Nintendo could not have released “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” at a better time. With players stuck inside, “Animal Crossing” is a great way to pretend to be outside.
While it’s basically “Chores: The Game,” the objectives are well-balanced by its cute aesthetic, fun music and the ability to endlessly change the island that players live on.
Gameplay is slow by design, meant for players to take their time and enjoy the developments as they happen. But for some players, including myself, it can border on being tedious.
It could be improved in a few ways, like by allowing players to craft multiple items at once, redeem Nook Miles for tickets in bulk, switch quickly between crafting and customizing and adding a shopping cart feature to the tailor’s fitting room, among others.
The game is infinitely more playable now that the Bunny Day event is over. The event was cute at first, but constantly digging up eggs, fishing up eggs or having eggs fall out of trees when you desperately need hardwood to craft a new shovel became irksome. Luckily, Nintendo quickly released an update to lower the spawn rate of the eggs, but it was too late to stop players from hating the event.
My favorite part of “Animal Crossing” has to be befriending the villagers. I finally got best friend status with Astrid and now she calls me Dimples as a nickname, which is pretty adorable. My favorite friend on the island, though, is someone who is on every island: Sable, the hedgehog sewing in the back of the Able sisters’ shop.
Her friendship has been the most valuable to me in all the previous games, and I’m glad “New Horizons” has kept that going. I love hearing all about the Able family and the sisterly banter that comes as Sable opens up to the player.
Overall, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is a delightful game that brings up childhood nostalgia for a lot of players. For players who had never experienced an Animal Crossing game before this, it’s a great starting point. At the very least, it’s an excellent escape from reality.