Animal Crossing is a game I’ve loved since I was a little kid. My first game I owned from the animal crossing series was Animal Crossing: Wild World which came out in 2005, 15 years ago when I was nine years old. I still have my DS copy of the game and occasionally play it on my 3DS still and the same goes with New Leaf. I even have the pocket camp mobile game, to say I’m a fan of Animal Crossing is an UNDERSTATEMENT and when I got my Nintendo Switch for Christmas 2019 I couldn’t wait to finally play a new Animal Crossing game.
Well, three months later and I finally had my chance. My copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons finally arrived and honestly it’s everything I expected and more. It still feels like animal crossing while updating some of the older mechanics with new ones. There are some features I could live without, but overall the game is an excellent break from the real world and due to the real time element, it is able to be apart of my day every single day. It is a great to escape Covid-19 for a few hours a day.
The gameplay is very typical of Animal Crossing. You’re on an island which will become your new home. You shake trees, you dig holes, plant fruit. The typical animal crossing deal. However, there are some new mechanics which make New Horizons unique. Crafting, Nook Miles, Vaulting Pole’s and other features all help to bring a new and updated feel to the game.
DIY/Crafting: DIY and Crafting is a new element. In the game you will collect DIY recipes and you can collect them from everywhere. Some will be gifted by villagers, some will be found in bottles, some will be seasonal and some you can buy. Animal Crossing is filled with DIY recipes for crafting. You can also customise the colour of DIY projects with customisation kits. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons there are a bunch of features to help design your house and island so customisation and crafting is a huge part of the gameplay.
Nook Miles: Nook Miles is a new type of currency, but now Tom Nook has made his own type of cryptocurrency. You get this type of currency from completing tasks around your island. It’s also how you pay off your first loan. It’s also how you can redeem a BUNCH of perks such as better tools, more pocket space and special items. You can also get Nook Mile Tickets. These tickets allow you to go on mystery tours to a different island. Here you can get resources such as fruit, bugs and fishes. There is even a Bell’s island.
Vaulting Pole’s and Ladders: A LOT of your island will not be accessible. Two sides to be exact, and you will not be able to get up cliffs or go to the other parts of your island without vaulting poles and ladders. You need to learn the DIY recipes for these two things and you do that by making sure to give Five Fish / Bugs to Tom Nook which allows Blathers to come to your island and make a new museum. He will tell you how to get fossils and also how to get to other parts of your island. Ladders and Vaulting Pole’s are vital to get the most out of your island as bridges and inclines are expensive and you only get one bridge for free.
Shops: You have to make progress in the game to get shops and the museum. Once you’ve gained shops you will feel more like you’re in your typical Animal Crossing game.
Houses/New Islanders: When you arrive on your new island you will have two other islanders with you. You will be living in tents, before you start to make the move to a house. Once you do this, your other islanders will follow. You can also get new islanders by going on mystery tours, or having a camp site and asking them to move into your village. After six islanders have arrived you need to pay 10,000 Bells for more to come along. It’s a nice system and means you can customise who comes to live on your island.
In conclusion, I LOVE this game. I think it’s definitely what I’ve needed to get through lockdown. It has also given me a routine. It’s also a relaxing game, with enough game play to keep you hooked for weeks, months and even years. I would recommend buying this game if you’re interested.