Animal Crossing New Horizons is my first foray into the series. As someone who’s never played any of the Animal Crossing games beforehand, I figured this one would be a good place to start. So on launch day I managed to get a physical copy and I figured I’d give my first impressions on the game.
Keep in mind this is not a review. It’s more of just a loose opinion thing where I just talk about the game and my experience with it so far. And of course, what I generally think of it.
I will be giving the game a complete review once I am further into it, which may take a while given the available content changes with the seasons. But for now, these are just my initial impressions of Animal Crossing New Horizons on Nintendo Switch.
The Perfect Getaway Package
We’re in a pretty strange situation right now. With the world going through a pandemic with COVID-19, a lot of people are isolating themselves. So in a way, a game like New Horizons couldn’t have come at a better time.
I feel now, more than ever, we need a game that provides comfort. And most of all, provides a place for our minds to go. The stress of such a situation can be extremely taxing, so having a distraction like this is perfect.
New Horizons provides what the Animal Crossing series are known for. Essentially you get to live a digital life on an island. You build relationships with the other people there, you build houses to live in, and you can craft all kinds of stuff to decorate the island with.
There’s also tons of stuff to do. Depending on what tools you craft, you may pick up fishing, bug catching, and a lot more activities. And selling stuff to the Nook family earns you bells that you can use to pay off debt and buy all kinds of neat stuff.
Another currency in the game is called Miles. You get Miles for completing various tasks and challenges, encouraging you to explore everything the game has to offer. You can access recipes for the crafting workbench, Miles challenges and a ton of other stuff on a smart phone.
So far what I’ve enjoyed the most about the game is just how good it makes you feel. It’s the kind of comforting experience where you’re never punished too hard for anything. And everything you do feels rewarding in a sense, since all the creatures you catch can be donated to a Museum and inspected later, and everything you gather can be sold.
Hanging Out With Real Friends
The most interesting aspect of New Horizons in my opinion is the multiplayer. After a day, your island airport will open for traffic, allowing other players to visit your island and vice versa. I tried that today with my friend, and found that I was able to earn a lot by selling fruit from my island to her shop.
And of course, she was able to craft stuff for me and help me reach new parts of my island that I wasn’t able to reach before. This kind of interaction makes New Horizons feel almost alive in a sense. And having actual people on your island can bring you together with friends in a digital space easier.
I really love how much the game rewards utilizing the online features. You can even send post cards to your friends. And with the game’s built in photo mode, taking group shots is pretty easy too.
The Perfect Relaxing Game
Since I am also playing through Doom Eternal at the moment, I feel Animal Crossing is the perfect game to wind down with. After an intense session of Doom Eternal, there’s nothing like just booting up Animal Crossing for a few hours to just get my heart rate down.
I of course have to mention the game looks absolutely gorgeous as well. The cute art style works perfectly for the Switch, looking great in both handheld and docked mode. And the game runs at a really smooth framerate too.
Though while the controls are generally pretty good, the “aiming” feels a bit off. I often find myself placing stuff wrong or not hitting what I wanna hit because the game thinks I’m aiming somewhere else. Not a dealbreaker at all, but a minor nuisance.
But overall, I feel this game is definitely worth a look if you’re into life sim games. It’s honestly a hard game to put down at this point and perfect for bursts of gaming. So for me who’s commuting often, it’s a pretty good game. And I struggle to find anything bad to say about it.