Animal CrossingNintendo

Animal Crossing New Horizons’ islands could be just a bit better

And they may get better with time

Animal Crossing: New Horizons gives you completely deserted islands to play around with and make your own. Building up your island makes up a majority of the game. And while it feels polished and is great, the islands themselves could be just a little bit better.

Here are some ideas and suggestions to help keep island life fresh, while adding more content to the game for players to enjoy.

Island expansion

To start off, there’s really only two options when you finally manage to “finish” your island. You can either be satisfied and leave it at that — which will never happen — or you can redo parts or even all of your island. My girlfriend did the latter… twice. It pretty much drove her crazy, and involved a lot of late nights, dropping and picking up items, and terraforming. Lots, and lots of terraforming.

ACNH Ocean
I long for the sea… to let me fill it with dirt and expand my borders

But if the boundaries of the island could be expanded, it would give players more opportunity to build and explore – and it may save my girlfriend from a third reset. It could function similarly to the varying levels of home expansion. Talk to Tom Nook after finishing your upgrades and paying your loan, and he may yet propose one more option for development. Tom would then bring out the big boy machines and propose different tiers of island expansion.

These of course would cost a premium – much more than the final home upgrade ever would. While expensive, it would be something to work toward, and something that opens up your island to even more customization.

Beach editing

Next we have the beaches surrounding the island. They’re uh… nice, but there’s only so much you can do with them. Some players have gotten creative, using them for beachfront homes or event locations. I love these ideas, but I can’t really implement them the same way for my island. As much as I would want to, it just doesn’t fit in my mind, or on my island for that matter.

Sherb enjoying his new beach house from AnimalCrossing

The fact remains that they’re un-editable and also super uneven, which could interfere with buildings near the beach. I like symmetry when I’m building, and the uneven grass messes with me more than I thought it would.

The ability to edit and remove the beaches would be a small addition – but it may work to satisfy many players. Given the option, I may opt to remove some beaches entirely and instead move them to other sides of the island.

New ground tiles

To go with that last point, I wish we could get new terraforming tiles. I guess you could kind of call this a sub-wish. Right now we have a few to choose from – sand actually being one of them, hence my confusion with the whole beach editing fiasco. The Nook Stop or Nook Mile shop could sell new tiles as craftable recipes or upgrades making it no different than other upgrades, like the key ring.

And is it really too much to ask for the tiles to be flush with the terrain? I mean, I can fill my whole area with the nice decorative stone patterns, but I’ll always have to deal with a tiny bit of grass left on the edges. Although thinking about it, maybe it would look kind of weird not having it there? I’m not sure, but I at least wish it was an option.

New fruits!

Adding new fruits into the game adds new harvesting and selling options. Each fruit has its own set of accompanying home decor and accessories – and adding new fruits will throw more options into the mix. Now, this may already happen in the future, we just don’t really know yet. Nintendo is a company of mystery, and there is no way to know what will be coming in the future (well, except for time traveling sometimes.) Animal Crossing: New Horizons has only been out for about three months now.

Animal Crossing New Horizons fruits

This is a game designed to be played over the long run – and we may get new fruits and other additions in the future. We may very well see the return of durian, mango, lemon trees and more from previous Animal Crossing games, but we just don’t know right now.

LET ME MOVE RESIDENT SERVICES

Last but not least, a cry heard by terraforming enthusiasts the world over. “I want to move Resident Services” they say. “I picked a bad spot and now I want to move it to match the aesthetics of my island” I say. “Why can I move all the other building but not Resident Services?” I hear someone ask from the back of the theater.

First of all, why am I in a theater? And second of all, why can’t I move Resident Services? It’s a big, in your face building that you place at the beginning and can never move again. If you place it wrong, you’re stuck with it – unless you deleted your save and are restarting that is.

It’s a simple request really, let us talk to Tom Nook and ask to move the building somewhere else. If it’s not a big deal for the Able Sisters or Timmy and Tommy, then why is it a big deal for Tom Nook and Isabelle? I get it, some island occurrences are usually centered around Resident Services, but that’s all the more reason to add it as a feature! If it’s meant to be the main hub of the island, then let me move it somewhere it can act as such!

ACNH Resident Services
Wow, what a nice moment in front of a building I dread seeing so much

Honorable Mention: buildings, because I’m really pressed about buildings

And while we’re at it, why can’t I rotate buildings? I could do so much more if I could just orient the buildings a different way. But they all have to face forward. I get that it’s so that you’re never stuck looking at the back of a building. The camera is always facing forward so the buildings have to match it. But if I could turn the houses to look at each other then I could make this cozy little village section. But no, instead I have to make it look like a depressing suburb.

And those were my complaints ideas on how Animal Crossing: New Horizons islands could be just a *bit* better! Some of these ideas may actually end up in the game at a later date. Maybe Nintendo is already prowling the subreddits, Twitter feeds and forum posts, looking for their next idea. Or maybe they already have a roadmap for what is coming to the game and when. The latter of course is much more likely, but one can hope that their ideas may make it into the game. Or maybe we’ve just so happened to have had the same idea, who knows?

What did you think of my ideas? Do you have anything you’d like to see added to Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Maybe next time I’ll come back with suggestions people actually care about, or maybe not. I may just keep ranting to be honest, guess you’ll have to wait and see.

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Kevin Dewan

Writer for SQUAD, runs after things a lot. Won't BM you to your face. Okay with losing as long as it's funny.
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