Animal Crossing New Horizons brought a lot of new features to the Animal Crossing franchise. For starters, there are new characters that can live on your island or do business with you. Not only that, but many new and exciting features were introduced. But does Animal Crossing New Horizons live up to the hype?
Animal Crossing New Horizons is advertised to players as starting off on a deserted island, and it definitely feels that way. When you start off, everyone lives in tents and collecting resources is essential. Even though the island is large, you cannot access most of it due to rivers and cliffs. There are no pre-made bridges or ramps here. As a result, your resources at the start of the game are limited.
The player must gather twigs by shaking trees, and look for rocks on the ground. These resources are used to create flimsy tools, which in turn allow you to get better quality resources. For example, shovels or axes can help you get stone, clay, and iron ore from rocks.
Nets and fishing rods help you catch bugs and fish to make some bells. These tools are true to their name and break after a bit of use. Even when you learn how to craft more durable tools, they will break after extended usage. This is the first time tools have been breakable, excluding the axe of course.
Tools are not the only thing you can make. Animal Crossing New Horizons has an in depth crafting system. You craft items at DIY Worktables and have a catalogue of DIY recipes. Players can buy new DIY Recipes from shops, get them from various characters such as Tom Nook, or find them in bottled notes on the beach. But remember, you can only get a certain amount of resources every day. So players must be careful about what they make. The start of Animal Crossing New Horizons feels like a survival game, without the danger of enemies.
Soon after your start life on this new island, Tom Nook starts asking you for assistance. He consults you about everything regarding the island, giving the player more control over what happens in their own game than ever before.
I mean this: Tom Nook asks you to pick a place for everything. New houses for residents moving in, where the museum should be placed, where a bridge should be built, and so on. Nothing happens without your approval, meaning this time around you will not have some pesky resident decide to place their house on top of your flower bed!
Choosing the location of buildings is not the only thing you can do. For the first time, players can place their own furniture outside, which adds even more possibilities for players to decorate their island! In the past, only specific items could be placed outside, and it was expensive. This time you can place almost anything outside as if it was your own home. You can even rotate and move the objects to create your perfect scene.
This new take on Animal Crossing is quite refreshing and feels a lot more in-depth than past games. The player gets their own smart phone with a variety of helpful apps. You can take pictures, look at the map, and much more. Nintendo has even added a Rescue Service if your character ever gets stuck somewhere. The best feature in this new phone is the Nook Miles program.
The Nook Miles program has hundreds of different objectives for players to complete, and awards players Nook Miles. Many of these objectives have multiple stages. For example: catch 10 bugs, then 100, then 500, etc. Of course the higher tier objectives give more Nook Miles.
As you progress through the game, some bonus objectives are added for more Nook Mile opportunities. With this currency, players can purchase a variety of things such as more bag space, DIY recipes for stronger tools, tickets to visit other islands, and much more!
With all these good changes, is time travel still available in the game? Well, it would not be an Animal Crossing game if you could not time travel! Players can close the game and change the date on their Switch to skip to the future. This is helpful to speed up construction that you want to complete, catch out-of-season fish or bugs, and progress through the game. The only limitation, is that players can no longer experience special holiday events early. All holiday events will be distributed through online updates, so players have no choice but to wait.
One last feature I must talk about is the Island Designer. This is one of the most anticipated mechanics in the game, and it allows players to fully customize their island. You can put down pathways, create ponds, rivers, and land. But all of this is not available to the player right away. In fact, obtaining Island Designer is the player’s end goal. Do not worry, Tom Nook will help you every step of the way. Just follow his advice and you will obtain the Island Designer feature in no time!
Animal Crossing New Horizons is a big improvement for the Animal Crossing franchise. For the first time, players have full control over every detail that happens to their town, along with an in-depth crafting system to create tools, furniture, and even clothes that are completely free.
Even the villagers have more dynamic personalities. They sit under trees reading, exercise in the plaza and more. One time I saw a villager singing in my plaza while another villager watched and applauded her! Fans of Animal Crossing will love Animal Crossing New Horizons.