A Review of Animal Crossing: New Horizons


Sean Crumpacker, Reporter Emeritus

Some people are dedicated gamers; some people just happened to own a Wii as a kid. But nearly everyone has played, or at the very least heard of, Nintendo’s long-running series, Animal Crossing. The game defines many childhoods for the past couple of generations. Since the last game in the series, Animal Crossing: New Leaf was released eight years ago, it is no surprise that fans had been eagerly awaiting the next title for ages. But did the game live up to its high expectations? 

Nintendo’s latest addition to the series, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, is a deeply disturbing portrayal of the modern debt crisis masked by cute characters and upbeat songs. Players endure a devastating grind for “Bells,” the game’s currency system, just to receive basic shelter on an isolated island while they steadily grow crazy and communicate with wild animals. All the while the player faces off against nature’s most disturbing creatures; for instance, be wary running with a net at night, or a tarantula may just attack.

Just kidding; Animal Crossing: New Horizons is actually a very relaxing and simple game where players are free to shed their worries in favor of catching bugs and fish, watering flowers, building friendships with unique and personality-varying animal villagers and decorating their island to give it that perfect homey feel.

To answer the question from before, yes, the game not only meets but greatly exceeds the sky-high expectations developed by a community starved of content for nearly a decade. While Animal Crossing: New Horizons does not feature any groundbreaking new gameplay innovations, aside from its new crafting system, it does boast a much more customizable experience.

Players can now place furniture outside of their homes and decorate their island town however they choose, developing their town to fit whatever theme is to their liking; rustic, modern, fantasy, what have you. The simple addition of exterior decoration makes the game so much more interactive than its predecessors. Some players have gotten especially creative, designing everything from modern cities to pirate bays.

The game also features an array of new clothing and furnishing options. While some players lament the loss of furniture sets— themed furniture which paired together perfectly —others argue that their removal allows for more free and creative use of the furniture that does exist in the game, rather than players feeling restricted to only use objects of a matching set.

Animal Crossing: New Horizon’s crafting system has also received overwhelming praise from fans. Though the constant breaking of tools is annoying, having resources to gather and objects to create with said resources does an amazing job at making Animal Crossing feel a bit less like a game about collecting bugs, fish and furniture and a bit more like a game where you have something to actually do. The crafting system adds so much in the way of objective-based gameplay and gives fans a reason to keep playing and grinding.

Overwhelmingly, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a huge hit. With online multiplayer and hours of gameplay, it is the perfect remedy to quarantine boredom, and a great way to see friends without actually seeing them. And with Nintendo already confirming that more content is on the way— such as the upcoming Art Museum update —the game can only get better with time.