Selling over 13 million copies, just in its first six weeks, the release of Animal Crossing could not have been better. With the pandemic going on and almost everybody on lockdown, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been the perfect escape from reality.
You start off by arriving at a completely deserted island with two other animal villagers. Upon arrival you will be greeted by Tom Nook who gives you a short introduction. Tom Nook will be your guide on the island, he will give you tasks to complete to progress the game.
The main goal is pretty simple, improve your island to make it more beautiful, invite more villagers, and setup more shops to attract the attention of K.K. Slider and have him perform at your island.
The first few days are spent on resource gathering and will introduce the crafting system of the game. You can also catch bugs and fishes and pick fruit to make bells (in-game currency) to pay off that sweet sweet loan you got from Tom Nook for the getaway package.
After paying off your first loan, you will be given several more loans (each increasing every time) to upgrade your house. The game also introduces a rewards program called ‘Nook Miles’ by completing tasks like digging up fossils, talking to other villagers, spending bells, etc. You can then exchange these miles to go on mystery tours, items, and more.
Aside from upgrading your house, you also get to improve your island by unlocking more buildings and meeting new NPC’s. There is Blathers who is the director of the museum where you can donate all the bugs and fishes that you have caught and the fossils you have dugout.
Timmy and Tommy’s Nooks Cranny, a shop where you can buy furniture, tools, trees, and flowers. This is also where you sell you stuff to make bells. The tailor’s shop owned by Mable and Sabel where you can buy clothes. There are also other NPC’s that will regularly visit to buy and sell stuff or to complete tasks for them. But data mining has suggested that there will be more shops and characters in future updates.
Animal Crossing is played in real-time meaning that one day in the game is also one day in real life. This is great for players who want to take their time playing since you don’t have to rush completing tasks in ‘one in-game day’ unlike games like Stardew Valley.
But if you are like other players who don’t like to wait just for that bridge to be completed or that building to be upgraded, you have the option to time travel to speed up your progress. There are a lot of people against time-traveling since they think that it ruins the game. But play however you want, it is your island after all.
I really like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it is my first game of the series. It is also the only game on my switch where I’ve played it for more than 300 hours. I love how chill it is; you can stop playing for several days, come back and everything will be the same (aside from the weeds and your villagers missing you).
I love the cute villagers and the funny interactions you get from them, I still stop and watch every time I see them singing no matter how many times I’ve seen it. I love how you can play by yourself if you want, or you can visit other islands and play with your friend too. I love having the ability to create your own world depending on your own taste and letting your creativity run wild.
Just search online and you will find lots of beautifully made islands that will make you redo your own, just to copy them. I also like how Nintendo released updates like the Bunny Day Event, Museum Art Gallery upgrade, Wedding Season, etc. which gives you more things to do and more things to anticipate.
But New Horizons also has some real frustrations. From the repetitive dialogue for essential services like donating at the museum or leaving the airport which you have to repeat from the start if you’ve pressed the wrong option. To the lack of crafting or buying in bulk which is a real frustration of you want to do it 20 times or more.
One of the main things is the multiplayer. Honestly, it is not great. When someone visits your island, the game stops for almost a minute just to let one person in. It will stop every time someone comes or leaves. If you have multiple people on an island and one person got disconnected, all the other players’ progress will be reverted to the last save. Which is frustrating if you’ve done so much.
Aside from that, when you visit someone there’s really nothing to do aside from trading stuff and touring on their island. I’m not hopeful that the online experience will be fixed anytime soon. Another thing is the lack of cloud save which is very sad if you’ve invested hundreds of hours and you find your save file corrupted. But the good thing is, Nintendo said they are working on a cloud save which hopefully comes soon.