Seven years ago, I was lucky enough to discover a brilliant world—a universe full of brightly-colored talking animals, cozy cabins, and endless positivity. This was the wild world of Animal Crossing (see what I did there?) I loved everything about this game series from the moment I first started playing, but when I (foolishly) gave away my Nintendo DS in high school, I lost all connection with the villagers I had come to know and love… and when you’re used to playing games with little emotional connection between characters, like Red Dead Redemption and Super Smash Bros., this isn’t an easy loss to face.
While I’ll always miss my adorable original town, Nintendo has now come to my rescue by releasing the newest Animal Crossing game—Animal Crossing: New Horizons. With a little bit of luck and hard work, we can all see our favorite villagers again! For many of us AC lovers, the wait for this game has been long, frustrating, and oh so exciting. We waited even longer than expected, and now it is finally here. So, is it worth the hype? Absolutely. Read on for my first impressions!
- The Graphics are Stunning
Obviously, when one plays a new game, one of the first things she focuses on is the graphics. New Horizons does not disappoint in terms of visual imagery, especially when compared to past installments of the series. The ocean glitters in the sunlight, every character is beautiful, and the wildlife is extremely detailed. When I play this game, I can truly get lost in a happy island paradise.
- Gameplay is Easy and Straightforward
The games in the Animal Crossing series have never been complicated, at least when it comes to gameplay. Animal Crossing adapts perfectly to the Nintendo Switch controllers, and the fluidity of the graphics makes the tasks fun and calming. The plot is relatively easy to follow, although some monumental moments may not be obvious to newcomers, such as how to get certain tools. While the actual gameplay is easy, I will admit that the game is not entirely welcoming to AC newbies when it comes to effectively explaining certain steps—but at least we have Google!
- Resource Collection via Different Islands is Epic
I absolutely adore the Nook Miles Ticket feature in New Horizons. As if your own little island paradise wasn’t enough, for as little as 2,000 Nook Miles (a relatively small sum considering how quickly one can acquire the points at the beginning of the game, another great feature), you can travel to different randomized islands to collect natural resources that become easily depleted on your home island. This is a fantastic way for you to obtain new fruits, as well as to meet (and invite) cozy and colorful new villagers to your island!
- The Nearly Endless Amount of Customization
Nintendo really emphasized the idea that one would create her own island paradise when playing the game, and the company ingrained that in the customization aspects of New Horizons. One can customize shirts, shoes, walls, hats, floors… even the land itself, later in the game. While the nearly endless amount of customization is amazing, it’s a bit overwhelming. I recommend taking it at your own pace—I know that I was stressed trying to figure out the pattern editor, because there are almost too many options to choose from! Nevertheless, it’s a great problem to have.
- Local Multiplayer is… Not Good.
Last but not least, I have a few words to say about the local “multiplayer” feature of the game (which I would honestly barely call multiplayer.) Nintendo received a lot of backlash when it was announced that players would only be able to have one island per Switch console, effectively making it impossible for a multiplayer household to play on one system and still enjoy the freedoms of the game. I tried out the local “multiplayer” feature this weekend, and I was very disappointed. While I, as the leader, was still able to participate in normal gameplay, my friend was extremely limited in abilities. The second player is forced to follow the leader around, making it feel very restrictive. This is the one thing I really and truly disliked about the game from the start. However, seeing as I don’t plan on using this feature often, it is by no means a dealbreaker for me.
And there you have it, folks! I highly recommend this game to anyone looking for an escape from the crazy world we’re living in right now—there’s no better way to relax throughout your day!