For the past year, fans have been waiting for the newest installment of Nintendo’s game series Animal Crossing, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”. After a long wait, those fans, myself included, got excited for the game’s new gameplay mechanics, setting, and it’s real time clock.
When I went to pick up my copy, lines were formed at Gamestop for the new game, and fans were craving to play it. After all, the game was delayed from a 2019 release to a 2020 release, so the excitement was understandable. After I got my copy, I went home and immediately booted it up.
The game’s setting was set up at an airport where you, the player, are heading to a deserted island, ready to make a fresh start. Like the previous titles in the series, the game begins in almost the same way. They give you a sense of adventure. Like a new chapter in your life, it makes you feel ready to tackle the obstacles.
It does this by setting you up with almost nothing but the other island residents and a few tasks to complete. From there, the game introduces you to the new D.I.Y crafting mechanic, something that has never been done before in the series, which allows you to craft things that let you decorate your island and make tools that allow you to gather materials. The game then gives you the opportunity to name the new island you are residing in now. After this, your adventure begins.
The start of this adventure told me that this is a game that welcomes anyone to play. It eases you in and creates the environment that you will grow to love. Despite Nintendo’s games being directed to a younger audience, I really enjoy this game. At this point, I’m not even close to developing my island to its fullest, but so far it has been a joy.
Old fans of the series have been raving all over social media, and new fans have been experimenting with the new installment, but how? How does the game appeal to old and new fans alike, not to mention an older audience of gamers?
Compared to other games, this Animal Crossing game isn’t that difficult. But that’s to be expected from these kinds of games; they’re supposed to create a low-stress type of environment, and New Horizons does just that. The game runs on a calendar, meaning it correlates with current time in the real world. So the game is slow-paced in places, but that is what adds to the experience.
By restricting the player from getting too far ahead, you’re free to take as much time as you want, fulfilling the day to the fullest. Even with the restriction, I have clocked in a total of 30 hours by just exploring the depths this game has to offer.
It uses music to create a low stress environment, and its art style is simple, but clean. It uses other characters within the game to entrance you. The scenery on your island can be quite beautiful throughout the day, and the aesthetic of the game warms your heart, tempting you to play more.
It can go from a refreshing sunrise to a relaxing sunset to even a rainy night. The scenery does a good job of enticing the player to keep going. Compared to other games that do a fantastic job of doing this like “Stardew Valley,” “Minecraft,” or “Terraria,” “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” holds up.
For anyone who owns a Nintendo Switch, I would recommend getting the game. It creates low stress environments that can restore you after a long day of work. You’ll never know what comes the next day, but what’s life without a little adventure?
The Mount is produced by the students of Mount Michael Benedictine School.