Nintendo released “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” on March 20, and the game took the internet by storm.
Like other games in the series, “Animal Crossing” allows players to build their own thriving towns with the help of Tom Nook, head of Nook Inc. Nook assists players by giving them financial help to start their community after they received the “Nook Inc. Deserted Island Getaway Package.” This comes with a price though, as players must pay back their debts to Nook throughout the game.
The last release in the main series, “Animal Crossing: New Leaf,” was released in 2012. The eight-year wait for “New Horizons” brought improvements in its graphics, save features and general dynamics that affect gameplay.
Compared to “New Leaf,” “New Horizons” welcomed the first autosave feature in the series. This allowed players to skip the mundane task of manually saving by visiting a villager named Mr. Resetti.
One improvement to the dynamics of the game included the introduction to DIYs. Players can now craft their own tools and other items, such as a wooden table for inside their house.
“New Horizons” also introduced online multiplayer and co-op through Nintendo Switch Online. Players can now visit their friends' islands or live on an island with seven of their friends. The release gives players an escape from reality, where they control their surroundings.
Due to COVID-19 coronavirus, players are forced to stay indoors and self-quarantine, but “New Horizons” gives players the opportunity to explore their islands with friends.
The fifth installment of the series introduced new changes that allow players to customize their character in various ways. No hairstyle or clothing item is restricted by gender, allowing them to represent themselves in the game.
Players are granted customizability through the custom designs app on their characters’ Nook phone. This is available at the start of the game after receiving the phone from Tom Nook. Players can purchase the app, “custom designs pro editor,” from the Nook Stop for 800 Nook miles. This new software allows players to fully customize more types of clothing than the original app.
Fans on twitter have created the #NewHorizons trend where players share valuable in-game information with each other.
“New Horizons” does have one downside, which is its accessibility to players. The game is only available on the Nintendo Switch, where it is compatible in television, tabletop and handheld mode.
In its three-day release period, Nintendo sold 1.88 million physical copies in Japan, where it beat out “Pokemon Sword and Shield,” making “New Horizons” the best selling Nintendo Switch game in the country.
Forbes Game Reviews rated “New Horizons” 10/10, for immersive gameplay and graphics. Critics also gave high remarks for the game, receiving a 91 by online rating source Metacritic and a 90 on video game review website IGN.
“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” costs $59.99 and is available for purchase at local retailers such as Walmart, Target and Gamestop, as well as on the Nintendo E-Shop.