They're whiny, materialistic, gossipy and co-dependent. If they weren't so darn cute, I would really hate the little animal people who populate Rooty, a seaside village I inadvertently became mayor of in "Animal Crossing: New Leaf," the fourth edition of the adorable Nintendo social simulator that casts players not just as citizens but as managers of their own towns.
"New Leaf" (Nintendo, for the 3DS, $34.99) doesn't try to uproot the humble formula established in previous "Animal Crossing" video games for other Nintendo systems, focusing on simple virtual pursuits like chatting with neighbors, catching fish, unearthing fossils, collecting furniture and planting trees. This time, diving for treasures has been tossed in.
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