What Is Animal Crossing: New Horizons And Why Is Everyone Playing It
New Horizons, released on March 20, is the fifth main-platform installment of the Animal Crossing series, which started all the way back in 2001 for Nintendo 64 in Japan . Its the first since New Leaf, which was released in 2012 for the Nintendo 3DS.
Animal Crossing stans have waited eight years for this game!
Is Anything Else Coming Alongside Brewster
It seems likely! Given how long Nintendo has gone without a substantial New Horizons update, players are eager for something more to sink their teeth into. During the Nintendo Direct on Thursday, Nintendo hinted that theres more to the update than just Brewster alongside the image of Brewster, theres some text that reads and more!
As for what that and more! is referring to is anyones guess, but well learn more at the Animal Crossing Direct in October. Well keep you updated on an exact date for that event.
Other Twists On The New Horizons
While the game has a very familiar look, there are so many new details that are exciting about New Horizons. Who knows what could have been added? A lot, apparently.
In addition to crafting, the NookPhone, and multiplayer, some new gameplay elements are being introduced. From the trailer and gameplay demos, we can tell there’s going to be customization options galore. Items no longer have to be placed inside the home you can set up a nice bonfire and hammock right outside your house.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons also features northern and southern hemispheres, so no matter where you are, your island experiences similar seasons and weather. While seasons are nothing new to Animal Crossing, players can do new activities and things as the weather changes. What’s more exciting about this update is the variety it brings: weeds, plants, and growth changes. There are hidden Easter eggs in spring and mushrooms in fall. Plus, players need to be more aware of when night falls since there’s no telling what they will see under cover of darkness, including some dangerous bugs or scary ghosts.
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What Happens When You Eat Fruit
When you have a piece of fruit in your inventory, select the option that lets you Eat 1. After your adorable eating animation, youll notice a little counter appear on the upper left of your screen.
Each piece of fruit will increase this counter by one, topping out at 10. But what do these numbers mean? Each of these numbers is a strength buff that will let you do one of two things with each use:
- With the shovel, you can dig up an entire tree, regardless of its maturity. That means you can move any tree at will.
- With the Shovel or Axe, you can destroy rocks completely. Be careful when doing this on your island especially if you need them for farming Iron Nuggets because it takes time for rocks to reappear.
Performing either of those actions will remove one number. When youve run out, youll need to eat more fruit to gain the strength again.
But you may be wondering how do you get rid of all the numbers at once? Well, theres an easy way to do that: use a toilet.
Prices taken at time of publishing.
Nintendo Switch consoles are often sold out, but you can still pick up the handheld-only Switch Lite, which is perfect for portable gaming.
Fishing Catching Bugs And Other Activities
Some of the staple activities you can do in any Animal Crossing game are fishing and catching insects. In Pocket Camp, instead of having dedicated tools in your inventory to do so, you must travel to specific recreational areas that are meant for this purpose. Once you arrive in any of these, your character will already have either the fishing rod or bug net equipped, ready for use.
The different recreational zones for fishing and bug catching in Pocket Camp include the following:
- Lost Lure Creek: River Fishing.
- Saltwater Shores: Ocean Fishing.
- Sunburst Island: Bug Catching.
- Breezy Hollow: Fruit Collecting.
- Shovelstrike Quarry: Special game mode where you can use your shovel to collect many crafting materials. Requires either 20 Leaf Tickets or help from 5 friends in order to access it.
The bugs and fish you can catch in Pocket Camp are used for villager requests mostly, though you can also sell them on the marketplace, which is like an auction house where you can set your own prices and other players can view your listings and buy them. Alternatively, you can sell it directly to the store for a set price, which is usually lower than the marketplace.
The other materials that you receive from these activities, especially from Shovelstrike Quarry, can also be used for crafting new furniture and other items.
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Is Animal Crossing Just For Kids
People of all ages are enjoying the escapism this game provides. My 5-year-old, who doesnt fully comprehend the current global health crisis were facing, is happy to talk to a cute raccoon when he cant talk to his kindergarten classmates. And my 36-year-old partner, who definitely comprehends the crisis were enduring, is happy to farm a patch of pixelated land after a 10-hour shift at an Amazon warehouse.
The simplicity of the game itself, coupled with the normalcy it provides via the simplest of actions like collecting different species of fish or decorating a virtual living room has certainly aided in this installments popularity it broke sales records in the U.K. and was the fastest selling Nintendo Switch game in Japan.
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Animal Crossing: New Horizons The Parent Zone Verdict
Our impression of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is overwhelmingly positive. Its great fun for children and adults alike and it teaches young people important personal skills such as patience and responsibility.
Many of the tasks you do in the game might seem mundane, but they have a strangely cathartic quality to them and its always exciting to see what each new day brings.
In these uncertain times, bringing things back to basics in Animal Crossing: New Horizons might be exactly what your child needs.
Who’s This Tom Nook Fella I’ve Heard So Much About
Tom Nook is head honcho of the anthropomorphic animal kingdom in the Animal Crossing world. Modeled off of the famous Japanese tanuki, or racoon dog, Tom Nook is often seen sporting a minty green button-down with leaves on it as well as the deadest stare known to man. This charming creature is the one who offers you your initial supply kit when you begin New Horizons and to whom you must work off your debt. As you continue to play New Horizons, you must work off your debt of 98,000 Bells, which is a whole heckuva lotta money in New Horizons world.
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Pocket Camp: Help Is On Hand
If the idea of running your own island in New Horizons or even a little campsite in Pocket Camp is a bit daunting for new players, Nintendo has a solution when it comes to the mobile title. However, it doesnt come for free.
For a paid subscription, thats real money and not bells, you can purchase the Happy Helper Plan. This plan allows you to choose your favorite animal from your campsite and make them a caretaker. Theyll then help you to fulfill requests, as well as with collecting event items for fishing tourneys, scavenger hunts, and more.
Why Dont They Make This Type Of Game More Often
Martijn van der Meulen says its hard to make a seemingly simple game like Animal Crossing and have people genuinely care about it.
Animal Crossing has charming characters and a rich world with lots to do. Building a game that your players want to invest their time in takes some careful balancing. Its also a huge project. When you think about all the mechanics in Animal Crossing, theyre all minigames that have had tons of thought and effort to make them fun. Its a big risk to try and succeed in this genre.
Eline Muijres agrees that games like this are deceptively complicated. My guess is that because the replay value is so high, its hard to top existing games. These games have long development times and are complex to make it might not be worth the risk for most developers. She says its especially risky for smaller indie developers who dont make free-to-play games.
Sam Sharma thinks there are two major reasons why these games are few and far between.
Its possible that the data on building and farming games suggest that the audience size for them is such that the peak of the market hits every three or four years or so. He adds that the low rate at which these games come out helps to ensure that the audience stays large enough and hungry enough for the next one to get popular.
Dennis van den Broek disagrees its a rare genre he says theyre just on different platforms, with different revenue models.
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Nooklink And Amiibo Compatibility
Sometimes holding on to your old games and amiibo is a great idea you never know when it might be useful! For online play or if you want to transfer some of your custom designs from Animal Crossing: New Leaf or Happy Home Design, the NookLink is just the tool for you. Using the NookLink on your mobile device, you can chat with friends or use the keyboard. If you’re missing some of the fancy designs you made in previous games, you can scan the QR code using the NookLine app and bring them on over to New Horizons.
If you happen to have some Animal Crossing amiibo or Animal Crossing amiibo Cards, you’re in luck! Animal Crossing: New Horizons supports amiibo figures and amiibo cards. You can invite those fan favorites to , and take pictures. Alternately, amiibo cards allow you to invite specific animals to your village so that you can invite them to become permanent residents.
The Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct Will Air On 15th October
The show will air on 15th October at 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm BST / 4pm CEST. It’ll be “roughly 20 minutes” long, and naturally contains info on upcoming content for the game.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct will air on 15/10 at 16:00 CEST! Tune in for roughly 20 minutes of information about the content coming to #AnimalCrossingNewHorizons in November. Nintendo of Europe
As you can see, that content will be arriving in-game the following month. No specific date beyond ‘November’ has been provided just yet, but we’re sure it’ll all be revealed during the presentation.
Will you be watching? As always, we’ll make sure to stream the show right here on Nintendo Life, so check back with us at the time mentioned above.
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What To Do On Day 5
If youve been following this guide, Day 5 in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is going to be a bit slow. There are really only two major events to take note of.
Firstly, your Wooden Bridge will be completed. Unfortunately you wont be able to build any more bridges for a little while, but at least thatll make one river crossing easier for now. You can talk to Nook and attend the opening ceremony, but its optional.
Big Goal 1 Meet your new neighbor
The other notable thing on Day 5: Youll have a new inhabitant on your island! Walk over to their newly built house and have a chat. You wont get much out of it, but its always a good idea to introduce yourself.
Big Goal 2 Learn how to customize furniture
Tom Nook will teach you how to customize furniture and other DIY projects via a seminar in his tent. Take his class, and itll open a wide variety of visual customizations for your furniture and tools.
Big Goal 3 Harvest more resources
By this point youre likely drowning in Hardwood, Softwood, and Wood. If you feel like youve got plenty, feel free to skip the day hitting all the trees around your town, if only to save your sanity. That said, its always good to hit all of your rocks for Iron Nuggets, Stones, and more, as these resources can be a bit hard to come by. You may even score a Golden Nugget in the process. If you do, save it for later.
Phone A Friend: Call An Islander And New Horizons Multiplayer
Playing with your friends has always been a staple feature of Animal Crossing games, and New Horizons looks no different. At the end of the trailer, there are a total of eight villagers seen together, gathering at some rocks next to the water.
It’s confirmed that up to eight islanders can be living together on the same island. Up to four of them can play together at the same time using two pairs of Joy-Cons.
During each multiplayer session, a leader can be designated for the group. The leader can use the app to bring in additional islanders. The leader has a yellow flag marker shown above their head, so it’s easy to distinguish who is currently leading the group. If you want to switch the leader so they can share in the ‘material’ wealth, you can easily move the flag around from player to player. Plus, each player can emote, which is a fun little detail.
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A Quest For Perfection
If you’re the type of person who likes to commit to one single game for long periods of time, New Horizons is a dream. If you like to play multiple games at once or, God forbid, juggle gaming time with reading or binge watching, it’s a waking nightmare.
A colorful, cheerful waking nightmare, which substitutes a grotesque Freddy Kruger monster for an enterprising raccoon named Tom Nook. But a nightmare nonetheless.
Animal Crossing doesn’t really have an end. At a certain point, you’re given an island rating and tasked with improving it to attract more villagers. So you can get a 5-star island, the highest rating on the scale, but does that mean you won Animal Crossing? I don’t know.
In some ways, it’s not actually a game, more like an exercise in sculpting. Animal Crossing gives you a ton of clay, sometimes literally, and a set of tools. Then it lets you do whatever you want.
Tom Nook, the aforementioned nightmare raccoon in the guise of a thrifty real estate agent, gives you various missions, many of which revolve around Bells, a type of island money. Each day you’ll also be given a set of tasks to complete, like collect 10 pieces of wood or 20 clumps of weed, in exchange for Nook Miles, the other type of island money. All of this is fun but, since the game is more about creativity than completing objectives, these are essentially tutorials.
Animal Crossing: City Folk
The entry released by Nintendo for the Wii is Animal Crossing: City Folk. City Folk was one of the games in the franchise that wasn’t exactly critically acclaimed universally. In fact, the game received rather mixed reviews from both critics and fans alike. It’s not that there’s really anything wrong with the game, which even included voice-chat and wi-fi connectivity, it’s just that not much had changed. It’s a good entry into the series for people who weren’t familiar with the previous titles, but not really worth much for people who were familiar with other games in the franchise.
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New Horizons Is A Holiday
The whole premise of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is that youre heading to a deserted island for a holiday. To begin, all you have available to you is a tent, and its up to you to get to know your neighbors and take advantage of the world around you to move up in the world.
New Horizons introduces a few long-awaited features, including a robust crafting system. You can use basic resources like wood to craft items, then use items you have crafted to craft even more items. In previous titles, you could only decorate your house, but New Horizons lets you put furniture and decorative items anywhere on the island.
The game also introduces a new currency, known as Nook Miles, that you earn by completing various tasks around the island. You can use your Nook Miles to buy unique items not available through other means. A deeper social system allows you to influence how other residents behave, including where they should build their homes.
The games other systems have also been expanded. Theres now an option to select between northern and southern hemispheres so that the seasons are correct wherever youre playing. There are new types of weather, an expanded character customization system, and for the first time ever the game is in full HD.
The game was supposed to launch in late 2019, but Nintendo delayed it to apply a final layer of polish. In the end, the timing couldnt have been better.