Weirdly, it seems you can keep using the exact same plot of land over and over. I began picturing a stack of pointy roofed houses on top of each other. You can also have different sized houses but they're all the same size inside no matter what?!
The main plot line which I enjoyed the most was to design the municipal buildings. But once they're all done (and it really doesn't take long) the credits roll and you're just left with houses to do for infinite time till you power off. You can redesign the public buildings of course but by this point I was pretty much done with the game. Amiibos also seem to add very little to the game except that you can design the house of that amiibo character if you want.
So my final verdict is: cute game but not recommended for anyone over 10 or who likes variety and challenge in their games. Especially not for the current price. I'd sooner recommend Minecraft or Animal Crossing New Leaf.
Geek out! :)