Animal Crossing: New Horizons is Still a Hit

Nintendos Official game banner.

Nintendo’s Official game banner.

Sophie Caouette, Staff Writer

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a game that took the world by storm since its release on March 20, 2020. The game has sold over a million copies, and even a year after the game’s release, players are still raving. New Horizons is a game great for both those who play video games and those who don’t. Your island is a situation where you are in charge; you choose practically everything that happens and how it happens. You can take everything at your own pace.


This isn’t the first version of “Animal Crossing.” New Leaf, Wild World, and Pocket Camp are probably the most notable of the list. There are a total of 5 games that have been released worldwide, with the first few being only in Japanese. The most popular is New Horizons, the latest release.

You’d probably recognize a couple characters; Tom Nook, Isabelle, K.K. Slider, Timmy and Tommy are the upfront stars that you typically see in advertisements (and in that order, too). They’ve been on water bottles, bags, phone cases, and shirts (I know this because I have one).

From Nintendo’s official page.

When you play the game, Tom Nook, the one who runs the whole operation, starts you off on a deserted island with 2 villagers, giving you the option to choose the name of the island as well as the initial layout. The main goal is to get famed singer K.K. Slider to visit your island, though after that, the options are endless. 


Isabelle will come to your island as it grows larger. She’ll let you change the island flag, tune, and give evaluations on how well the island is doing. The best score is 5 stars (out of 5), marked by a special flower showing up on the island. The more villagers that move in, the more furniture, trees, flowers, bushes give you better ratings. Too many weeds and items dropped on the ground will bring down the score.


At 3 stars, K.K. Slider will visit, and proceed to host a concert every Saturday. Reaching this point in the game is considered ‘finishing it,’ even though after, you still are able to do quite a lot of things. After the first visit of Slider, you unlock the ability to change the cliffs and waterways around your town, which is often called “terraforming.”


One of the things the game is most notable for is the villagers, the adorable animals that show up to live in your town. While some villagers may be considered ‘ugly,’ the animals will do their best to win players over. With different animals ranging from alligator to hippo, the villagers also have 1 of 8 personality types. The player is given the opportunity to choose whether or not they want a villager on their island.

New Horizons introduced crafting to the series, giving players DIY recipes to learn and use. Because of this, players will end up with recipes they already know, and can give them to other players.


New Horizons also has a serious social aspect, from talking to your own villagers to visiting friends’ islands. The more you interact with your villagers, the more unique conversations happen, as well as them giving you different gifts. The game encourages trading furniture and DIY recipes with other players, as well as visiting friends’ islands.


Here’s a little backstory: I’ve never played the previous games before. I bought the game in June, where the game had most of its features (though some new ones game in later updates). The adorable villagers and the cute design of your own character is what brought me to this game originally, and it’s proven worthwhile. I love being able to talk to these characters that have their own phrases and personalities. 


A good tip for the game? Don’t play for hours on end. Basic rules for any video game, right? For some reason, this game has a serious “I need to play more” vibe. It’s very tempting to keep playing until you reach 3 stars, or even 5 stars. Playing too often will end up making the game boring. I learned this the hard way. Slowing down every once in a while is something that might be beneficial in the long run.


The game gives players a chance to let their creativity run wild, giving them the ability to make their own clothes, fans, photo stands, and flags. They are also able to create their own outdoor paths, rugs, wallpaper and flooring. Plus, with the options for terraforming, practically the entire island is customizable.


So if you want a game that will last for quite a while, love adorable animals and want some creative freedom, New Horizons is a great choice.