In a few weeks, everything we know will change. (Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic.) What I’m trying to say is: Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be here! On March 20, the first Animal Crossing title for the Nintendo Switch launches, and I could not be more excited to play it.
Animal Crossing is a social simulation video game series developed and published by Nintendo. The game series has quite the cult following, and the release of New Horizons has been long anticipated. I’ve spent the last few months daydreaming for countless hours about all the fish I’m going to catch, the friends I’m going to make, and, of course, the layout of my front yard. So, whether you’re a long time Animal Crossing fan and want to see the things I’m most hype for or you’ve never played and this sparked your interest anyway, I hope you enjoy this list of the things I cannot wait to do when I get my hands on my copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons next month.
1) BE ON A DESERTED ISLAND
Unlike most Animal Crossing games, New Horizons will take a player to a deserted island where they have to start from scratch. This is something that most appeals to me because it gets my brain spinning with all kinds of creative ways to build up my new space. I also can’t be the only person out there who sometimes dreams about packing it all up and moving to a deserted island, and here’s a game finally allowing me to live out my fantasy without actually, well, moving to a deserted island. Plus, the being on an island also means living on the beach, and who doesn’t want to live on the beach?
2) CREATE MY CHARACTER
Character customization has been in previous installments of the series, however this is the first Animal Crossing to offer such a diverse array of skin tones, facial features, and hairstyles.
3) HELP TOM NOOK
In previous games, Tom Nook operates the village store. He usually shows up in the beginning to sell me a house and help me get all settled, and then I spend the rest of the game paying him back. However, this time, Tom Nook’s company, Nook Inc., has prepared this Deserted Island Getaway Package with hopes of turning the peaceful island into a bustling community.
4) GET MY NOOKPHONE
Tom Nook has a phone made especially for island residents. How cool! It comes preloaded with some standard applications like a camera (we’ll talk about this later), map, and many more.
5) REDEEM MY NOOK MILES
I’ll earn Nook miles by playing the game and participating in different activities on my island. The miles I save up can be used to pay off the cost of my getaway package from Nook Inc. and, eventually, be traded for in-game rewards.
6) TAKE PICTURES
While the camera app is technically part of the NookPhone, I still felt like it needed to be included. I will still be able to use the Nintendo Switch to take screenshots, but the camera app will allow me to zoom in or out and add filters while taking selfies in the game, and, honestly, I can’t wait to take selfies in Animal Crossing with all my friends. I am shameless.
7) PAY OFF MY DEBTS
Life can be tough, especially keeping up with all the expenses of being an adult and being on a brand new deserted island, but here in Animal Crossing, my debts seem much more manageable. It shouldn’t be a surprise that an island getaway costs a lot of bells, and I can’t really afford to live there, yet, but thankfully, Tom Nook is in no rush to collect the debt I owe him. This gives me the opportunity to play the game how I want at my own pace without having to worry about the large sum of money I’m still far away from paying off.
8) CRAFT STUFF
One of the new mechanics for this game will be crafting. Materials gathered in the game can be used to craft a wide variety of items like tools, furniture, and more. I have no idea how many different recipes for items there will in the game, but one of my first goals will be to try and find out the most realistic way to craft everything as quickly as possible.
Exploring is one of the fundamental parts of Animal Crossing. Curiosity about what all there is to do and find is what fuels the game. While there are many things I know I’m going to enjoy, I know there are still quite a few things to discover and make me fall in love with Animal Crossing all over again.
Like exploring, collecting items in this game is fundamental. Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be a giant collect-a-thon, but that’s one of the best parts. I will be busy collecting materials, fish, bugs, fossils, and much more. Gathering items from the environment in Animal Crossing is normal, but gathering materials to expand your crafting recipe book will be new. There will be a lot more ways to gather items for crafting now including hitting rocks and shaking trees. It looks like so much fun.
Fishing is one of my favorite activities in any game. I am beyond excited to fish all day and all night. The dunk of the bobber and the pull on the line to reel in your catch is so satisfying in Animal Crossing. Plus, I never know what’s going to be at the end of my line and if it’s going to be a record breaking fish.
12) CRAFT FISH BAIT
Fish bait will be a craftable item this game after gathering the right resources, and I am over the moon for it. A craftable item to enhance my all day fishing sessions? What more could I want?
13) TEND TO MY GARDENS
Something about farming and growing plants in games appeals so much to me. With all the beautiful flowers and trees, I know I will be spending a lot of time just hanging out in my many, many gardens.
14) VAULT OVER WATER
That’s right. You can vault over water now.
15) UPGRADE MY HOME
This is also a cornerstone for Animal Crossing, but this new game will allow for more customization and decorations than ever before. There will be endless ways to decorate my house and turn it into a home.
16) PLACE ITEMS OUTSIDE
Before, you could place items inside, but not outside. Now, everything that we know will change. I can now pick up my little bed up into my inventory and then take that bad boy outside and whip it onto the ground, and there it is, a bed outside. How neat.
17) MAKE FRIENDS
Every Animal Crossing has villagers in it. They’re the creatures that inhabit your world with you. They’re all unique with their own personalities and likes and dislikes. The villagers are one of the coolest things about Animal Crossing, and I can’t wait to see who all will be joining me on my island. Maybe the real treasure of Animal Crossing: New Horizons are the friends we made along the way.
Gestures will allow me to visibly express my emotions in the game. I’ll be able to open a small tool wheel and select the gesture most fitting for the moment. I can’t wait to find my favorite gestures in the game.
19) GO VISIT MY FRIENDS
I will be able to visit other player’s island. One of my favorite things about games is seeing how different everyone’s place looks even though we all have the same materials. I am so excited to see all the creative ways my friends decorate their island.
20) PLAY MULTIPLAYER
There will be several multiplayer options in this Animal Crossing, from local 8-player to 4-player party play. Even if it’s a feature I won’t use all the time, it is a cool mechanic I want to utilize and see in action. Imagine inviting seven friends over to your island just to hang out. What more could you want?
21) HEAR ALL THE SOUND EFFECTS
It can’t be only me. The sound effects make literally every game I’ve ever played. All I want to do is hear the sound of something falling from a tree or a villager talking to you or the wind in the trees. I can’t wait to hear it all.
22) SEE IT ALL IN HD
All Animal Crossing games are cute and beautiful, but the fact that I’ll get to see this one on the Switch with those HD graphics is so exciting. I can’t wait to be in awe at how immersive and captivating my deserted island is.
23) BE SURPRISED
Nintendo has kept information about Animal Crossing particularly sparse, which is bad and good. Bad because I am hungry for more information, but good because I know whatever the game holds for me will be amazing. While there are tons of things I know I can’t wait to do, there are a ton of things waiting in the game to surprise me and delight me.
So, there you have it. Animal Crossing: New Horizons will launch next month on March 20, 2020. I hope you are excited as me. See you at the launch.