Amiibo Festival has more going for it than first appears. It takes the basic Animal Crossing premise and combines it with a variety of board games to create a seasonal laid back experience ideal for the whole family — even the very young.

As you can see there is more to it than just the board game. While that central element is well matched to young players, the mini-games extend the fun considerably and offer ongoing experiences in their own right.

  • Dessert Island Escape – This was the stand out game for me, a one-player challenge where you control a team of three different characters. Each character has different powers, but they’ve got to work together to gather materials and get off the island. It really could be a full game in its own right with a bit of expansion.
  • Acorn Chase – A game where you must collect the acorns before being caught by Resetti. The twist here is that you can only control the movement by placing different colored amiibo cards on the Wii U Gamepad. It turns into a challenge of memory, dexterity and fast reactions.
  • Quiz Show – Test yourself against your friends in an Animal Crossing-themed quiz show.
  • Balloon Island – Reminded me of Monkey Target in Monkey Ball. Each player uses an amiibo card to control the descent of their character and must time this perfectly to land on the target for a score multiplier.
  • Mystery Campers – This is like the Mastermind board game where you must try to guess which of 6 amiibo are hiding in tents by trial and error. Each time you are told how many you got right. Applied logic and strategy are key to winning.
  • Fruit Path – Players aim to outwit their opponents by using the dice symbol on amiibo cards to advance their player in an experience that’s a little similar to Pontoon.
  • amiibo Card Battle – Players pick six amiibo cards and then take turns to draw one each. The aim is to match the different star signs on the cards with that that appear in the crystal ball.
  • Resetti Bop – Whack a Mole in Animal Crossing style. Here though you must not only place the amiibo card of the right color on the Gamepad to trigger the hammer but also be sure that you will win the Rock-Paper-Scissors challenge on the card you choose.

Overall it’s a great package and unique way to introduce a young audience to the world of Animal Crossing.