More than seven years have passed since the
last main entry in the Animal Crossing franchise. The gaming scene has changed a lot since then. The 3DS, home to Animal Crossing: New Leaf,
has been replaced by the Nintendo Switch, a console-handheld hybrid. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp upended the Animal
Crossing formula by introducing crafting and making your mobile devices a key part of the
experience for better or for worse. Animal Crossing: New Horizons will incorporate
all of these new elements, as well as many more. The Switch game remains Animal Crossing at
its heart you’re still building up a village by doing chores, celebrating special events,
playing minigames, and befriending your quirky animal neighbors but it’s not the same Animal
Crossing you remember. It’s a fresh, modern take on Nintendo’s most
laid-back franchise. Here’s what you can expect from Animal Crossing:
New Horizons when the game arrives in spring 2020. “Oh, it’s starting! It’s starting!” Animal Crossing: New Horizons isn’t the type
of game you play all at once. It’s designed for you to boot up for a few
minutes once or twice a day. Do some chores, visit your neighbors, rearrange
your furniture, and then get on with your life. Good thing, too, because Animal Crossing:
New Horizons is coming out just before some of the most anticipated game releases in years. Animal Crossing arrives on your Switch on
March 20, 2020. That’s less than a month before Final Fantasy
7 Remake, with The Last of Us 2 slated to follow in the spring, and both Marvel’s Avengers
and Cyberpunk 2077 dropping in September. Those aren’t just popular games, but they’re
some of the biggest, most hyped games of the generation. They’re going to take a while to get through. Thankfully, Animal Crossing is perfect for
bite-sized gaming sessions. But be careful: Animal Crossing can be remarkably
addictive, too. If you don’t manage your schedule correctly,
you might find that you’ll run out of time to play anything else. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, not only
can a bunch of people help settle a single village, but by using local multiplayer, up
to four people will be able to join up on a single Switch and enjoy island life together. You can enlist your friends and family for
help clearing weeds and gathering crafting materials, or you can turn on New Horizons
to celebrate birthdays and special events. Naturally, you can play in your shared village
when your real life housemates aren’t around, too, although what you do will affect others’
experiences. Catch all of the town’s fish when your roommate
is off at work? The rivers will still be empty when they return
home. If you don’t know any other Animal Crossing
fans who live nearby, don’t panic. In addition to couch-based co-op, you can
venture online and invite up to seven other people to join you in your village. Nintendo hasn’t flat-out said if you’ll need
to subscribe to the Nintendo Switch Online service for the internet-based multiplayer
to work, but if you check the website, read the fine print, and notice the asterisk next
to the words “play on the same system with a total of 4 people*” – it sure sounds like
you will. Maybe Nintendo has learned a crafty thing
or two from Tom Nook… In most Animal Crossing games, your village
is already up and running when you arrive. Animals have already built their houses and
formed a close-knit community. Services and landmarks like the town hall
or the museum are already waiting for you. Not so in New Horizons. When Tom Nook says he’s sending you to a deserted
island, he means it. Instead of occupying a house on a pre-existing
plot of land, you’ll be able to pitch your meager tent wherever you want. The island will be mostly uninhabited when
you arrive, and when new villagers move in, you’ll help place their houses. In a first for a main Animal Crossing title,
you can put furniture and other objects outside, decorating your new surroundings as you see
fit. You can even eventually alter the actual land
around your settlement – it’s basically a terraforming mechanic à la No Man’s Sky,
and it is bonkers. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is doubling
down on customization, letting you build the tropical paradise of your dreams. An empty island may not seem too hospitable
at first, but once you tailor it to your exact whims, you’ll be basking in New Horizons’
freedom. “Today we would like to present to you ‘The
Deserted Island Getaway Package,’ hm?” Animal Crossing games don’t really have stories;
structurally, they’re more like Stardew Valley than, say, The Last of Us. But New Horizons does have a premise that’s
brand new to the series, and it’s all thanks to Animal Crossing’s money-loving raccoon
venture capitalist with a heart of gold, Tom Nook. In addition to serving as Animal Crossing’s
resident shopkeeper, real estate broker, and mortgage lender, Tom alongside twins Timmy
and Tommy operate a travel agency now, too. In past Animal Crossing games, you moved into
a pre-built village in the middle of the woods. In New Horizons, your journey begins with
a trip to an empty tropical paradise courtesy of Nook Inc.’s Deserted Island Getaway Package,
which isn’t quite as luxurious as Nook makes it sound. This time around, Nintendo claims Tom Nook
will share his wealth instead of keeping all of his money for himself. He’ll invest in the community as you spend
cash, adding more services to the island. Of course, Tom will also squeeze you for every
bell you’re worth when you stop by the Resident Services building to shop or craft. He’s changed, but he hasn’t changed that much. Want a new tool or piece of furniture, but
don’t have enough bells to buy it at the store? In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you have
another option: go ahead and make it yourself. While the mobile title Animal Crossing: Pocket
Camp was the first Animal Crossing to introduce crafting, New Horizons will be the first main
game in the series in which you can build your own stuff. It looks like it’ll change everything. While past Animal Crossing games let you pick
up almost anything that wasn’t nailed down, New Horizons will let you put it to good use. Right away, you’ll be able to pick up rocks
and stray pieces of wood to build basic tools, as well as wooden furniture. From there, you’ll be able to chop down trees
to get better lumber, dig up rare materials, and more. The more you make, the more options you’ll
unlock, and if hunting and gathering isn’t your thing, you can always buy crafting components
from the store. It looks like New Horizons will have some
kind of Stardew Valley-esque farming system, too. It may not be a fully fledged survival sim,
but if you like games like Ark or Don’t Starve, Animal Crossing: New Horizons might be right
up your alley. Despite all the different types of animals
that live in your villages, Animal Crossing isn’t traditionally a very diverse game. Given how important personal expression is
to the entire Animal Crossing experience, that was a shame. In 2020, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will
become the first game in the series that will let you make a character that looks like you,
no matter what your skin tone or gender identity is. Previously, people who wanted dark-skinned
Animal Crossing avatars had to get tans or wear Mii masks. It, uhh…wasn’t ideal. In New Horizons, however, you’ll be able to
choose your character’s skin tone. That’s not all: while past Animal Crossing
titles assigned you facial features based on the answers you gave to an early-game questionnaire,
you can customize your New Horizon character however you like. Even better, all of the available facial features
and hairstyle options are gender-neutral. Boy or a girl? It doesn’t matter. Look how you want to look. For better or worse, mobile devices are an
integral part of modern life. They’re going to be a major factor in Animal
Crossing: New Horizons, too. One of the features that Nintendo is adding
to the latest Animal Crossing is the Nook Phone. Just like your real-life smartphone, you’re
going to find it very hard to put down. “Turn in your phone, please.” “Fine. One last tweet?” “Bailiff!” “Press send, Bailiff! Press send!” Want to see a map of your New Horizons village? You’ll need to check your phone. Want to look up a crafting recipe? There’s an app for that. You’ll need to whip out your Nook Phone to
set up online co-op, too, as well as some other currently unknown features. Most importantly, you’ll also use your Nook
Phone to accumulate Nook Miles, which you’ll earn by completing achievement-like tasks. Nook Miles aren’t just for fun. When you have enough Nook Miles, you can redeem
them for crafting recipes, exclusive items, and “various services.” Nook Miles tasks, which are designed to make
menial chores more rewarding, are expected to be repeatable, too, so get ready for the
grind. Tom Nook doesn’t just give anything away. One of Animal Crossing’s signature features
is how its world progresses in real time. When it’s night in the real world, it’s night
in Animal Crossing, too. When you open Animal Crossing on holidays
like Halloween and Christmas Eve, which Animal Crossing calls Toy Day, your villagers will
also be celebrating. The weather matches the real-life seasons,
too. When it’s cold outside your house, you’ll
see snow in your Animal Crossing village. When it’s summer, sunlight lasts longer and
mosquitoes are everywhere. Of course, in the past, that was only true
if you were in the Northern Hemisphere. If you played Animal Crossing in locales like
Australia or South America, the seasons were switched. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s cold during
June. It’s warm in December. Older Animal Crossing games didn’t account
for this. If it was summer in the Northern Hemisphere,
it was summer in town, regardless of your real-world location. That’s a game-changing mistake, and while
southern players had to deal with it for decades, that’s about to change. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you can
select which hemisphere you’re in, and the game will adjust accordingly. Normally celebrate New Year’s with a barbecue? Now, you can in Animal Crossing, too. What’s a hotly anticipated video game release
without a few pre-order bonuses? Don’t worry, Animal Crossing: New Horizons
doesn’t disappoint in this department. For those die-hard fans who want a little
extra bang for their buck, various pre-order bonuses are available depending on where you
get your game from. Target hopes to entice gamers to purchase
their copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons in-store by offering a free exclusive journal. Several other stores and websites are offering
their own pre-order bonuses to earn your business. Everything from keychains to tote bags are
up for grabs as the companies compete for your cash. Your only job is to decide which bonus you
want! Are you excited to play Animal Crossing: New
Horizons but wish there was a way to show off your love of the game to all your friends? Well, you’re in luck. Hori has come out with exclusive Animal Crossing
Switch accessories to spice up your gaming life and show your Animal Crossing pride. These accessories for the Switch and Switch
Lite are officially licensed by Nintendo and are just as cute as you’d expect Animal Crossing
merch to be. There’s a charging stand, a tote bag, a backpack
with multiple compartments, and hard cases for your Switch and Switch Lite. All the accessories are decked out in the
mint green Animal Crossing color scheme, with some nature-friendly patterns thrown in. If your pre-order bonuses weren’t enough for
you to show your Animal Crossing love, these accessories are sure to do the trick. Animal Crossing: New Horizons will likely
be a staple for any Animal Crossing fan. Not only will the game have the crafting and
social capabilities of the other games in the series, but it will add a ton of fun new
features like character customization and local multiplayer. If you already own a Nintendo Switch, the
decision to purchase this game is something of a no-brainer. The biggest question gamers will need to ask
themselves is whether they enjoy playing cute social sims. If something like Stardew Valley isn’t your
idea of a good time, odds are you might not think Animal Crossing: New Horizons is worth
it. But, for those who are already fans of the
franchise or who enjoy social sims and are looking for a new game to dive into, this
should be the perfect title for you. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more SVG videos about your favorite
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