Mayor for a day in Animal Crossing: New Leaf

As I stepped off the train to embark on my new life in my new Animal Crossing: New Leaf town, I was greeted by a party of citizens who immediately proclaimed me the mayor.

Did I kill the old mayor on the train before arriving and assume their identity? How was I elected mayor when I'm not even a registered resident of this town, a point that isn't even brought up during my registration process? Clearly I had been elected to public office, unprepared and unqualified for the job.

Of course, it wouldn't be an Animal Crossing game if I wasn't immediately indebted to Tom Nook, the local merchant, for vast sums of money. He helped me find a plot of land for my new home, showed me what it would look like, then gave me a tent to sleep in while he constructed my house. Having folks visit my tent for official mayor business was something I freely admit to enjoying more than I should have.


My first act as mayor was to plant a tree in the public plaza, a gathering area for events and the like. The preview build of Animal Crossing: New Leaf only provided the first in-game day of play time, so I wasn't able to see other government programs at work. These activities are optional, but in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the term of a mayor lasts a lifetime – no matter what.

Animal Crossing didn't even attempt to break the mold in my preview build, instead opting to stack more customization options, like replaceable socks and shoes for your character and an increased number of decorative items for your home, on top of the tried-and-true formula of meticulous lawn care and fishing. I just hope that the remainder of the mayor's term is as surreal as my first day in the big chair.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.