Yeah, Animal Crossing is relaxing in a way. Give it a try and see if it's your thing. I haven't been able to go back to it lately, but maybe that's just me.
It is really easy to CFW any 3DS/2DS, especially if you buy a special DS flashcart (around 20 bucks) that comes with a special partition I guess, that lets you mess around with boot.
You can go to https://3ds.hacks.guide/ and see for yourself. If you have basic IT skills (which I assume you have in spades), you will be able to follow the guide and have a nice hacked machine.
Yeah, my IT skills are remedial at best, and I was able to do mine just as described with no issues. I started off making mine an all in one "N" system as well, but I still found my Pandora to emulate better, and just opted to wait on my Pyra for anything further. It really is great with CFW, as it allows so many things, with my personal favorite addition probably being custom themes. Each person will be different in what they do, or like, but emulation for past systems is pretty good overall. Playing Snatcher from the Sega CD is AWESOME!
As for Animal Crossing, I'll give my history with the title. My first and only game was the DS one, which I tried, didn't like, and moved on. At the same time, my wife was looking for something "girly" for her DS, so I gave her AC to try. Weeks later, it was all she did in her spare time, and made me take another look. After hearing her talk about the game nonstop, I said this game sounds interesting, so I went back at it. Well, long story short, a year later, I finally stopped playing it daily and retired from it.
I've never played a game like that, and honestly I haven't played AC since, as I don't have the time to devote to the world. LOL Back then, we both worked full time, and when we came home, we played that together and it was something we could do as a couple. It was fun alone, or with someone else, as you could visit each other's towns, and trade goods, etc. When the 3DS version came out, I didn't even bother, not because I thought I wouldn't like it, but because I didn't want it to take over my life again. My wife and son play together sometimes, but my wife did play it for a good while, but eventually each player stops, but it's different for each person. It's a great game, and very different to most gaming "norms", but if you know what your getting in to, you'll probably love it, but it's certainly not for everyone.