Animal Crossing: New Horizons is an escape from reality

Nintendo’s newest game is the perfect way to pass time during quarantine.


The promotional poster for the game.

Meena Vasquez, Staff Writer

With COVID-19 spreading like a wildfire and people being required to stay in our homes, this quarantine amplified my boredom to a max. With almost nothing to do in a house, I couldn’t wait for Friday, March 20 to arrive. This was the release date for the new Animal Crossing game for the Nintendo Switch.

Animal Crossing is a series of social stimulation games where you can live your life in a town, and now an island, full of animal friends. I’ve been a fan of the series since 2008, but luckily you don’t have to be a long time player to enjoy it. In fact, you don’t even have to be a ”gamer” to understand Animal Crossing because it’s really simple, easy and fun for everyone.

All of the games surround you living in a virtual town/island with your animal neighbors. Unlike most games, you can’t really ”finish” Animal Crossing because there’s endless things to do. There is no real end to the game and there is no big goal you must complete at the end. Besides the basic tutorial at the beginning, where you set up your house and get to know your neighbors, stores and more. the rest is up to you. In previous games there was so much to do in your town and a lot of ways to personalize it, but in New Horizons there’s a big expansion on actives and customization.

The premise of New Horizons is that you’re the ”Resident Representative” of this deserted island. After setting up your tent you have to pay in ”miles” for it. ”Miles” is a new currency introduced in New Horizons. You can get them by completing tasks such as planting flowers, catching bugs or fishes and even talking to your new neighbors.

To catch bugs and fishes you have to craft your own tools using materials from the island.  The islanders will help you with this by sending you DIY recipes which allow you to craft a number of tools plus furniture, bridges, clothing, etc.

After that, you can decide where you want your new museum to be. This museum puts any fishes, bugs and fossils on display for your island if you choose to donate said items.

Finally, you can craft a store by gathering more materials from the island. This store is a place where you can buy all the basic items, such as tools, plus decor items such as flower seeds, furniture, wallpaper and flooring.

What stands out to me in this game compared from the rest is the DIY recipes. In previous games you could simply buy tools with bells, the main currency in Animal Crossing. With the ability to craft a number of new tools and choosing exactly where you want your muesum, stores and neighbor’s houses is a big upgrade. Before New Horizons, these locations would be chosen for you on a four maps at the start of the game. You would then have to pick which map you want. There’s also way more to do at the start of the game, a tutorial stage almost, which keeps me entertained for hours.

By living in this virtual island, it’s almost like I’m leaving the reality of being stuck in a house all day. If you’re a fan of games like Minecraft, Sims or Stardew Valley, I highly recommend you buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons.