Animal Crossing : New Horizons
- Genres : Animals, Simulation
- Publishers : Nintendo
- Developers : Nintendo
- Players : up to 8 players
- Consoles : Nintendo Switch
- Languages : Japanese, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Dutch, Russian, Chinese
- Release date : Mar 20, 2020
It’s been 10 days, since I wrote this test, that I’ve had the pleasure of playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons and I have to say that I am having a lot of fun. I discovered this series with Animal Crossing: New Leaf on 3DS and then Happy Home Designer so it was with impatience that I was waiting for this new opus of the game on Nintendo Switch.
I estimated that after 10 days and about 95 hours spent on the game, I was able to propose you a first version of my test of this wonderful game. Of course, if I see any new features, I won’t hesitate to complete this test and tell you to come and take a look via my social networks.
On the way for your utopic paradise
What is Animal Crossing?
The saga Crossing came to life in 2001 in Japan. This series is difficult to categorise so much it is unique! Some talk about “a communication game” or a “life simulation game” in a town filled with animals, but, there again, it is only part of what the game really is about.
If I had to sum up Animal Crossing in a few words to present it to somebody I would say: Animal Crossing is an emotional bubble, a sort of bunker that allows you to get away far from your daily life for a utopic destination. In this bubble that is dedicated to you, everything is happening quietly, without any frustration. You can do things at your own rhythm and in your own image by taking full ownership of the game. It is based on a utopia of capitalism that allows you in exchange of a few hours spent on the game to build and furnish your house, your island, to complete your collection in the museum and help your island develop itself. But nothing is compulsory, you can do as you wish… it is your bubble.
Here is for my vision of the game. There also is the entire sharing with your friends and the community of Animal Crossing side that is an essential aspect of the game, but for me Animal Crossing remains my second home.
A little bit of history
At the beginning, the game is created to be a collaborative family game: each member of the family can create its own character on the same game save and participate in that way in the development of a little family paradise. Careful, collaborative game but not multiplayer! Actually, each family member has to play at a different moment of the day: the children after school, the mother at lunch time and the father in the evening after getting home from work for example. At the time the in-game notice board allowed the players to leave instructions to the person who would play afterwards.
Personally I loved the idea, but at the time I was young and my parents didn’t play video games… But who knows, maybe one day with my own family 😛
Anyways, the arrival of internet and connectivity between consoles made the way the game was developed evolve. Today, it is more of a solo game, but that kept its collaborative side thanks to the sharing of experiences between players: invite your friends to visit your island, exchange plans and fossils…
Animal Crossing: New Horizons in all of that!
Animal Crossing: New Horizons does not deviate from the fundamentals of the series! We come back with pleasure to the important inhabitants and protagonists of the old versions. Same goes for the important places, like the Town Hall, the Museum, the shops…
The game system is quite similar to New Leaf: fishing, hunting insects, looking for fossils, balloons you have to pop and upgrading of the décor in your house. Where, New Horizons is different, is that it allows you to manage the entirety of the layout of the outside of your island and goes as far as proposing you to modify the topography of it.
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the introductive scenery of the game is really fantastic! It was nice in new Leaf, but there It is neatly superior. As soon as you launch the game, you find yourself in your own little utopic bubble. All the customisation settings are integrated in a nearly transparent manner in the small airport scenery. It is a true pleasure.
An island for you only.
As I told you above, the big novelty of this version is that it allows you to manage everything: positioning of your house and of the residents’ houses, the bridges, the shops, the museum… Also if one placement doesn’t suit you anymore, you can move the building against a handful of bells. Only the placement of the airport, the square and the rivers mouths won’t be changeable. For the rest, you have ‘carte blanche’.
This novelty was developed in a response to the dissatisfaction of the players that saw their house built anywhere in New Leaf sometimes over the flower or fruit gardens… but also in order to offer more in-game possibilities.
New Horizons that way corrects a lot of defaults from new Leaf allowing the player to really feel home and landscape its island completely: interior and exterior.
You manage practically everything on your island and it is a real happiness! For each important event, your opinion will be taken into account. On a same logic, you will have to choose the inhabitants of your island so as not to get annoyed by any of them. That is really super cool! I have to say I had gotten in some trouble with one of the inhabitants of my town in New Leaf: those who I wished to keep were leaving and he didn’t want to get out of here… Anyways, I wasn’t going to have any more troubles on my island!
Your daily life as an insular delegate
Yes, yes, insular delegate will be your new title and thanks to it you will be able to live the adventure at your own rhythm. A single watchword: have fun!
Explore your island as you wish, complete your museum’s collection or not, decorate your island according to your taste… You will only have a few constraints and as you go along you can create an island that looks like you.
To encourage you to go on with the game and unlock new functionalities, you will have a badge system corresponding to “challenges” you will have to complete. Tom Nook will also be here to motivate you in the development of your island and Isabelle will enable you into solving some of the details concerning the daily life on your island. Here again, it is the spirit of collecting that is at key because each badge you will get will also give you access to a title you will be able to show off proudly on your passport. But here again, nothing compulsory.
Personally I loved the collection side of the game so I am trying to fill my museum with the maximum of species possible. It is so nice that museum that it would be a shame to leave it empty. I also try to make a nice little house for myself and dress my character up in function of my taste. So, I sell and I buy a lot of things hoping to see the shops getting bigger and propose more things?
I go every day on temporary islands that I explore all the way to discover all of their secrets. I also pay a visit to my friends who also bought the game.
Oh god I realised by writing this article that I was completely addicted to that game…
In short, this game is very complete on the planning of the inside and outside areas level, on a collecting level that takes place in the museum, or with the plans or even the badges. The plan/craft aspect of the game allows you to build your own furniture and tools and that is really nice. A nice addition to the game!
Honestly it is difficult to describe you with words how much the game is addictive! When you begin the game you feel relaxed, you discover things at your own pace and you begin to arrange everything so that your friends find your island cool/nice/wow when they come and pay you a visit. Because, yes, Animal Crossing it’s also a lot of sharing!
It is a true happiness to go back to the universe of Animal Crossing and to be able to share the adventure with so many people thanks to internet. In addition to being addictive, this game is a real intake of fresh air. The sharing with your friends is really really fun. I love having fun with them on that game, it’s so cool!
The only downside is that I haven’t found out if there was the possibility of playing mini games with my friends like in New Leaf and also having to accept Aaron on my island. But that is a detail. And the seasonal events might compensate this part of the game.
Honestly if you have liked playing to New Leaf and its quiet gameplay, you are going to love New Horizons. The game is just great!