Overall Score 9.5/10
Interested in exploring mysterious islands from the comfort of your home? How about socializing with your friends on your very own private island? If your answer is yes, look no further! Tom Nook has readied your papers and booked your ticket for a one-way trip to your very own paradise. A New Horizons adventure awaits you!
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is one of the most anticipated releases from Nintendo this year and with good reason. New Horizons perfectly blends the original features that made the game so calming with new, innovative features and gameplay that bring Nook Inc into the 21st century.
Enchanting new and experienced players alike with its gorgeous graphics, calming atmosphere, and music Animal Crossing: New Horizons offers an interactive social platform that grows with its players. Updates are constantly being added to the game with new events, features, and improvements keeping the game current and exciting. Offering both online and offline gameplay, New Horizons lets you choose how you want to game. Interested in completing your museum? You can. Or perhaps decorating your island to make it the socialite place to be is more your style. You can customize your gameplay with more options than ever before. Build your island the way you want it, turn that island into a MYland in this sandbox-style game!
The graphics and attention to detail are by far my favourite part about New Horizons. The texture of the characters; the shadows cast onto the river from flowers on the bank; the vibrant colour saturation when a meteor shower occurs in a clear night sky; the visuals of the game really help cement the beautiful and calming ambiance that makes Animal Crossing so fulfilling, relaxing, and easy to enjoy.
It’s easy to spend hours playing this game, which makes it a perfect choice to unwind during your free time alone or with some friends over the internet. Whether it’s splashing around in your rain boots on a rainy day, catching rare and exotic fish, or enjoying the cherry blossom viewing with your friends during one of Animal Crossing’s seasonal events, there’s always something do.
Nintendo has upped the quality of your avatar by adding elbows and knees! Clothing and accessories have also gotten a visual update. One of the keystones to Animal Crossing is its customization, and New Horizons has expanded its interface to further encourage freedom and creativity. If you can imagine it, you can create it! Interested in sharing you customized kimono with your friends? Need to have that amazing custard hat you saw on one of the Animal Crossing Reddit forums? New Horizons encourages sharing.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is, in my opinion, one of the most innovative sequels Nintendo has released this year with the number of new features and interfaces introduced.
Customization: Customization is everything in this game. From clothing to housing to outdoor furnishings, even terraforming everything is customizable! Expressing your individuality and style has never been easier or more fun.
DIY: DIY is a feature that was introduced in the Animal Crossing mobile game and has now been brought over to the handheld version. By collecting specific materials around the island, you can craft a wide variety of things.
NookPhone: Nook Inc. will provide some island necessities and services including your very own NookPhone. It has standard apps, like a camera and map, but over time, new applications will be added to support your island needs. The camera can be used to take in-game photos all over the island—you can even add fancy filters like all the cool kids are doing! This is your home system, to keep track of your achievements, message friends, and organize your progress all on one fashionable phone!
Nook Miles: For players looking for more concrete goals, and to offer guidance and inspiration on the island, you can take advantage of the Nook Mileage program. As you fulfill certain challenges and experiences, you will earn miles to pay off the cost of the getaway package or, eventually, to exchange for in-game rewards.
NookLink: NookLink is part of the Nintendo Switch Online app. Honestly, it’s a lifesaver when you want to communicate with your friends. When online, you can talk with friends who also have the Animal Crossing: New Horizons game on the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app using your smartphone as a keyboard or for voice chat. Need to regale your friends about how you survived on tarantula island? Or boast about your catch of the day? Save yourself time and use the app so that you can get back to doing the important things—like catching that coelacanth fish!
When you embark on your new life in Animal Crossings: New Horizons you will be given the option to choose your own island (don’t worry about it too much as you can terraform it later in the game). The colour of your airport and your native fruit and flowers will be randomly generated. If these features don’t really matter to you then continue on and enjoy your new getaway! If they do, you might want to keep restarting your game before the autosave kicks in until you find an island that resonates with you!
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is linked to your hemisphere and time zone, and special events are time locked. If you’re like me and like to research everything, keep an eye on the month, time, and weather when searching for rare or elusive bugs and fish. If not, then just take your time and enjoy the game. It’s a sandbox theme so move at your own pace and most importantly have fun!
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been a joy to play and I highly recommend it. It’s great for all demographics. If you’re looking for an easy-going social and friendly game that’s healing, then I recommend buying it ASAP. New Horizons is available in stores as well as on the Nintendo Switch online shop. It’s a great way to keep in touch with friends if you have Nintendo Switch online set up (which I recommend) as well. If you don’t have a Switch yet, Nintendo has also released a New Horizon’s themed limited-edition Switch as well as themed merchandise.