8 years ago, I had the pleasure of first experiencing the phenomenon that is Animal Crossing thanks to Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I went in blind, not knowing what I was going to experience. What I found was simple, fun, enjoyment, exploration, friendship and creativity, a game that lasts more than one day, and was never truly 100% completed. Now, 2020, on the Nintendo Switch Animal Crossing is back with Animal Crossing New Horizons, the fifth game in the main series, and I had to get a copy and review it.
The game starts with a flight, but before you fly you must create your character and give it a name, mine was a male called finite. You can then chose from four different island designs, but do not worry which one you chose as you can change the layout as and how you wish as the days progress and unlock new tools. But sometimes you feel something is just not right like I did when I first started the game. Maybe you hate oranges, the fruit of that island and you want a different fruit or the first two inhabitants don’t float your boat, well you can just delete the games save data and start all over again until you feel happy.
Once all done you depart for your own desert island overseen by Tom Nook, Timmy and Tommy. You will need to help your first two inhabitants find somewhere to set up camp, including yourself, and help Tom Nook gather materials for a celebratory party. During this you get to name this island, I called mine Islanora.
Once this is done and you have had a good nights rest, the fun begins, if you enjoy games that rely on crafting, grinding and collecting as this game requires shed loads of it. There is a silver lining to everything, as new crafting items become available, and with this, your creative mind can go crazy and create the perfect little country island just for you and your inhabitants. There are other aspects to take into consideration, as your first home is not free even though its a tent. You will need to earn Nook Miles, which are gained from literally everything you do in-game, from collecting fish, crafting items and much more. Then you need to earn bells which are obtained from coins from trees, rocks and selling items. Bells will allow you to purchase items along with purchasing your first home.
Now there is one thing about Animal Crossing which I said right at the start of the review, ‘lasts more than one day’ this is true as the majority of experiences from planting trees, buying your new home, the opening of a new building or items that you have purchased can take time, a day or days to be completed, in real-time. Like you can order products in the store and they will get delivered the following day, or you order your first home, this will be built for the following day. These types of experiences make you want to come back to the game over and over. Yet some gamers may find this aspect of the game boring, and if they are sneaky you can scroll the web and find a sneaky sneaky time machine feature. This is simply done by altering the Nintendo Switches clocks and dates to a future date, pushing the game forward in time. I would not recommend you do this if you truly want to experience the game in its entirety or experience the game in the way the game developers intended the game to be played. You will find that the game is meant to be played at a casual speed, just listen to the music, it’s chilled and makes you feel relaxed.
You will meet over time new neighbours as they move in, and you can even travel to distant islands using DODO airlines. You can use what is called a Nook Miles Ticket that takes you anywhere and everywhere, or you can visit your friends if they have opened their island gates to except visitors.
The fun does not end there, things you find around the island can be handed into the museum and showcased, like fish, butterflies, but the best items to hand in are Fossils, which if you find all the fossils for an animal, the museum will put them together and show off the full skeleton along with information about it.
But that’s enough about the game in general, what did I first do in the game? Well after arriving, finding the perfect spot to set up my tent, I went about paying off my moving fees with Tom Nook. So I pulled out my mobile phone which is given to you at the start of the game once you wake up after the celebratory party. This is the device that allows you to see how many Nook Miles you have, how to gain more, crafting recipes and what items you need to craft an item and much more… other apps include;
- Call Islander
- Custom Designs
- Rescue Services
- Island Designer
- Nook Shopping
- Best-Friends List
So I went about finding items to craft a flimsy fishing rod, flimsy axe and a flimsy net and started fishing first. Which I found out, if you hand in 5 bugs or fish to Tom Took, he will send them to an Owl called Blathers, who will end up on your island wishing to open a museum to showcase all your finds. You will also find out while fishing, catching items in the net, collecting wood, fruit and much more, everything will equal Nook Miles. You can also sell everything for bells the other currently of Animal Crossing.
After I had enough Nook Miles I paid off my moving costs and order my first home and worked on helping Blathers finds the items to open the island’s museum. But that’s enough for you now as I really want you to experience the game, as this game is a game you play daily, relax, enjoy and have fun. What I can promise you, is, if you have a creative mind, the island is your oyster, design your home the way you want it, design the island, make it your own, unique to you. P.S don’t forget to speak to everyone and expect visitors to your island wanting to sell items and such.
So for the new and old players here are some tips;
- Always talk to your residents, they will give you products sometimes
- Find those fossils as they are worth a pretty penny if the museum does not need them
- A glow on the ground means there is free money- dig up and replant to triple the amount you would get in a few days
- When hitting trees make sure to keep your net handy so you can catch those pesky biters
- Dig holes around a rock making sure there is space in front, then hit the rock with a Flimsy shovel to get items from them
- Clear all weeds, they are worth bells and they are always around, also clearing weeds allow things to be placed on the ground and drop from trees.
- Press A when you see a shooting star, then have a look around your island the following day.
I do not want to spoil anything else for you, and I am going to leave the review there and simply say, Animal Crossing is not for everyone but it is a masterclass in relaxing gameplay, plenty of enjoyment to be had, opens your creative mind to new ideas and a pure distraction over whatever is happening around you. The best thing about this game, Nintendo will constantly update it and add content to it, then there is a shed load of seasonal events that only pop up during seasons, like Easter, Xmas, Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn etc.
The game has truly improved over the years and the game developers should be very proud of themselves for what they have created here, Animal Crossing fans will love it, new gamers will love it, some gamers will hate it, but you can not please everyone. Before we got the game runs at 1920 x 1080 in docked and 1280 x 720 while in portable. Anti-aliasing is absent from the game so expect a few jaggies, which you do not see what much of. The game also runs at a smooth 30fps the majority of the time with some drops from time to time but nothing that takes away from the enjoyment of playing the game.
Animal Crossing New Horizons is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch
You can grab the game here
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Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a life simulation video game developed and published by Nintendo. The fifth main series title in the Animal Crossing series, New Horizons was released on the Nintendo Switch on March 20, 2020.
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Product Price: 49.99
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