Animal Crossing Plaza was a free to download communication based video game for the Nintendo Wii U, which was discontinued and removed from the Wii U eShop on December 22nd, 2014. It was created as the first spin-off of the Animal Crossing series, mainly focusing on the New Leaf community and promoting communication between players. It was based on the console's Miiverse feature and the Animal Crossing Community within it. A special DLC item, the "Shaved-ice Lamp", was released in New Leaf to commemorate its release.
Animal Crossing Plaza departed from the traditional gameplay of life simulation and collection by focusing on a more community-based game. Players could play as their Mii characters in an unnamed town's plaza where both villagers and special characters reside.
While in the Plaza, players were able to select any New Leaf character to bring up a menu, which allowed them to post about the character, see recent posts by other users, or mark the character as a favorite, which allowed the player to find and share information about them. Also available to the player were the character's birthday and name. Special characters talked about upcoming events or their businesses and the services they offer.
If the player clicked their Mii character, they could share their Dream Address, favorite characters, birthday and their location. Also in the menu was the ability to edit profile settings, view their profile and album, or post to Miiverse and the Animal Crossing Community.
While viewing the album settings, players had the option to insert the SD card from their Nintendo 3DS console into the Nintendo Wii U to copy over images, which could be shared with the Plaza or the Miiverse.
There was a Software Update that came after the end of Nintendo Direct. The update allowed the villagers in the player's town to enter or make an appearance in Animal Crossing Plaza. It also included stamps of special characters that could be customized and drawn on in Miiverse, noting that those kinds of stamps are only allowed in those game categories.
- Animal Crossing Plaza was the first spin-off game in the Animal Crossing series.
- It was also the first to reveal the birth dates of special characters.