Animal Crossing: New Horizons Review

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When New Horizons was announced I was so excited, I had played New Leaf which was my first experience of an Animal Crossing game and I loved it to bits, so the announcement of a new game to Switch did have me very excited.

So fast forward from the announcement of the game to today and after the first month of play I have clocked up 175+ hours on the game, and I don’t think a game has had me this hooked since the first Titanfall game came out on Xbox One.

What do you do in Animal Crossing I hear you say? Well, the main premise of this game is that you’re invited to live on an Island, the catch here being that it was deserted until you came along, your job now is to now create a thriving community on the island by using your imagination to turn the island into something special. Fish, catch bugs, and craft to your heart’s content.

When you start the game up and get to your island, you can see the mammoth of a task that lays ahead of you, weeds are everywhere and if you’re wanting a nice clean island, you’re going to need to clean them up.

One problem ahead of you is that when you start the game you’re limited in where you can go, at least for the first day or two, it really depends on how much you get done during the day, such as doing the requests Tom Nook asks of you. But this is one of the beauties of this game, things don’t need to be done there and then, you can take the game at your own pace, if you would rather just clear a section of weeds and collect fruit from the trees, you can go ahead and do that, the game won’t dictate that you have to have certain things done in a specific time frame. If there is something that can be unlocked by day 3 but you don’t get it by day 7 in your game, that’s fine, this game has been designed for it to be taken at the player’s pace and not the games, which with the game running in real-time gives you plenty of time to get your island perfect.

I love how New Horizons looks, the colours are vibrant, the style of the game is brilliant, and everything looks very crisp and the detail in the game from the leaves on the trees blowing in the wind to the flowing water, the bugs crawling/flying about and how they react when you get close is amazing.

There is so much to do in Animal Crossing New Horizons that it is no wonder that I have played the number of hours I had. Fishing, bug catching, getting resources, crafting items, speaking with villagers, and a lot more. I’ve seen people talk about 100%’ing the game, but in my opinion, I don’t see how it’s possible to 100% it. Yes, you can catch all the bugs and fish in the game, collect every item available, but there are always things to do, there are always ideas that you can work on to improve or freshen up your island, and with the amount of furniture and other items at your disposal there is always going to be more and more new things available to help you perfect that specific area or you might get a collection of something and think you’re going to freshen up an area. I know I have moved things are countless times when I’ve had an idea for something. Especially when terraforming comes into play, this makes a massive difference to the game.

Terraforming? Whats this Joon? Well, after a certain point in the game, you will have KK Slider come and play a concert for you and your villagers after this event Tom Nook gives you the licenses for making paths and you can also buy the permits for changing the water landscape or the ability to build or destroy cliffs. I found that as ideas came into my head, there was a lot of building and rebuilding, changing and it made it so my island looked nothing like how it started out, which is what I was kind of after. I wanted to give my stamp onto the game and make my island my own, and this helps so much!

There is so much goodness in the game, but like pretty much every game, there is something that tends to annoy me, and for Animal Crossing, this is the ability to not be able to bulk craft or buy anything. Yes, Nooks Cranny let you buy certain things in bulks of 5, but if I’ve got 30k in my hand and I want to spend that 30 bulk buying an item it should give me the option to buy as many as I can afford, same when crafting items, especially as I have found when trying to craft Fish Bait… Doing one at a time is so laborious, if I have 12 manilla clams in my hand, I want to be able to craft 12 fish baits and not have to do them one by one like a poor man’s Noah’s ark. Even he did things in two by two. Hopefully, this is something that Nintendo will look at and update.

Another thing that annoys me is the durability of your tools, now I got no beef with them braking, it happens in life and this is being implemented in the game, that is fine, but I would love to be able to see the durability and see how much life it has left when I’m planning a trip to a Nook Island or venturing halfway across the island to salvage some goods. At least then ill know whether to take another one with me instead of arriving on a Nook Island and it brakes at the first chop or catch. I know I can make more on the island, but sometimes when I’m travelling to one of these places I want to take as little as possible so I can bring back as much as possible and make the trip worthwhile. Again, I hope this is something that Nintendo looks at and fixes.

For me, personally, I love these type of games, they’re relaxed, chill out and easy-going, you can play it in your own time and develop your island as you see fit.  If you want to have a Giant Godzilla like statue on the cliffs, you go ahead, want to turn part of your island into a Jurassic Park, you go ahead. Make a diner from loads of items that you’ve collected, you can do that as well.

The ideas are endless and what makes it better is, it’s yours. You play and design how you want to.

Very highly recommended and I have to be honest, this is going to be close to being my game of the year.

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