The town is now more customizable than ever before. The player has the power to choose which town to live in, by being given four random pre-set towns when starting the game. Once a town has been chosen, the player (with their mayoral powers), can determine the locations to build new buildings and features, set Town Ordinances and construct public works projects.
There are many projects available, including the return of the Police Station and Post Office, or the camp site that was last seen in Animal Crossing. It allows non-resident villagers to visit, who can then be encouraged to move in. Returning features include the wishing well and bridges, with new features including benches for villagers and the player to sit on.
New Buildings and Locations
Re-Tail is a recycling store which buys items at 20% higher than Nook's old stores in previous games. Reese and Cyrus run it, with Cyrus allowing the player to add their own designs to furniture they bring in.
The Roost is now a separate building from the Museum. The player may also work behind the bar making coffee for other villagers.
The Town Tree, similar to the Wishing Well, is the center piece of each town. Many of the events in the game happen around it, such as Harvest Festival.
Main Street is the main shopping district in the player's town, replacing the City. Many returning features can be found in the street, including Katrina's store, the Museum and the town shop. New to New Leaf is Kicks store, owned by Kicks who first appeared in Animal Crossing: City Folk, including many other new buildings.
The Gardening Store is owned by Leif. He sells a variety of outdoors related items, including flowers, watering cans and saplings.
The Able Sisters store returns in New Leaf. Labelle owns an accessories shop in the same building.
Nook's Homes is owned by Tom Nook and staffed by Lyle. The player can upgrade the appearance of their house and can expand and add rooms, rather than upgrade their house in a set order.
Club LOL is the new entertainment venue replacing The Roost and The Marquee. Dr. Shrunk and K.K. Slider make appearances.
Shampoodle makes a return and is run by Harriet. As well as changing the player's hairstyle, she will also change the color of their eyes by using contacts.
The Happy Home Showcase is managed by Digby. It utilizes the StreetPass feature in the 3DS, by adding homes owned by other players who have been within range of the player's 3DS.
The Dream Suite is a new building managed by Luna. Players can visit the towns of other players using their dream codes. Wendell appears in the dreams to give the player patterns made by the player who owns the town.
Nookling Junction is the shop that is run by Timmy and Tommy and it looks like Nook's Cranny. There are four other Nookling shops as well as the T&T Mart, Super T&T, and T&T Emporium.
The Island from the Nintendo Gamecube games makes a reappearance. Players can visit the Island by going to the pier where Kapp'n will take them. Kapp'n's old brown boat has been upgraded into a white motor boat that can carry extra players connecting over Wi-Fi. As before, Kapp'n sings songs while heading to the island. The songs differ depending on how many other players are visiting.
New tropical fruits and flora native to the island can be brought home to the town, and rare bugs, fruit, flowers, bushes and fish can be found on the Island. The Island has summer weather year-round, allowing players to catch summer-exclusive bugs and fish regardless of the season in their town. Keeping in line with the weather, players can also swim in the ocean. Tortimer now resides on the Island, hosting multi-player mini-games and awarding medals to the winner. Mini-game difficulties range from 1-star to 3-stars, with 1-star being the easiest. Medals can be spent at the Island Gift Shop to buy rare items and furniture.
Villagers are now more diverse. Not only are there new characters, but also new hamster and deer species. Villagers can now shake trees, plant flowers, and enter other buildings, among other things. The maximum number of villagers per town is now 10. Two new personalities have been introduced: Smug and Uchi. Villagers that have moved out can also visit the Main Street. There are 313 potential neighbors in New Leaf - just over double the amount that was available in Animal Crossing: Wild World.
There are 72 bugs and fish in the game, up from 60 in Animal Crossing: City Folk. Bug and fish are much more common on the southern island; sharks will appear more, and large beetles like the Hercules Beetle will go from being rare to uncommon. It is now possible to store bugs and fish in closets and dressers.
New fruits have been introduced: lemons, bananas, mangoes, persimmons, durians and lychees. Native fruit trees (the fruit type that the town started with) can rarely spawn perfect fruit, which sell for more than regular fruit (typically 1,150 Bells) and, when planted in a town that has that fruit as the native fruit, create a profitable but delicate perfect fruit tree that will sprout a few crops of perfect fruit before withering completely.
Other new features
There are new face styles.
There are 40 emotions to obtain. There are 20 on each of two pages.
Pants, shoes, socks, skirts, and full dresses can now be bought.
The player can use megaphones to get their villagers' attention.
K.K. Slider's songs now feature album art, which can be hung on walls.
Fruit can now be stacked in one inventory spot, up to 9 units.
The player can run anywhere barefoot.
The player can swim and dive to get secret sea creatures.
K.K. Slider now works as a DJ at Club LOL, alongside doing performances on Saturday nights. His songs can be bought from Timmy and Tommy's shop once it is a Super T&T.
Gemstones can be found in rocks once a day by striking them with a shovel. Cyrus can be asked to customize an item of furniture with it.
All players within the same town have their own individual house to customize, a change from Animal Crossing: Wild World where all players created within the same town shared the same house.
Patterns made at Able Sisters can be saved as QR codes after unlocking the QR machine. If the player scans a QR code, they will be able to obtain that design. The machine can work with Google images, and pictures too.
House signs are not set up, the animal villagers can choose anywhere in town to place their house.
Items can be hung on the wall.
Fortune Cookies can be bought from Timmy and Tommy for 2 play coins each (the coins earned by walking with the 3DS step counter). The fortunes can be exchanged for either consolation prizes (random furniture normally sold in the store) or an item specifically corresponding to that fortune which is part of the Nintendo set.
Bamboo can be grown.
Labelle now works with Mabel and Sable, running an accessories shop (Labelle is apparently the middle sister of the bunch).
Jellyfish in the sea can sting the player as well as bees. Bee hives can be picked up and sold.
GracieGrace has a shop built in the final upgrade of Tom Nook's store (the third floor)
A second floor for the museum can be added as a project, allowing the player to create their own exhibits.
Kapp'n has a family that lives and works on the Island.
The player now responds to questions by nodding their head to yes or no responses.
The player can dance to music played in Club LOL (By using the D-pad) on nights other than Saturday.
Redd's forgery scam has expanded beyond paintings and now includes statues and sculptures. All forged items now have visible flaws, allowing sharp-eyed players to avoid wasting their money.
There are two new villager personalities, Smug and Uchi.
By streetpassing, the player can get items like ice cream, party horns and balloons from other players.
Using Nintendo Zone, the player can obtain special items.
The player can use colored contacts to change their eye color.
The player, once having built the Café, can work there part-time and serve coffees to villagers and special characters. Performing well results in a gift from an exclusive furniture set.
When they have bought coffee for four days in a row, the player can get a "coffee to go".
New hairstyles and colors of hair appear.
Grass Deterioration is not as devastating as before. Planted flowers will regenerate grass fairly quickly.
The villagers throw Birthday Parties.
I also highly suggest checking out http://www.animalcrossingcommunity.com/ and joining the community there. I have met some really nice people to play with on that site for the DS and Wii versions.
You can also post your FC here if you want to start adding other 3DS owners that play New Leaf. My 3DS FC is 0216-1095-1009. Remember to message or quote the person telling them that you are adding them considering both people have to add the FC to become friends.
Official website: http://www.animal-crossing.com/newleaf/
Animal Crossing: New Leaf North America launch - 6/9/13
USA eShop Top 10 (3DS Download)
#8 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 6/17/13
#7 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 6/22/13
#6 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 6/23/13
#5 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 6/26/13
#4 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 7/10/13
#3 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 9/10/13
#2 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 9/29/13
USA eShop Top 20 (All software which includes VC, DSiWare, and 3DSWare)
#20 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 6/19/13
#18 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 6/23/13
#17 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 6/24/13
#16 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 6/26/13
#15 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 7/1/13
#14 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 7/10/13
#13 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 7/11/13
#12 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 7/12/13
#11 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 7/13/13
#10 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 7/22/13
#9 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 7/26/13
#8 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 8/26/13
#7 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 9/29/13
Do you think AC:NL will surpass AC:WW in sales?
Who is your favorite character in Animal Crossing?