Why "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" Is So Popular amidst the Quarantine

The release of Animal Crossing™: New Horizons in March 2020 saw a tremendous amount of success. Millions of players around the world were thrilled to begin their new adventures in this long-awaited game for the Nintendo Switch. Not only is the game super anticipated, but it was released in a time where most of the world has been forced to stay inside and quarantine. So, what is it about this game’s newest addition that makes everyone so obsessed? There are a few reasons….

Photo by Felipe Vieira on Unsplash


Creativity. When you start the game you find yourself on a deserted island. There’s practically nothing man-made on the island, it’s all-natural. The goal is to essentially transform this blank canvas to your own personally designed world from the ground-up - literally. This game in the series presents many new items and ways to use them. The infrastructure projects, such as bridges and inclines, come in many variations and colors. Don’t like the natural placements of the rivers and hills? For the first time ever, this Animal Crossing game allows the players to “terraform”. This means that you can dig out new rivers, build up new hills, and destroy them again - it’s all up to you. 

You pick and choose to your liking. Want a cute, pastel themed island with heart-shaped rivers? You got it. Or a medieval-themed one with classic furniture? How about a dark, gothic kingdom? There are endless possibilities for what you can do with your island, the choices are all yours to make. But how long does it take to achieve your dream island? 

Animal Crossing New Horizons Sitting with Butterflies Jana Alrayes from Animal Crossing on Nintendo Switch


Time. Building up your island from nothing is a process - but it’s worthwhile. Every log-in brings you new opportunities. You start with just a tent to sleep in, but as you earn more bells (Animal Crossing currency) by fishing and catching bugs, you can live in your own home and pay a mortgage. But what makes this game especially lovable is that there is no rush. There’s no penalties or time-constraints, so you can take all the time you need to explore and build. And what do we have a lot of, nowadays that we’re mostly stuck at home? Time!

Community. Throughout the game, you get the chance to invite over villagers from different islands, or sometimes they just appear. These villagers become your in-game neighbors, and building a good relationship with them is an amusing experience. Since the quarantine, it’s been difficult to feel like you belong to a community when you don’t meet face-to-face anymore. But Animal Crossing: New Horizons has created a worldwide community. From viral twitter memes to trading forums to turnip-exchange sites, the game has enabled its players to connect with each other like never before. In a time like this one, it is especially important to feel connected with others, and this game is the perfect opportunity for that. 

Animal Crossing New Horizons looking over the lake with Marshal the squirrel Jana Alrayes from Animal Crossing on Nintendo Switch

So if you were wondering what all the hype was about in regards to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, now you know. If you have been obsessed with the game like many others and wondering what makes it so addictive, now you also know! Although it’s just a game, it’s made quarantine life so much easier and a little less lonely for many. Have fun playing!