“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” has been released on the Nintendo Switch for just over two weeks, and I have personally logged over 125 hours of gameplay, making it one of my most played games ever. I have been an avid player of the Animal Crossing franchise for approximately seven years, but none of the others have entranced me like this one has. This game allows for freedom that is tied to short and long term goals as well as the unpredictability that constantly draws me to the game and makes me not want to put it down, making it perfect to pass away my days while adhering to social distancing.
“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is the type of game where there is always something to do, whether it is paying off a ridiculously high loan to a capitalist raccoon, chatting with your zany island residents, fishing at a specific time to catch certain fish, customizing your home and island to be the perfect paradise, wishing on shooting stars, visiting friends islands or trying not to get stung by wasps or bitten by tarantulas. You will never be left bored by this game.
There is always something to do and allows you to be creative in how you decorate and design your home and island layout. This game has the perfect amount of time sensitivity to events, such as fishing tournaments, buying turnips or catching fish and bugs before the season is over, as well as goals that you are motivated to play the game and you never know what is going to happen next because there is something different every day and what happens on one island, may not happen on every island. Not to mention that the shops have a different array, rotating on a daily basis, and every island has something different.
You also have the option to visit not only your friends but mystery islands where you can invite random characters to move to your island, collect rare fish and bugs, or harvest fruit different than your own island’s native fruit. “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” allows you to breed flowers to create rare colors and design your own clothes, outfits and island music in addition to building DIY furniture and customizing your furniture. Your own imagination is the limit in the game when it comes to designing and customizing your items.
Even if you don’t have 125 plus hours of your life to dedicate to this game, you can still make progress by spending a little time each day doing things like catching fish and bugs or just talking to your villagers. It is relaxing and an amazing way to take your mind off of the problems of the world we are currently living in. Animal Crossing makes social distancing a bit more tolerable, and besides, who doesn’t love to read your own residents’ ridiculous thoughts and dialogue or become friends with the cute characters?