Image Source: Animal Crossing : New Horizons Press Kit
Science & Tech Editor
Animal Crossing is one of those games that coerces you into indentured servitude, and you’ll be totally fine with it.
Literally, most of the game is spent paying off debts you are nudged into getting – because you definitely need that extra room in your house to put your fifteenth sofa in. But the biggest investment in this game is the fact that everything revolves around real-world time. This isn’t a game that lets you play through all of it in one chips and soft drink-fueled sitting at the cost of your eyes. It requires you take it slow and keep coming back diligently every day for the full experience (unless of course you have no honour and change the internal clock and calendar of your Switch to time-travel to different times of the year to skip ahead). With that in mind Animal Crossing is an aggressively relaxed game since it more or less forces you to take it slow.
With that out of the way I can actually start talking about what I personally thought of the game. In short, (so far anyway) I’m really enjoying it. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (or rather Welcome to Animal Crossing: New Horizons which is the official title) is a wonderfully charming game set on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean. A deserted island that you, the player and only human out of hundreds of anthropomorphic animals, will help develop into a bustling mini nation. The main loop of gameplay is catching bugs and fish to sell for bells (the currency of the game) to pay off the house debt you will inevitably be saddled with, all the while digging up fossils to submit to the museum and talking with your animal neighbours. It’s not particularly deep and there’s no story or impending doom you must save the island from. It’s just a nice, relaxed time where you frolic around an island that slowly goes from barren with a few tents to a small city if you so choose to expand it that way. I’ll have more to say on the game once I’ve been able to spend more time with it, since game features are still being slowly rolled out even a week later.
All in all, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a very welcome game in a particularly stressful time.
Originally Published on www.bandersnatch.ca Vol.49 Issue 12 on April 1st, 2020