New Horizons in 2020

A review on the most popular game this year, the new Animal Crossing.

Animal Crossing New Horizons came out in March during the midst of quarantine, and its fan base grew immediately. Not only did it attract previous Animal Crossing fans, but had people buying Nintendo Switches just to get their hands on the game. This much-needed island simulation created an escape from our quarantine boredness.

Kailey Mulcahy
This is from the bug museum in the game. This room is dedicated to all the butterflies you catch.

With AC, there is never a dull moment. You have several different tasks at once since the beginning of the game, including paying your house loan, filling your museum, and creating a unique island set up for both yourself and the residents. At the beginning of the game, your avatar is dropped off at a deserted island along with Tom Nook, who helps you start your island adventure.

Each island differs for every player from the layout of your island to the type of native fruit that grows on your trees. A big part of the game is collecting bells, which are animal crossing currency, to upgrade all the buildings. The first building you can upgrade is your own home, which starts as a tent and eventually becomes a five-room house. You eventually end up upgrading your resident services, your residents’ own homes, and your island stores, which are Nooks Cranny and Able Sisters. Being able to upgrade your island from tents to a small city is one of the reasons many different people and I find it to be so enjoyable.

To earn bells for your many different tasks, you can catch bugs, fish, or collect the fruit on your island. By selling these natural resources, you earn bells in return, which can be used to buy many different things, such as your building upgrades, decoration, or supplies. To collect these resources, you need many different items, such as a fishing pole or a bug-catching net. A new feature in New Horizons is their introduction of “recipes.” This new crafting element added much more fun gameplay and harder work. Recipes are given to you through finding them on your island or being given to you by residents. These recipes give you the instructions and the supplies needed to make tools such as a fishing pole or decorations for your home. Many animal crossing fans are stoked to create your own tools and island instead of buying everything.

One of my favorite components of Animal Crossing New Horizons is definitely the design element. If you are more of a creative player and want a completely personalized island than this is the game to play. You can decorate almost every single thing in the game. The exterior can be filled with flowers and walkways while your home can be decorated to have many different furniture and designs. My favorite design element is the clothes creation app on your in-game smartphone. This app allows for the design of any clothing items pixel by pixel. This element is brand new and has become such an amazing part of the game.

Kailey Mulcahy
This is a couple of people visiting one island.

Lastly, and definitely many people’s favorite part, is being able to visit and play with friends on each other’s islands. With the small airport located on the bottom of everyone’s island, you can choose to fly to a friend’s island or to a randomly deserted island. This component of the game allows you to get supplies that aren’t native to your own island, such as a different type of fruit or flower. It also allows you to check-in everyone stores that sell completely different stuff from your own. Traveling to different islands is such a huge plus for the game, and it is what I spend a lot of the time doing.