Animal Crossing: New Leaf is an open-ended game with no linear story or endgame. The player is encouraged to spend time taking part in activities such as fishing, bug hunting, digging for fossils and becoming friends with the other villagers in your town. New to Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the player takes on the role of the Mayor and faces new and exciting challenges in helping to develop the town for the better.
There are many different items that you can collect - from furniture to fruit! There is plenty to keep you playing everyday. As with all Animal Crossing games, Animal Crossing: New Leaf is played in real time. This means that the activities you perform are linked to the time of day and the season. In the world of Animal Crossing, Towns observe a number of holidays which are similar to the real world. A special Event or Holiday happens at least once a month and often involves participation from the whole town.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf shares a lot of content with the previous titles in Animal Crossing series. A number of features have returned as well as expanded to include more content. There are also a number of new features only available in Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
- Nook's Homes is a new business owned by Tom Nook. This is where the player upgrades their home, as well as selection various external style options. Lyle works here too and provides HHA advice to the player.
- Club LOL is a new entertainment location owned by Dr. Shrunk. This is where D.J. K.K. (previously K.K. Slider) preforms different music sets including dance nights and acoustic evenings.
- With the return of The Able Sisters, a new section of their shop is available. Their other sister called Labelle runs the accessories business within the same building.
- The Dream Suite is a new feature that allows players to visit other towns in a "dream state".
- Gardening Store
- Happy Home Showcase
- Bug & Fish list increased to 70
- New fruits - lychees, durians, bananas, mangoes, lemons and persimmons
- Perfect Fruit can be spawn from native fruit types
- 40 emotions to learn
- Pants, shoes, and socks can be purchased
- New Hamster species
- New Deer species
- Over 300 potential neighbours
- New personality types "Smug" and "Uchi"
- Up to 10 villagers living in a town at once
- Megaphone tool
- New face options
- Fruit can be stacked in players inventories - up to 9 pieces in one slot
- Swimming and diving
- Ore from rocks
- QR code reader available at The Able Sisters
- Fortune cookies
- Option to hang items on the wall
- Jellyfish can sting the player when swimming
- Redd now offers statues and sculptures along with his usual paintings