Game Review-Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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Release Date: 3/20/20
Publisher/Developer: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Price: $59.99 USD

So, I don’t know if you folks have noticed, but shit kind of fucking sucks recently. Thankfully, there’s a new game that will help take your mind off that, at least for a little while.

Animal Crossing has been one of Nintendo’s most popular series since the first game came out in 2002 for the Gamecube. The premise of the series is fairly simple: you’re a regular human, moving to a village populated by inexplicably anthropomorphic animals. Throughout the game, you can do things like sell bugs, fish, and fruit to the local vendor in order to make money, which you can then use to purchase or expand your home, buy furniture, clothes, and other items.

This game actually takes that premise a step further: rather than moving into an already established village, you’re moving to a deserted island and have to build one up from scratch. To that end, they added a new feature: a souped-up version of the crafting system from Pocket Camp. Unlike Pocket Camp, however, you actually make the items in question yourself, and there’s no waiting period: the item is available as soon as you craft it.

This is something that makes it quite easy to furnish your home without having to spend a lot of the game’s currency, bells. For example, here’s an image of my house’s interior. Every item in the home was crafted, except for the moss ball and the fish:

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As far as crafting is concerned, you can actually gather materials for that pretty easily. Wood, for example, is gained by hitting trees with axes (naturally), and you can also get branches by shaking them. Rocks, clay, and other minerals are gathered by hitting rocks with a shovel or an axe. It should be noted, though, that the tools in this game do deteriorate over time, but you can craft most of them pretty easily. It also adds a couple of new tools: the vaulting pole, which you can use to cross rivers; and the ladder, which is used to scale small cliffs to explore other areas of the island.

New Horizons, of course, has a multiplayer feature as well. By going to the airport, you can either visit your friends’ islands, or have them come to yours. Also, you can use the game’s secondary currency, Nook Miles, to fly to randomized islands, which is a good way to gather new resources, or even invite new animal villagers to come to your island.

Speaking of Nook Miles, they work similarly to the MEOW coupons from the previous title, New Leaf. They’re basically extra points that you can get by doing things around the island, which you can then exchange for plane tickets, new crafting recipes, or items that expand your inventory.

Visually, the game is quite nice, with a lovely cartoony style that complements it’s general tone. It’s cute, is what I’m saying. It’s very, very cute.

So, would I recommend this game? Yes, of course I would. I think we could all use a little light-heartedness right now.

Though, given current circumstances, I would probably recommend buying it digitally.

(So, fun fact: my job is furloughed indefinitely because of the pandemic! Whee! What that means is I have no idea when I’ll be getting my next paycheck. Fortunately, I have Patreon and Ko-Fi, so if you’d like to support the blog, that’s where you’d do it. Thanks!)

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