Animal Crossing: New Horizons – 1 Year Later Review


A Sea Bass! No, wait – it’s at least a C+!


Released: March 20, 2020
Available on: Switch
Genre: Life Sim
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo

Yes, this isn’t exactly 1 year later, but it’s been 1 year since Animal Crossing New Horizons has released. This website wasn’t a thing a year ago, so I can’t exactly go back to what I wrote around release, but I did get this a few days after launch (cause shipping, I wanted that Bell coin bag okay) so why not do a review now? Anyway, Animal Crossing has been my favorite game series since forever. I had Wild World longer than I can remember and I played the heck out of it. I may not have more original Original town (as I did restart it a couple times at one point), but I loved it. Though, I never did end up completing the museum. I also remember reading these little rumors and trying to do them to no avail, only to know learn it actually wasn’t actually possible, as it was drawing from the Gamecube game or is only in the Japanese (Gamecube) version, until last year (like hitting Nook’s Cranny with a shovel to wake up Tom Nook or going inside the lighthouse by hitting it or something). And when the Wii came out, you bet I was all over City Folk and mostly played that. I even made a friend through City Folk somehow despite having no internet, which I stayed up for and waited ever so eagerly for them to come to my island. I was slow on the draw on New Leaf, but I really enjoyed that too and going to that other island to fish and catch bugs. And when New Horizons was announced, no matter how much I tried to resist, Animal Crossing is one of the things that I’m nostalgic to.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons premise is simple and still takes place in real time. Instead of moving into a new town that is already established, with the shops and some villagers already moved in, you’re instead going to a whole new island. And not new to you, but a deserted island that no one has touched yet. After you customize how your character will look (for now), you get a one way ticket to your new island which will have a random island preset (which some are not able to be changed like the beach and city hall location so make sure you like how it is), a random fruit that will be your island’s native fruit, and 2 random villagers. It took a couple tries, but my native fruit was oranges with the 2 villagers starting this journey with me was Bam and Rocket. And, shortly after arriving, you get to name your island, which I named mine Witchtop.

Compared to the other Animal Crossing games, this is a slow burn (maybe taking a little bit over a week to unlock every building if you’re on top of everything). Which wasn’t as bad when everyone else was, but I can see people now wanting to get through with it. Anyway, everyone is starting out in tents so it’s just like camping. Even the soon-to-be town hall is a tent that is housing Isabelle (WOO), Tom Nook, and his cousins Timmy and Tommy. Your first goal you’ll be working towards is making this island better and somewhere that people want to live at. Slowly getting the attention of the other important NPCs to come and build here (Blathers with his museum and the Able Sisters and their tailor shop called… Able Sisters) as well as getting in Nook’s Cranny (where Timmy and Tommy will be manning the store this time around) and the Town Hall where Isabelle and Tom Nook will hang out and help out (part of me does miss Pelly, Pete, and Phyliis though). Though, the tents here quickly do get swapped out with actual buildings, including yours and your villagers tents.

Anyway, once you get everyone in, you’ll be set to do whatever you want. The main draw is mainly this being a relaxing game and being habit inducing. This may be unappealing to many, but to others it instead appeals to us. Everyday, you’ll be able to dig off fossils, dig up a golden spot (which is the spot to plant a money tree hint hint), catch bugs, catch fish, pick up fruit (which regrows every 3 days), plant flowers where you want or to breed into hybrids (which again takes 3 days to grow), shake trees to get drops and hopefully not a wasp nest, collecting sea shells along the beach, and hitting rocks to get material or money (if you hit the money rock). And selling these items or critters to Timmy and Tommy will net you some sweet Bells which you can put in the bank to earn interest (which has been disappointingly nerfed) or to buy some goods like furniture, tools, or clothing at Able Sisters (which a whole new dressing room to have a ton more selections than what’s displayed).

 

Of course, with bugs and fish, we have a great implementation of the Critterpedia. With Animal Crossing taking place in real time, bugs and fish are on rotation based on what season they show up and the time of day. Some bugs and fish show up during certain months, certain times, and certain water fixtures (ie ocean, pond, river), with some depending on the elevation. As well as having a certain rarity which gives them less of a chance of showing up and a fish shape ranging from small to big (be ready for a lot of Sea Bass and Black Bass) with a few having special shapes (like sharks) so you can focus on catching one shape only. We also got an update to bring back diving (which was introduced in New Leaf) where we can dive to get deep sea critters (where we have different fish shadow shapes and speeds, with the rare ones here being so fast you have to trap them against the barrier to catch). The Critterpedia doesn’t show the fish/bugs until you catch it, so you’ll either be looking these up or being lucky, but it helps immensely to know what you already caught (giving you some of this information as well) and what you already donated to the Museum with a little Blathers stamp. I cannot tell you how much this helps as you don’t have to keep track you go to Blathers every time before selling just in case.

You don’t want to know how long I grinded for this Cicada Shell

Talking about the Museum, it’s manned by the lovely owl Blathers. You don’t necessarily have to bother with the Museum, but it’s a nice goal to work towards completing it. Which, in turn, might be a weight lifted off your shoulders the next year for certain hard to get critters (cries in 300 fish bait). Here, if you catch a new critter or one that you haven’t donated yet, you can donate it to Blathers so he can take care of them and you can go in their section to see them swim around or do their bug thing. Blathers also acts as a way to identify the fossils you dig up so you know what they were to either donate them (so you’ll see the full skeleton on display or the other miscellaneous additions like amber or tracks) and he’ll also accept Art (came in a later update as well) which he’ll accept if it’s real or reject if it’s fake.

Another goal you have and can work towards is paying off your loan for your house. Tom Nook does require you to pay him for the material and labor he goes into for building your house, but it has no interest and it doesn’t matter how long it takes. As long as you pay it eventually, he’s happy. One you do pay for it, you can upgrade your house so you have more room and maybe more rooms to work with. And with each upgrade, your next loan becomes more expensive. But, the end is there and you will eventually be free. And, once you get certain upgrades, you’ll have the option to customize various aspects of it, including your mailbox (which you can move to anywhere), and this will even become free of charge when you pay off that last loan.

Your next goal is technically to get K.K. Slider, who is now a famous musician (which long time AC fans knew before he was cool) and will only come when you get a 3 Star evaluation and from there, he’ll always comes on Saturdays (unless there’s an event, then he’ll move it to Friday I believe). Like previous Animal Crossing games, you’re evaluated based on how beautiful your whole island is (it’s a bit too messy to properly explain here) or just toss things out. Getting the max, 5 Stars, is another goal you can work towards if you want, though I only ever reached 5 Stars once in Wild World and that was just barely after years (granted, I didn’t have the internet on my side back then). But, you should at least get to 3 Stars so K.K. Slider will come and you get to unlock a little something new.

ALL IN

Other than these, you can set your own goals like dominating the Turnip Stock Market, becoming a Bellionaire, decorating your dream house with what we have (which we get a new decorating mode to make it easier on us with a top-down-ish view) or getting the highest HHA rating you can, or making your island into whatever you want. You have no time limit you have to play this game in (well, aside from seasonal stuff) and the only thing you have to worry about is having enough Bells to get or do what you want. You can even stop playing and the only thing that will happen is getting that bed head hair, a bunch of weeds you should pull (as it affects your island evaluation), and flowers going crazy (and trust me, you don’t want that. It took me a whole day to sort and dig them up when I neglected to keep them in check). You can even make your own designs to use on clothing (which you can display at Able Sisters to have a chance at Villagers wearing it too), tiles, or paintings.

I really want to update this someday

Now, New Horizons brings us some new mechanics and characters to mix things up other than the whole (not-so) deserted island thing and I thought about mentioning these last. The first is that out Animal Crossing self has a phone now, which actually includes a lot of new additions as well. You’ll have your Passport here (fun fact, my picture is from when I farmed tarantulas), a camera to take some nice pictures with filters, frames, the ability to have everyone look at the camera and do reactions (which are like emotes); where the Critterpedia is located; call rescue services if you end up being stuck (rip Resetti); go to your Nook Shopping catalog where you can re-order most items or order the rotating items here; view the island map; see the chat log; see custom designs; and access the new additions being Nook Miles+, Diy recipes, and get into island designer mode.

There are quite a lot new additions that were made. For one, we got 5 new villagers to the pool and we have wands to have preset outfits to quickly switch to. One of the changes that is important in the early game (but not so much late as you’ll have too much to deal with) are Nook Miles. This is kind of like a second currency that you earn by doing tasks or just logging in every day rather than selling stuff. In your Nook Miles+ app, there are ongoing tasks that can only be completed once, and they can act like achievements, but they do give a lot of points (an example is planting plants a lot or fishing a lot). There are always rotating tasks on top though, with the first 5 being doubled, so you won’t run out. You’ll also get Miles by going to the terminal in Town Hall everyday to get that streak going. You can then use these Nook Miles here to buy Diys, packs (like hairstyle, hair color, or reaction packs), and special items.

And one of those special items are Nook Miles Tickets which you can go to your airport to go on mystery tours to other deserted islands. Early on, these are for when you’re looking for new villagers, as when you have an empty plot, random villagers will be on these mystery tours, with it being automatically filled the next day (and I’m the luckiest person with Audie coming in as the random fill in after wasting a lot of Nook Miles trying to get her to appear). There are various different mystery tour islands you can randomly land on and you can do anything here like destroying it by cutting down all the trees and digging up all flowers and rocks. It’s really a quick way to get material and you don’t have to worry about the consequences as you’ll never see it again. Granted, make sure you have enough inventory space, not taking anything you don’t need, just in case as you don’t want to leave anything you can’t easily get back.

All my RNG went into getting Audie as a random auto-move in and Raymond as a camper apparently lol

With this, villagers won’t move away by themselves if you leave for too long (which thank goodness) as they’ll tell you first and you get to decide to tell them to stay or encourage them to go explore the world. So you can wait until they want to leave, or you have a new campsite (which is from the mobile game Pocket Camp) which will occasionally have someone staying there. Though they require you to win at a game (or sometimes they won’t mention it) to accept and choose a random villager that they’ll replace (you can just save scum this tbh). You can use villager amiibo cards as well, but from what I’ve heard (as I don’t have any Animal Crossing Amiibo cards) that they take 3 tries and will ask to make them something.

Another big aspect here is that there is now crafting. There are various crafting material you can gather (like 3 different kinds of wood, stone, iron nuggets, and branches) that you can then bring to a crafting table to make. With some even requiring you to make a different diy item to make that item. And eventually, you’ll be able to customize the color or pattern of some of the furniture you’ll be getting with customization kits (most of the furniture you’ll get from Nook’s Cranny is disappointingly not customizable). To get diy recipes (apart from the ones you unlock through progression) is finding a message in a bottle, talking to a villager in their house when they’re crafting something, or through balloons. There’s no way to know if you collected all the available diys, though there’s probably a list somewhere by now, no way to store them other than the floor, and it doesn’t prioritize ones that you already have.

This also introduces, well technically reintroduces as this was an aspect in previous games (though only for the axe) is tool durability. You can craft your own tools, and you need to early on, but after a certain amount of successful uses they’ll break. And how many uses it takes depends on the quality, with flimsy tools being the weakest. You do get an option to buy tools, with the decorated fancy ones having more uses, but there’s no way to tell when they’ll break. You can reset it by customizing it, but you’ll have to be keeping track. And it can be very annoying when it suddenly breaks on you and you really don’t want to run to your house to get material out (or hope that it drops from your daily drops) and when it’s a time that Nook’s Cranny is closed.

And the last addition is island decorating! First of all, flowers won’t go away if you or someone else runs over them too many times or picks them. So no need to be so careful as they’ll regrow the bulb in a couple days. You can also place furniture outside to decorate (which oh my gosh was so big if you remember when New Horizons showed that off). And, for what you’ll probably be waiting for, terraforming which is under “island designer” in your phone. Despite terraforming being so tedious and annoying, it lets us change most of our island as we can level the whole thing, add preset paths that will give off a realistic sound when walked on, add cliffs so you dictate how each level is, and waterscape so you can mess with how water will flow and how your ponds look and where they’ll be. Though, this won’t unlock until K.K. Slider comes. Tom Nook will also let you move houses or buildings (other than Town Hall) and add or destroy inclines and bridges (with a price and it will take a day to build once it’s funded… and you can only move one building and one incline/bridge a day).

We also have Special Visitors, which most aren’t new characters, but they don’t have anything established on your island or anywhere else you can go to to visit them. We have some returning characters such as: Wisp, where you’ll catch all of his lost ghost parts to get a random new or expensive item; Gulliver/Pirate Gulliver where you’ll help him find phone parts after he gets in a shipwreck (or dive for his phone when he’s a pirate) to get a special item from his item pool; Saharah to get random rugs and a mysterious wallpaper/flooring; Leif which will pay double for weeks and acts as a way to buy flower seeds, shrubs, and pumpkin starters; Celeste who now wanders and will give you special diys on meteor showers; Kicks who sells shoes, socks, and bags that you won’t get at Able Sisters; Label which will task you with putting a themed outfit together to get clothing from her clothing line and tickets to use at Able Sisters; Redd which will sell you fake or real artwork (which you can tell as fake artwork will be missing something or have something wrong with it); K.K. Slider to hear some music and get your own copy for your music players; and finally Pascal, who technically isn’t a visitor, but he shows up when you catch a scallop for the first time that day to give you mermaid items, diys, or pearls to make those diys. With new special visitors being: the cute Daisy Mae which now fills in for her grandmother Joan for selling Turnips on Sundays; Flick who will buy bugs for double the price, make a model of it if you have three of them, and hosts the Bug Off; and CJ which is much like Flick but for fish and he hosts the Fishing Tourney.

With this happening in real time, we of course have seasons and seasonal events/holidays. Like when it’s winter, your island will be filled with snow and for those that live in a place that don’t get snow (which I did for most of my life), well your Animal Crossing counterpart can run in it and build snowmen. Though the seasonal events and holidays are a huge mixed bag (I still sometimes here that air sound when a balloon present is coming due to the first Bunny Day) and a lot of them are just seasonal items you’ll buy from Nook Shopping (No Blanca for April Fools? Or even an April Fools event? Come on). But one aspect that ruins the whole chill aspect, in my opinion, was season diys. The vast majority of seasonal diys are from balloon presents, which spawn in every 5 or 10 minutes, and you can shoot down with a slingshot. Each one will give something random like crafting material or money. Seasonal diys are added in when the season or event comes around and the rng for them are so terrible. They drop so rarely and you can get duplicates without having the full set. So you’ll have to grind a whole day or multiple hoping that you don’t get too many duplicates. And considering even when grinding you can go hours without getting a seasonal diy, people playing it casually will have little to no chance getting any or seeing more than one. Though, the best way this was done with was Halloween, where villagers will give you a diy you haven’t learned yet when giving them a candy and you can buy them in Nook’s Cranny throughout October. The diys connected to seasons (like Cherry Blossoms) and some events (like Bunny Day) have seasonal crafting material, which will also include some grinding if you want to make everything or more if you want more than one of something (with acorns and pinecones being the most annoying as they rely on rng to drop).

And, of course, New Horizons has online aspects just like previous games. You can upload and save custom designs from others and you can even set what type of design you want (either by a keyword or design type), type in a design’s code you saw online, or look up a whole creator’s work. You can send postcards to anyone friends you have registered as well. You can also invite others to your island as well as go to others as long as their island is open and you have their Dodo code. However, to fly there (or for them to arrive) everyone has to stop what they’re doing (get off their phones and stop talking to a NPC) for someone else to arrive and then everyone gets to a screen that shows you or someone else arriving. It can get pretty annoying when it’s a lot of people coming in (which the max is 7). There are some limitations, but it’s basically so you island can’t be ruined and the most setting someone as a Best Friend will do is let them use shovels. This honestly can be pretty fun, especially when there’s an even going on or a player made event like treasure hunting. I went to do a Fishing Tournament on another’s island and it was so fun and it does help in getting points quickly to get the trophies and items tied to it (though, this was the second tourney so it wasn’t much of a concern for me).

We also got Dream Island visiting in an update, which is pretty great since you can visit it without having the island be open and have the Dodo code. You can even choose to visit a totally random Dream Island if you want. You can put your island in as well, which will give you a Dream Address for others to be able to see it quickly, at a snapshot of the way your current island looks. This is an awesome way to get some inspiration and have a full look other than screenshots that people post. Though, you have to take off your wand outfit first before dreaming.

Much Needed Improvements

However, Animal Crossing: New Horizons isn’t without it’s faults and sadly nothing has been done despite a lot of these being requested as quality of life updates. And there is a lot and it’s honestly a disappointment that the only things we got so far was increased storage and more slots for designs. This is a lot, so if you want to skip, you can skip all the way to the Verdict.

  • There’s no touch screen controls other than drawing on the Noticeboard and typing in what you want to deposit or withdraw from your ABD. I don’t know what’s up with not including touch controls in games that started on the DS and having everything in a way that suggests there are touch controls (just like Pokemon SwSh). I want to move my items or scroll through my inventory with my fingers. It’s been a year, please.
  • Wall decorations on cliffs and rugs outside seems so obvious!
  • We need some indicator of roughly where the tool durability is at. We had it in previous games with axes, where it would get cracks which go deeper the closer you get to it breaking, so it’s strange it’s not here when durability is on all tools. And on that note, golden tools shouldn’t break considering how rare gold is. Gold tools aren’t really worth it and aren’t such a reward like in previous games if they just break like the others.
  • We need bulk crafting, and it’s really baffling no one thought about it before release or haven’t implemented it in over a year. I already suffered when I made 300 fish bait, but it would be so much better if we could bulk craft. Also being able to change color when you’re about to craft it (and it can still require customization kits). And also, on that note, batch redeem Nook Miles for tickets or Bell Vouchers.
  • Having a way to get information about critters without having to bring it again (as donating multiples will skip the critter information) like information signs.
  • Indoor workbenches being able to grab crafting material from storage
  • A way to store diy duplicates instead of having them on the floor.
  • Ordering more than 5 items from every day from Nook Shopping.
  • A way to make your side rooms bigger like they were in previous games.
  • The return of the microphone, which would tell you the location of villagers.
  • Something like a credit card or an app so you can spend Bells from your bank account without exiting out and going to the ABD or being able to take money out on the fly. And a way to buy mystery tour tickets without having to run back and forth between the airport and town hall if you didn’t buy enough the first visit to the ABD.
  • It’s a bit annoying you can’t go into the dressing room with a wand outfit or a diving suit. And it’s also annoying you can only buy one item from each clothing type instead of selecting as many clothing you want to buy. On that note, an indicator that you already bought that piece of clothing (specific to the color), which would be helpful for Nook’s Cranny items as well.
  • I would love to display other’s custom designs in Able Sisters so my villagers can wear the designs too (you’re told who created the design, as visiting players can put up their own designs in your Able Sisters, so it’s not like it’ll be assumed that you made it)
  • A way so the custom paths won’t get scrubbed off if you misclick (or too an inch too far away from what you wanted to interact with). And having a different sound other than a plastic mat sound.
  • A way to skip or shorten dialog, especially dialog that you get every single time, as I already know what to do. I don’t need to hear it again. This is especially for when going to another’s island as Orville has so many dialog boxes to go somewhere and you have to start at the beginning if you accidently type in a Dodo code wrong (why can’t you just retype it in without closing the dialog box and internet connection?).
  • On that note, I love Isabelle, but I really wish she did announcements when there was actual news rather than most of her dialog being about what she watched or finding that sock she thought she lost. A couple months in you pretty much will button mash to get through it quickly and it becomes a habit so much that you may miss that something is actually happening. Maybe give us a weather forecast, kind of like how she now announces a meteor shower and either announced or hinted at a roaming special visitor visiting. It doesn’t matter for Redd or visitors that stay at town square, but it would be great if we knew we had a roaming visitor as you can easily not know if they spawn somewhere that is hard to see someone (my first Flick visit had him stuck wondering behind some trees).
  • Not have fish models be so disappointing compared to bug models. It makes sense since Flick does all models and he likes bugs more, but it’s so disappointing and underwhelming. People that love fish more than bugs shouldn’t have inferior models.
  • It’s really strange that Nook’s Cranny still doesn’t have another upgrade, which the only reason being that there might be another NPC that’ll be added in the future to possibly share the space with Timmy and Tommy. And I also found it a bit strange that you can’t preview wallpapers or flooring anymore (which was possible in one of the previous titles, which I’d like to say was Wild World).
  • More varied villager dialogue and varied tasks that they’ll ask you to do would be great as they say the same ‘ole topics and repeating them, to which I quickly reverted to barely talking to them. Especially when there’s an event going on.
  • I really miss villagers asking to visit your house, setting a time for them to visit, and then trying to remember to jump in so they don’t get upset that you totally forgot. Or having a flea market where you can barter to buy their furniture and even have them buy yours.
  • I loved Brewster and I miss him so much here (and apparently he’s in the source code in New Horizons?). It would also be nice to have gyroids, now that I already finished my museum.
  • Return of town ordinances from New Leaf.
  • Being able to bulk eat fruit like in previous games. You can do it with Turnips, but that’s (1) expensive and (2) it’s because 1 turnip is actually 10.
  • Having no furniture with colors locked in for your island (like the Nook Miles furniture) or having to get fruit from other player’s islands (you only get one other fruit showing up on mystery islands and in previous games you could just send mail to villagers to get the other fruit). You shouldn’t have to have internet and pay for NSO to get other options and I’m someone that’s still shy and anxious online. As someone that didn’t have internet for the longest time, I loved how in previous games you could get non-native fruit as a letter present from villagers (the only thing that was locked behind someone else coming in was one of Nook’s Cranny upgrades which required someone to visit and buy something).
  • Terraforming is also such a tedious hassle that I can barely force myself to deal with and it can be better. I know many others have made beautiful islands, but still. Maybe show the grid that this acts on and/or highlight where you’ll be affecting so it’s not a guessing game. It’s annoying when I dig in a spot that I wasn’t facing (or didn’t think I was facing). Definitely have a way to kind of hold and drag so you don’t have to plop down a single square each time, but a whole plot that you selected. Maybe have presets built in so players can easily plop them down or destroy. Or, if you want to get crazy, have it be a top-down thing (just like the home organization tool) where you can see everything you’re doing and can easily make adjustments if something isn’t right, not having to move your trees and flowers constantly since they won’t all fit in your pockets, and this can still cost you money for moving buildings (especially negating the need to move it twice if you just want to move it an inch, having to suffer through the 1 house move per day limit, and being able to see the house from multiple angles before paying for it).
    Terraforming also comes in so late, which doesn’t seem bad, but considering you’ll have every building (or at least most as you need at least 8 villagers to get 3 stars), it’s so hard to fix everything up since you have to move everything that’s already been established.
    (Also it would be really cool if you could, like, turn buildings. I want to make a little villager cul-de-sac that doesn’t look super weird because all houses are facing forward.)
  • A way to see how a building will look built from further away, rather than that horrible close up angle we get, so we can tell if it’s too close, to far, or not lined up with everything else right there before wasting money a ton of money, building it, and having to move it again 2 more times.
  • Of course, we can always use more furniture sets and clothing (especially ones that have been featured in previous titles and maybe Pocket Camp which has so many beautiful sets). And maybe even have interactions that you and your villagers can do.
  • Better online play. Like a way so that everybody doesn’t have to stop what they’re doing. I understand why, as it autosaves, but it’s so annoying.
  • I don’t have a problem since I’m the only one playing my copy, but you can’t have multiple islands on a system and the second person to be registered will be hampered as they won’t be able to make any major decisions and can’t further anything so they’re stuck if the first player stops during the tent phase (first person will also have first pick at limited resources and items being sold, but that’s been a thing in the other AC games).
  • Being more transparent on what changed in patch notes instead of just saying “other adjustments and corrections were made to improve the game play experience” and leaving to dataminers to tell the community.
  • And lastly, I don’t really like this drip feed of content and having holidays and events blocked out until we get that update that unlocks it (and there have been reports of last year’s events being locked down as well, namely the Wedding Season month long event). Hopefully, when updates are done coming in, they’ll be indefinitely unlocked and won’t be forgotten about to bring in those unlocking updates.
  • There are probably more, but just can’t think of any more right now, but like look at these fan made update videos that would be so great to have ( [X] [X] ). But remember, just because I see a lot of ways New Horizons can improve, it doesn’t mean I hate this game. I just want it to be better.

There have always been rumors about paid DLCs for New Horizons, which I still have no idea how to feel about it. I guess we’ll see if it does indeed happen, but it’ll be really disappointed considering that the majority of the updates we’ve been getting have been small and the base game itself started out barebones. And it would especially be a kick in the shin if it includes QoL stuff.

Verdict

I love Animal Crossing, and I still do, so it’s not a surprise that I’d recommend the newest title for those that are interested and think they’d enjoy it (for those that haven’t played Animal Crossing before). And New Horizons came out at a perfect time, literally right before lockdowns happened, so a lot of people were playing this a lot. Even I played it a lot and I would have played it nonstop like I did with previous titles if I didn’t already have commitments to review other games (and I’d be lying if I cut it close for a lot of them last year) as I wanted to get and do everything I could. However, like I mentioned when I was doing my 2020 GOTY, there are just too many aspects of the game that could have been improved, but hasn’t, and changes that didn’t make sense other than pushing players into a corner (nerfing monthly interest, nerfing certain bug spawn rates and sell prices, taking away hybrid flower island from mystery tour pool even though it was added to obviously let players get them that way). Not to mention updates being mainly lackluster, with the ones this year disguising last year’s holiday events as “new events” with the main change being a couple new items. And while this may be because I got burned out, or it’s just my natural moving on, as I did eventually stop playing the other Animal Crossing games (though not as quickly as a year), I pretty much got my fill and only returning for events and new items now.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons won’t be for everyone, but if you’re looking for a game that’s meant to be relaxing as you hang out on your own island with some other villagers, fill up your museum by catching fish/bugs and digging up fossils, decorating your island and home with the Bells you made or material you stockpile and the recipes you have, and don’t really mind some dings, yah pick this up. Just don’t expect this to be a farming sim, like Stardew Valley, as this is not it and you will not be satisfied.

Also time traveling (or TTing) is totally fine. Not everyone will be able to get to the game before an event closes or before a fish/bug becomes unavailable. And we all paid $60 for a mainly single player game, I’ll play the way that makes me happy and not let anyone else guilt me into playing their “right” way.

 

RipWitch

♡ ♡ ♡ A witch that goes for anything that peaks her interest no matter the genre. Currently obsessed with the Persona series and trying to make a dent in my backlog. ♡ ♡ ♡

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