Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a Nintendo game first released on March 20, 2020. The game is set on a deserted island, upon which you and two neighbors arrive to live there and build up the island with Tom Nook and his nephews, Timmy and Tommy. While the players themselves are people, all other characters in the game are animals. On the island, you can fish, catch bugs, collect fossils, expand your home, breed flowers, and more. Ever since the game was released, I have been completely obsessed with it. Here’s why:
- The neighbors (otherwise known as villagers) are so lovable.
From raccoons to owls, to hamsters and even octopi, the types of creatures vastly vary and make for very cute and lovable characters. There are many different villager “personalities” (including peppy, cranky, snooty, smug, sisterly, and sporty) that diversify your town and add life to the game.
- Catching bugs and fishing is so addicting!
There are 80 bugs and 80 fish currently available to catch in the game, which provides hours of entertainment. Like all previous Animal Crossing games, New Horizons also divides that list up so that some creatures can only be caught throughout a couple of months in the year. For example, the King Salmon is only available in September. This automatically creates an entire year’s worth of incentive to play the game. I love that catching bugs and fish is addicting and competitive, as it requires a bit of skill, but is never exhausting or stressful.
- New Horizons is the first Animal Crossing game to include terraforming!
Terraforming, or the ability to alter the terrain of one’s island, was introduced in this game. This feature is extremely exciting, as you can now change the shape and direction of your waterways, add paths, and alter cliffs. Terraforming isn’t immediately unlocked at the beginning of the game, and you must play through in order to access the tool, but the reward is well worth the wait. I’ve found that terraforming my island truly made it feel like “mine,” and I adore the feature.
- There is always something to do in your town.
Whether you are breeding hybrid flowers, selling fruit, changing the landscape of your town, or trying to pay off your (interest-free!) loan to Tom Nook, there is always something to do every day you play Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Especially as I’ve struggled to entertain myself during the pandemic, the game has given me things to do, which I am truly grateful for.
- Nintendo will continue to expand the game and provide free updates.
Perhaps the most underrated feature of the game is that it is still growing! Nintendo has already confirmed a free update will arrive in late April, introducing the Earth Day event and more to the game. I’m incredibly excited to see how the game expands and the continuous entertainment it will provide me as a result.