Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ll surely be aware that the Animal Crossing franchise has a new addition. On March 20th 2020, Nintendo released the franchise’s latest title New Horizons and it truly is a blessing to us all.
I have been a fan of Animal Crossing (AC) since I first played the Nintendo DS rendition – Wild World – back in the late 00s. Since then, I have picked up an AC game for the Nintendo Wii, my 3DS, and even my mobile phone with the campsite spinoff, Pocket Camp. It’s safe to say that I have experienced many good memories thanks to this cute, animal-filled series, from playing City Folk online with my cousin to diving straight into the wider community and joining forums to meet more AC-obsessed people. Yet, despite all of this, no game since Wild World has truly hit a chord with me until now.
New Horizons reaches new heights that an eleven-year-old me could only dream of. The new mechanics of the game, such as placing furniture outside, are often simple in concept but, man, they have added so much more freedom to the game. Sure, the game is a little bit guided by the instructions given by the infamous tanuki Mr Tom Nook, but like the predecessors before it, New Horizons allows you to do whatever you want, whenever you want. There are no rules. You can do whatever you want. This is your island, after all.
The fact that we have been given a title that allows us to do whatever we want, whenever we want may be nothing new. There’s a lot of negativity surrounding us at the moment. No one can deny, however, that this was the perfect time for New Horizons to be released, despite it being an unintentional occurrence. COVID-19 has truly turned the world upside down recently. Many countries, including my own, have put lockdowns in place. I haven’t left the house since March 21st. I haven’t felt I’ve had to. In between working from home and occasionally sitting in the garden when I’ve needed some fresh air, my sense of wanderlust, my need for exploration have all been satisfied with my Switch. There is nothing like fishing in thunderstorms, trying to catch a coelacanth (and succeeding very quickly, which makes a change!) or running around trying to find fossils. There seems to be a lot of action happening in the world of AC, yet it remains to be oh-so relaxing – something we all need in the current global situation.
The style of gameplay is unique compared to that of other AC titles, but it doesn’t stray too far, making it approachable for newbies and veterans of the franchise alike. Nintendo has confirmed that they will continue to release new content with regular updates, particularly for events. I do love this touch. I love the idea that New Horizons is going to remain new, fresh and exciting for quite some time. Just, please, don’t mention Bunny Day to me or any other player. The past few days have been a revelation for us all. Who would have thought that the line between routine and grind would be so thin?
With all this said, it’s quite certain that, if you need me, I’ll be trying to decorate my little virtual haven. Nintendo has certainly proved again that investing in an Animal Crossing title is more than worth it. Not only is the game itself adorable in every way possible, but the extra benefits it has brought, such as making new friends and rekindling older friendships, has made such a positive impact on me these past few weeks. Thank you, Nintendo.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is exclusively available on the Nintendo Switch!