Screenshot from author's video fame

Animal Crossing New Horizons Is Everything I Wanted and More



Animal Crossing New Horizons is *finally* here and it could not have come at a more perfect time. This much anticipated new edition to the world of Animal Crossing is all I’ve been playing since it came out and I love it so far. It is similar enough to New Leaf that it has a factor of nostalgia for played but is also new enough that it is exciting. You can catch bugs and fish or dig up fossils to take to donate to Blather’s at the museum but you can also visit mystery islands and pole vault across rivers and it is up to you to craft your own tools.

One of my favorite parts of this game is that you have to put in work to see changes on your island. You begin with only being able to access about one third of your island, two villagers (or I guess they’re islanders in this game), Tom Nook, Timmy and Tommy. After playing for a while you’ll begin being able to access more of the island, invite new animals to come live on the island and see familiar faces like Mabel and Isabelle. 

While in previous games you bought everything you needed, from tools to new outfits, this version allows you to gather materials to craft your own items. You can craft tools, furniture, clothing, medicine and even more! You can also make your own custom designs to wear or display (but don’t worry if you aren’t too creative, Mabel will be there with clothes you can buy and the nooklings have new wallpaper and furniture each day).

I also love that you get to actually customize your character from the start. For those who don’t know, in previous AC games, you started out with a randomized character until you unlocked new clothing and hairstyles and most features could not be changed. There are eight skin tone options, which isn’t much but people of color can finally make a character that resembles them much better than before. Additionally, there are objects in the game such as wheelchairs and while they only function as furniture, the game creators have received lots of praise for this addition.

There is also an online multiplayer option so that players can visit each other’s islands to explore as well as exchanging things such as their island’s native fruit. This feature does require a Nintendo Switch Online membership but the price isn’t too bad at less than four dollars a month. If you don’t know anyone else with a Switch, you can also visit a mystery island where you might find new fruits or even someone out exploring who may want to come live on your island.

I would say that my biggest (and, tbh, my only) complaint is that there can only be one island per device. This is fine if you have your own Switch but if you’re like me and share with your family, you all have to stay on one island. This means that whoever plays the game first gets to pick the layout of the island, name it and ends up becoming the “resident representative”. This also makes it difficult to share resources as there are only a certain number of rocks to hit each day and only a certain amount of wood will come out of the trees each day. I wish that each person with a profile on the Switch could have their own island.

Overall, I absolutely adore this game for these reasons and so many more. If you have a Switch or are considering getting one, I highly recommend it! Whether you’ve been playing Animal Crossing since the GameCube or are brand new, it is a great game and a great distraction when you need a break during these strange times.