Animal Crossing is a very tranquil game, and the new version that came out in 2020 is no exception. Animal Crossing: New Horizons came with the familiar aspects of the previous renditions with a few extra tweaks.
As a life simulation game, Animal Crossing puts the player on an island with two more neighbors and a raccoon family as Nook Inc representatives, and thus beginnings the quest to develop the island. The player is sent to collect various objects such as logs, fruit, fish, bugs, and more. Every item collected can be sold off for bells, the in-game currency, so that improvements can be made such as building a house and start constructing a town. Of course, the collector at heart can simply keep a collection for themselves, and with such a variety of insects, fish, shells, and fossils finding rare items is a joy.
It is a little bit of a grind in the beginning but the results are worth it, as the player falls into a daily loop of tasks that unlock achievements and help progress with the island’s evolution. For fans of the game, New Horizons will very quickly slide into nostalgia and the easy-going nature of the gameplay. For new players who have not played any of the other animal crossing game, this version brings a soothing relaxing gameplay. Many in-game mechanics such as the crafting aspects are reminiscent of The Sims and Minecraft.
The player starts small, gradually collecting items and nook miles that will be invested in building and decorating a house, and terraforming the entire island. So much liberty has been given to players that it is no wonder it reminds many of Minecraft. Creative players can build elaborate landscapes with waterfalls, rivers, gardens, animated wallpapers, and custom patterns. There is always something to do, especially in the beginning when the island is quiet and there are not as many inhabitants.
It takes a little while to have access to every cool thing the game has to offer, rivers can’t be crossed without a bridge or a pole and mountains can’t be climbed without a ladder, rendering parts of the island inaccessible. Sooner or later everything will be available and crafting comes into play with new designs that can be customized.
As far as Nintendo goes as a platform, Animal Crossing was not the most popular game, compared with other names like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the wild, or Mario but at the time of its release, Animal Crossing became immensely popular. The relaxing easy-going nature of the game vibed with many old and new players in 2020 as the many lockdowns and restrictions kept people inside. Exploring and developing the island became a satisfying way of spending time in this easy to control environment as opposed to the reality of 2020. There are no penalties in this game, the player does not die or lose progress, there may be an occasional wasp sting or a fish that gets away.
The multi-playing aspect of the game is a little bit confusing and complicated that comes with a multiple-step process. This inconvenience made it difficult for players to visit each other and many opted to post their creations online, exhibiting island designs and interiors. All in all, Animal Crossing is very much fun and people are jumping on this bandwagon of cool unwinding gameplay.