So you’re in debt to a raccoon. Now what?
I have to admit, I’m wondering how many folks got a crash course intro to Animal Crossing: New Horizons recently. It’s pretty much the game to play right now, what with its soothing features and general lack of pressure. The raccoon you’re in debt to? Not even a point of stress at all. Just catch a bunch of bugs, sell those, and pay him back whenever you get around to it. Easy peasy.
For real, though, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the calmest thing in my life right now, and if you haven’t picked it up yet, maybe I can convince you to try it.
I wasn’t kidding about how soothing this game is.
Possibly the greatest strength of Animal Crossing across the franchise is how calm it is. You’re not rushing around, doing side quests all day long. You don’t have to get into a bunch of combat encounters. You can’t really fail at collecting items you need (even though you might have to wait a while to try again). Whatever you do in Animal Crossing, you can change your mind and undo it later. Or wait to do it. Or do a lot of things at once.
The point is that the rewards can be high, but the rush is nonexistent. Your house loans don’t have interest or a deadline. You can play for twenty minutes a day or two hours. The commitment you give to your island is yours. Your time, your schedule, your choices. Essentially, it’s low risk and high reward as you develop your island into the paradise you want it to be. The system is flexible and forgiving, because this is your sandbox now.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons introduces wonderful new elements.
Before this, I only played Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I’m not nearly as much as veteran of the franchise as other folks. That said, I can still appreciate the hell out of Animal Crossing: New Horizon’s new features. Frustration with the Bunny Day event aside (I could go without seeing another egg or Zipper the bunny again tbh), I adore the event system based on Nintendo rolling out updates. Sure, I time travel sometimes, bypassing the game’s real-time clock system, but the update-based event calendar feels like it takes some of the pressure off of me. I can watch social media, mark my calendar for upcoming events, and not sweat it much after that.
I’m also a huge fan of changes to smaller, regular events, like fishing tourneys and bug-offs. Bug-offs are now the third Saturday of the summer months depending on your hemisphere (a new choice offered to players!), and there’s one fishing tourney per season. Plus, the hosts visit your island now and again, paying 1.5x the regular rate for bugs or fish, which means you don’t just interact with them on a ceremonial level.
But the best feature is, in my eyes, the Mystery Island feature. With a Nook Miles ticket, you can visit your airport and take a flight to a randomized island. There, you can bring in new villagers to your island (if you have an empty lot available for them to fill), catch a horde of tarantulas (in the right season, with the right conditions), or even encounter rare fruit and flowers not found natively on your island. It’s a lovely surprise element that keeps the game fresh.
Honestly, I think my only frustration is tool durability. And gorillas.
Those are two very different things, I know. But the tool durability drives me up the wall. Granted, it keeps you from going on and on and on forever, forces you to change things up and take a break, but still. I would like my axe to stop breaking so often, thanks.
And my town is full of gorillas. I have no bunnies. In exchange for an island layout I love (and the newly unlocked ability to terraform, which is a terrifying amount of power to have, oh my god), RNGesus has decided to make a mockery of me. All of my villagers are either pink or generally horrible in my eyes. It’s a tragedy.
But overall, I’m still wholeheartedly in love with the game. Eventually, the gorillas will move out, and I can easily cope with tool durability in the long run.
Of course, I have to admit that I want NPCs from New Leaf to make a comeback too, the only other current downside. Where are Katrina and Gracie and Harriet, among others? Hopefully, we’ll see them in updates. After all, there’s been hints we’ll be getting Brewster and Crazy Redd at some point. But for now, I’m still satisfied, and spending many hours on my little island.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a Nintendo Switch exclusive.
If you want the details straight from Nintendo, you can check it out here. I know Switches are in short supply right now, so if you don’t own one already, it might take some time before you can get your hands on one. But if you already have the console, this is a game I highly recommend.
Plus, if you have friends with Animal Crossing, and you have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, you can play together in multiplayer! The other night, a friend of mine hosted her birthday party on her island, and we had a blast celebrating. It’s a great way to stay connected and beat away the quarantine blues.
So, have you played Animal Crossing: New Horizons yet? Are you thinking of picking it up? Let’s chat! And if we’re mutuals on Twitter or Instagram or in the general blogging world, feel free to contact me with your friend code. I’m happy to make more friends and share the Animal Crossing love. 💛
Also, if Dotty lives on your island, but she’s moving out, I’m begging you: please tell me. She’s my favorite villager of all time. 🥺