These things might actually be useful for board game owners, Wikipedia link surfers, and expectant parents!
Every day or two I check to see what's the latest in the NWR Message Board Thread The Animal Crossing amiibo Trading Card Trading Post. I'm having tons of fun sharing hunting tips, updating my collection, and trading amiibo cards with other members of the Nintendo World Report community!
But putting rabid fandom aside for a moment... what am I supposed to DO with these hundreds of cards anyway? amiibo cards are compatible with far fewer games than the amiibo figures, it doesn't make sense to put them up on display, and with over 300 unique cards so far (and 100 more coming in June) surely there's some other use collectors can put their card collection to aside than filling up a carefully curated trading card binders?
To that end, I've come up with a list of five uses for my collection other than simply collecting them:
5. Replacing Lost Board Game Dice
Six-sided dice are essential for a lot of physical games, and if you've misplaced them on Board Game Night then you'll definitely end up "Sorry!"
Cheri is a high-roller.
Thankfully, each Animal Crossing amiibo card has the picture of a die on it showing a value of between 1 and 6. Simply make sure you have an even distribution of Animal Crossing amiibo cards of each value, shuffle them in a stack, and draw an amiibo card to replace your lost die. Problem solved!
4. Playing Simple Card Games, like Memory, War, or Slapjack
The fact that these amiibo are in card form actually suggests a lot of uses for them where they replace traditional cards as well!
If you've got a lot of doubles, one real simple way to put them to use is playing a game of Memory.
More fun with amiibo.
Also, it could be possible to use amiibo cards to play a good 'ole game of War. Since they aren't traditional playing cards maybe something like the following house rules would make sense:
- The card with the Higher Card Number wins, UNLESS the losing card has a Rock/Paper/Scissors symbol that beats the winning card's Rock Paper Scissors symbol, in which case they tie and a war is started.
- Special/Foil cards ALWAYS win against regular cards, unless the regular card has BOTH a Rock/Paper/Scissors symbol that beats the Special card's Rock/Paper/Scissors symbol AND a die value that is equal to or greater than the Special card's die value. In this case they tie and a war is started.
- Special/Foil cards tie other Special/Foil cards and immediately start a war.
A little tweaking and amiibo cards can be re-purposed for a number of traditional card games!
Slapjack (and other "Slaps/Snaps" game varieties) might also lend themselves to amiibo cards with some customizations, but what exactly those house rules could be might be more fun to figure out yourself!
3. Learning Random Things on Wikipedia
The names of each Animal Crossing character aren't random; there's a lot of thought put into what they reference about that character's personality, species, or sense of style. Either that or Nintendo's localization team went for a quick pun.
But you'd be surprised what you might find if you plugged in some random Animal Crossing character names into Wikipedia. For example, here are the search results from a handful of random Series 3 cards:
"Mitzi" (226) is probably a reference to American actress, singer and dancer Mitzi Gaynor, if not one of the many other "Mitzi" results.
Mitzi Gaynor might be best remembered for being "101 pounds of fun" in her role as Ensign Nellie Forbush in 1958's South Pacific.
"Spork" (235) may be obvious to some, but how many would know the history of Sport-like utensils extend back into the 1800's?
Ice cream fork, Shreve & Company, Iris service, silver, 1903-1917, De Young Museum.
"Chevre" (242) Mmmmm! Goat Cheese!
Photo courtesy of PDPhoto.org.
"Pippy" (267) doesn't appear to yield any super-relevant results... but a little link-surfing to the "Pippi-disambiguation" page and you'd find a Nintendo connection in the original Japanese name for Clefairy!
"Claudia" (287) might've just sounded like just the right punny name for this tiger villager, but her snooty in-game persona jives well with the fact that the name Claudia (the female form of Claudius) is shared with a slew of important ancient Romans!
Might Claudia come from a long line of Roman princesses?
Whoever said videogames didn't expand knowledge about the world around you clearly hasn't been collecting amiibo cards!
2. Actually, Y'Know, Using Them in Compatible Video Games
Ok, so if you're deep into interior design then it definitely makes sense to have a collection of Animal Crossing cards to summon characters into specific villages Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer on 3DS. And amiibo Festival also demands you use some of the cards in order to access its mini-games (My favorite being the Desert Island Escape strategy mini-game, where the cards you scan in become the three villagers, each with unique skills, who must gather food and materials to survive and escape a series of deserted islands).
Each villager has different special survival abilities.
But let's not forget that several of the Animal Crossing amiibo cards also unlock costumes in Super Mario Maker! And that if you register these amiibo cards to your system, they can be used to generate custom puzzles in third-party title Word Puzzles by POWGI!
You'll need to register the amiibo card first before you can use it to generate puzzles in Word Puzzles by POWGI.
But even beyond their intended use, I think that a complete collection of Animal Crossing amiibo cards actually becomes even more useful, amazingly so, for anyone who can hear the patter of tiny feet...
1. Brainstorming Baby Names
This is genius! Nintendo has created an amazing name brainstorming tool for expectant parents everywhere!
Rosalina, Mario, and Luigi. Or is that Isabelle, Tommy, and Timmy?
Sure, there are baby books everywhere and free websites you can go to, but Animal Crossing amiibo cards pull together almost a thousand distinct names (in English, French, AND Spanish!) with a truly unconventional and eclectic range of themes and influences.
Got a little girl on the way? If you pull out Card 207 you'll get three suggestions right away: Mabel? Layette? Pili? Or try Card 244: Tangy? Marine? Tricia?
Or perhaps you're expecting a son? Card 208 yields Leif? Racine? Gandulio? And Card 266 tries to inspire with Joey, Joseph, Pascual.
Stop getting cross-eyed by going over every single name in existence starting from the letter "A" and moving onward. What Animal Crossing amiibo cards do is kick start your name-finding process by giving you a manageable and tangible collection of curated names from all different sorts of influences and traditions.
I'm not necessarily saying you should name your kid Digby. But you know what? That'd be a cool story to tell young Wendell later in life.