“ Level Up ”
While this new instalment does a far better job of explaining the basics to you, it still thankfully keeps many of its surprises and secrets under wraps.
This guide won't spoil the best surprises, or go too in-depth with the many unlockables available (there are already some fantastic super in-depth guides out there for that), but we present six simple but effective tips that will help transform your Animal Crossing experience.
> Digital Spy reviews Animal Crossing: New Leaf: 3DS entry is the best yet
Daily Activities: Fossils, rocks and Fortune Cookies
Like other Animal Crossing games, there are specific things you can find in your town once per day.
There are four cracks in the ground to find, each containing fossils that you can donate or sell for cash, and one bonus crack for a Pitfall Seed. There are also Gyroids to be found from time to time.
Next, there are rocks. As before, hitting one random rock over and over with a shovel will spit out Bells for a limited time.
There's a few new twists to this. If you use a Silver Shovel, there's a chance Bells will actually be minerals, which you can sell for a healthy number of Bells or use to recolour furniture.
There's also one bonus rock added to your town each day, that you can split open for an easy mineral.
Finally, you should also be checking out Nook's shop to buy Fortune Cookies, which give you exclusive Nintendo-themed items. There are only a few of these per day, so return regularly to get the complete set.
All of the above shouldn't take more than 20 minutes. If you're also particularly keen, you can shake every tree to get extra Bells and furniture - but those are obviously quite time intensive.
Kingdom Rush Frontiers
Platforms: iPhone, iPad
Price: £1.99 / $2.99 on iPhone, £2.99 / $4.99 on iPad
Kingdom Rush Frontiers brings back more of the popular tower defence formula and cartoon charm that made the original a hit.
Once again players must defend their kingdom using a combination of archers, artillery, barracks and wizards. Because there are essentially only four tower types, they are all balanced well for multiple tactical uses depending on whether you position them alone or in conjunction with other towers.
Towers can now also be upgraded even further than before, allowing you to give your archers explosive arrows, turn your barracks guards into assassins, or transform artillery into an earthquake generator for massive damage in a wide radius.
Heroes also make their appearance in Kingdom Rush Frontiers, acting as more powerful soldiers whom you can move freely across the battlefield depending on where they are needed. Heroes level up and can gain new abilities through combat, making it worth your while to send them into battle instead of just using them as a last line of defence.
Where Kingdom Rush Frontiers really succeeds is its variety though. The sense of monotony that often plagues tower defence games never sets in, with tons of variety both in settings and enemy types so that you're always facing some fresh challenge.
The biggest complaint most had with the original Kingdom Rush was that it was too short, and in that sense Kingdom Rush Frontiers is more focused on offering more game to play than on tweaking or changing the formula.
> Download 'Kingdom Rush Frontiers' from the App Store
> Download 'Kingdom Rush Frontiers HD' from the App Store
New Super Luigi U
Release date: June 20 (worldwide)
Platforms: Wii U
Releasing both at retail and as DLC for Wii U launch title New Super Mario Bros U, it transforms the game's 82 stages into all-new courses.
Not only will courses will be shorter and littered with obstacles, but players will have less time to reach the end. Luigi will be able to jump higher than Mario, opening up potential new shortcuts, but takes longer to slow down after dashing.
Release date: June 21 (Europe)
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Vita
Dubbed as a new start in the MotoGP franchise, with MotoGP 08 developer Milestone once again back at the helm, this features a new engine and new courses, including the Red Bull US Grand Prix circuit.
What are you purchasing this week? Add a comment to the space below!
First released: 1988 (NES)
Now Available On: Virtual Console
The game you will know and recognise as Super Mario Bros 2 will likely be different depending on which part of the world you happened to grow up in.
Those hailing from Japan were treated to what was effectively a rehash of the 1985 original with the difficulty level cranked up to 11, while gamers in the West received a rehash of a very different game.
With the Japanese Super Mario Bros 2 failing to recapture the success and acclaim of its predecessor, Nintendo took a radically different approach when it came to bringing a sequel to the overseas markets.
The gaming giant revisited a little-known Famicom Disk System Game called Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic, a title developed by Kensuke Tanabe that began life as a Mario sequel, before being overhauled and launched as a joint venture with Fuji Television.
To put it simply, the Western version of Super Mario Bros 2 is Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic with Nintendo mascots replacing the four playable characters and a few minor revisions here and there.
It might sound like an uncharacteristically lazy strategy on Nintendo's part, but the game found favour with fans and critics alike, in spite of its dubious origins.
The end result was a radically different animal to the title that revolutionised the platforming genre back in 1985, ditching many of its core elements, such as coin-gathering, the mushroom power-up, and the stomp attack.
Super Mario Bros 2 retained some of the side-scrolling mechanics of its predecessor, but the player's primary means of dispatching foes was by throwing things at them, such as vegetables that could be plucked out of the ground, or even other enemies.
The game also introduced the concept of multiple playable characters with varying attributes to the series, with Mario, Luigi, Toad and Princess Toadstool available for selection.
Super Mario Bros gave players the choice between the eponymous brothers, but they were merely palette swaps. This time around, Mario could run fastest and Luigi jump highest. Toad could pluck vegetables quicker than the rest, and the princess had the ability to glide over short distances.
Other departures include the presence of a health bar, a slot machine mini-game where extra lives could be won, and vertical platforming elements.
The game was originally intended to be based around that latter concept and include a strong multiplayer component, only for the technological restraints of the NES hardware to relegate it to a bit part.
Super Mario Bros 2 had a very different look and feel to its forebear, and the vast majority of the sequels that were to follow, for that matter, but some of the concepts it introduced went on to become series staples.
For instance, Mario and Luigi were able to pick up and throw things in most future games, and many of the characters that made their debut in the original sequel - such as Shy Guys and Bob-ombs - went on to be series mainstays.
Super Mario Bros 2 received almost universal acclaim, selling 10 million copies at launch and proving popular enough to warrant a Japanese release under the moniker of Super Mario Bros USA a few years down the line.
In this writer's humble opinion, the game pales in comparison to its successor Super Mario Bros 3, but brings unique flavour and variety to the series, not to mention some of the best musical compositions the NES ever saw.
Nintendo has remade the title on more than one occasion, with an enhanced version coming bundled with the Super Mario All-Stars collection for SNES and a further remake landing on the Game Boy Advance in 2001.
Super Mario Bros 2 may be the black sheep of the family, but it stands up almost as well as some of the finest games in the iconic platforming series, and its legacy remains strong to this very day.
Nintendo's recently-announced Super Mario 3D World for Wii U is clearly paying homage to the title, offering the players choice between uniquely-skilled playable characters Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad.
We can only hope that it stands the test of time as well as Super Mario Bros 2.
Do you have any fond memories of Super Mario Bros 2? Post a comment below.
Developed by Cardboard Computer, it followed truck driver Conway trying to make a delivery and seeking out the mysterious Route Zero.
The second chapter in this five-part story continues its surrealistic and constantly teasing narrative, asking more questions than it delivers answers, but a couple of nitpicks mean it arguably falls short of the first instalment.
Act 2 picks up as Conway and Shannon reach the Bureau of Reclaimed Spaces, hoping to find directions to Dogwood Drive.
The large office is a fairly dramatic change of tone, as the characters find themselves redirected to several floors, tediously getting nowhere thanks to the incompetent bureaucracy.
The welcome air of mystery returns shortly afterwards, though, although exploration is hampered a little by Conway's leg injury he sustained in the previous act. It makes travelling slow and tiresome, and is especially noticeable at one particularly large museum location he and Shannon visit midway through.
That said, the act is not short on memorable moments, and being able to define the finer points of the narrative is still novel and helps immerse the player.
In one especially neat use of dialogue, the player can dictate what Conway and Shannon did as they explored the museum through second-hand storytelling.
The relationship between Conway and Shannon is also worth noting. Although Conway is the protagonist, Shannon never feels like she's just tagging along.
Seamless dialogue options make her feel like a believable character and an integral part of the journey, as does her concern for Conway's leg.
If you were enamoured by Act 1, it's a no-brainer to continue the journey with the second act. It's still impossible to say if the payoff will be worth it in the long run, but we're happy to be along on the ride.
Kentucky Route Zero is available on Steam for $24.99/£18.99. It can also be purchased on their official website through the Humble Store.
First Released: 1982 (Atari 2600)
Now Available On: N/A
Video games have been accused of a lot of things over the years, from poisoning the world's youth to inspiring crime sprees, but few have taken anywhere near as much flack as Atari's reviled E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.
Not only is the notorious movie adaptation widely regarded as one of the worst console releases of all time, its commercial failure is often cited as one of the contributing factors to the video game crash of 1983.
Securing the E.T. license was quite a coup for Atari back in 1982. The studio had established itself as market leader in the gaming sector thanks to the strength of its Atari 2600 console, and with the movie of the same name becoming a global phenomenon, what could possibly go wrong?
There was one small problem - time was not on Atari's side. Negotiations wrapped up in July of that year, giving designer Howard Scott Warshaw a matter of months to deliver a finished product in time for the Christmas season.
Expectations among fans and retailers were high, but the quality of the resulting game was anything but.
Warshaw intended to produce an innovative adaptation of the Steven Spielberg movie, but with such a limited time frame, the end result was never going to be anything other than rushed.
E.T. cast players as the endearing alien - not that you would recognise that green chunk of pixels as the iconic character - and tasked them with gathering the components of his intergalactic telephone so he could phone home; hardly a reflection of the heart-warming tale told in its on-screen counterpart.
The phone pieces were located at the bottom of pits that were scattered around the game's playing field, and E.T. was pursued by a scientist and FBI agent throughout his quest.
Players spent much of the game plunging to the bottom of these pits, which were encountered at random, and had to use a levitation ability to rise from their depths.
Unfortunately, this ate away at your energy bar - as did every other solitary command it was possible to carry out, including walking. That's right, walking around the game actually hurt you.
E.T. looks like an ugly, crude mess of pixels by today's standards, but blocky visuals were always the least of its problems.
From a gameplay standpoint, it was about as much fun as having a hole drilled in your head - glitch-ridden to the point of broken, disjointed, repetitive and downright frustrating.
You couldn't take more than a few steps without plummeting into a pit, and there was no way to escape without consuming health.
The experience was not unlike throwing yourself down a well. Climbing back out again, then repeating the process a hundred times over, except doing this in real life would probably be less painful.
Atari, along with the rest of the entertainment industry, believed that its E.T. license was the start of a fruitful relationship between video games and movies. Millions of cartridges were produced to ensure retailers' supplies were plentiful in the run-up to Christmas.
The game's release was met with initial success, debuting in the upper reaches of the software chart and going on to move 1.5 million units, but word of its poor quality quickly spread.
Between 2.5 and 3.5 million E.T. cartridges are said to have remained unsold, and the excess inventory ended up back on Atari's doorstep.
The firm is estimated to have made around $25 million on E.T., but lost an estimated $100 million due to the volume of unsold copies and the expense of securing the film license.
Rumour has it that Atari buried truckloads of the unsold copies in a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Some claim that is merely an urban legend, but we are about to find out the truth.
Canadian studio Fuel Industries has been granted permission to excavate the so-called 'Atari Graveyard' and film the proceedings, with the resulting footage to be turning into a documentary.
E.T. may be considered one of the worst console titles ever made - worthy of its place at the bottom of a landfill - and a contributing factor to the near-undoing of the industry itself, but it is a piece of video gaming history nonetheless.
Contemporary video game studios working on movie licenses can draw lessons from Atari's financial black eye back in 1982 - if you don't have the time or resources to do justice to the property in question, leave it alone.
> Atari retrospective - The rise and fall of a gaming giant
Do you have any memories of E.T. The Extraterrestrial? Post a comment below!
Though it's currently available to purchase for £19.99/$29.99, the game is still in alpha as the developer continues to iron out bugs and add new features before the final build is completed.
The tutorial, in which the player must build an execution chamber for a death row inmate, goes through the basics of constructing a building, adding rooms and objects and how electricity supplies work.
However, while this is enough to understand how the core mechanics work, the game doesn't give you much guidance at all on the strategy side of things.
Starting from scratch, our first batch of new inmates all escaped within 24 hours.
With our limited amount of money, we focused on building a holding cell, kitchen and warden's office, but a combination of not hiring enough guards and the lack of a good ol' fence (obvious in hindsight) meant we had accidentally set loose an assortment of convicted robbers and murderers onto society.
Prison Architect makes you figure out what works or doesn't by yourself, and although the hand-holding in other similar management simulations has left us rather spoilt, it's rather refreshing that there is trial and error and that you are expected to screw up at first.
You can also accept grants (which helped fund our new fence!) in return for achieving objectives, which in the alpha version were simple enough such as hiring and constructing an office for an accountant.
Having learnt from our first mistakes, we quickly expanded our prison to include cells, showers and a large yard.
A lot of micro-management goes on. Not only do you have to concern yourself with improving the facility, but you also have to keep the fickle prisoners happy, as they constantly threaten to riot.
Many of the features are missing in the unfinished build of the title, but by buying the alpha version, either through their official website or as part of Early Access on Steam, you'll receive significant updates around once a month.
Early Access ensures that independent studios can continue to work on their projects without as much financial pressure, thanks to the advanced revenue they bring in.
Introversion Software's Prison Architect already shows plenty of promise, and even in its alpha state, it's perfectly playable, fun and worth a look.
The standard version of Prison Architect is available for PC, Mac and Linux on the Steam store for £19.99/$29.99 and the official website for $29.99.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Price: £6.99 / $9.99
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a welcome surprise on iPad, and instantly secures its place as one of the most robust games available on a tablet.
The complete 2003 RPG epic makes the conversion intact, as players enter the Star Wars universe 4,000 years before the films as an amnesiac Jedi apprentice on the hunt for the insidious Darth Malak before he can use a mysterious weapon known as the Star Forge.
A decade after it originally released, the game has aged remarkably well with a rich story, memorable characters, deep skill trees and tactical combat. The visuals are not as crisp as fans will remember, due to a combination of compromises to fit the iPad hardware and texture resolutions that are not done any favours by appearing on a retina display.
The controls work for the most part, using swipes to move your character and control the camera. You can also simply tap on objects in the environment, like doors, to walk directly toward them.
Combat pauses while inputting commands, which helps to mitigate any control issues, but repositioning your character during battles is definitely harder to pull off successfully than when using a keyboard or controller.
There are other odd quirks, like how dialogue options are now numbered, with players tapping a corresponding numbered button on the right side of the screen instead of tapping the text directly.
Even with imperfect controls, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is an absolute classic and every bit as worth playing as it was ten years ago. The best experience will still be the PC or Mac version with a keyboard and mouse, but the iPad port is still a worthy addition to the game's legacy.
> Download 'Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic' from the App Store
Release date: June 7 (Europe), June 4 (North America)
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Published by Capcom, Remember Me is a third-person action-adventure set in Neo-Paris in the year 2084, where memories and senses can be traded over a network run by a corporation called Memoreyes. As a memory hunter, you must fight the corporation and reclaim your lost memories.
> Remember Me preview: Hands-on with Capcom's beautiful future dystopia