Animal Crossing | New Horizons
Updated: Apr 25
Animal Crossing | New Horizons is the fifth main game entry in this ever popular video game series. It was developed and published by Nintendo and was officially released worldwide for the Nintendo Switch games console on March 20th 2020. The game is classed as a social or life simulation and it all takes place in real-time. It currently holds the record for Nintendo with the most amount of units sold in a single month, selling well over 5 million copies in it's initial first month of release, and it has already gone on to become the biggest selling title of the series, with the timing of the release and most of the world being in lockdown at home.
So what makes the game so successful, or indeed what makes a game like this such a big hit with just about everyone you can think of? Because let's face it, you probably know at least a few friends who play this already. Well, I will tell you what initially got me on board with it, and I had never played any of the previous games, but I will start off by giving you some basics about the game itself, for those who may not have actually played it before.
You start off on Animal Crossing | New Horizons pretty much with nothing, just your official 'Getaway Package', arriving on your brand new island with just 2 other fresh new residents. Initially you start with just a tent, and you will do some introduction quests, given to you by Tom Nook, who is the kind of Island Camp leader at first, and he will later go on to become your Residential Services contact on the island, but we will cover that later. There are many resources on your island like fruit and flowers, fish and bugs, as well as all of the materials needed for crafting tools and furniture, so you can spend a lot of your time out and about gathering these resources, unlocking and upgrading your tools, as well as buying and selling items as you progress and gradually move further into the game. You can also interact with your other fellow Islanders spending some time to improve those friendships.
There is just so much to do in the game and I won't cover much of the actual gameplay side of things, you will just need to wait and experience all that for yourself. As you start getting in to the game though, and as your Bells (in game currency) increase, or through crafting, you will be able to upgrade items and your tent, which you can swap for a house (at a cost). One of the things that I really enjoy is the fishing and you can literally spend hours upon hours just roaming around the coast line of your island casting off into the ocean catching all varieties, big and small. Also for the fish and bugs, etc. you will get access to the Museum and to Blathers, who will take one of each from you to use in the Museum as display exhibits. Spare ones or duplicates that you catch can also be sold to the shop on your island for Bells.
Throughout the course of your time on the island, timed events will be available to you. Most just last a short time, for example there are various seasonal events such as a fishing event, and a bug event as well as the opportunity to celebrate your fellow Islanders' Birthdays, which allows you to drop in to see them and give them a little gift. Sprucing up the appearance of your island in general will allow you to receive some very special/famous (Animal Crossing World) visitors and there is also a campsite upgrade where potential new residents can stop by overnight so they can get an idea of what your island life is like, before making any moving in decision.
Having never played any of the previous Animal Crossing games myself, I did find myself get a little caught up in the pre-release hype for this new one. I remember my daughter playing the 3DS game some years ago, but had never actually seen any of the game play for it. Then the week before New Horizons was due to be released I decided to start checking out some of the online previews and read up on it, and I just kind of got swept up in all of the hype for the game. Before I knew it my pre-order was in and the game had started downloading on my Switch in preparation for the launch date. I know that I have said it before but there really is just so much to do in the game. You can spend as little or as long as you want doing any number of things on your island, or indeed take a flight to a random neighbouring one or to a friend's island for a visit to spend some time with them or just to trade items with them.
With lots of new updates announced and with the amount of time you can spend with this game, I really cannot recommend it enough. You find yourself trying to not miss a day on your island, or else you end up with some weeding to do, and there is always something different to do or something new to discover. And on that note, I think I need to head over to my island now as it's Harvest day and I have some fruit to pick and sell at Nook's Cranny.