A new look at an old game- Animal Crossing

Sophie Enloe , Copy Editor

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a game exclusively on the Nintendo Switch. It was released on March 20, 2020, making it one year old and it has sold 31 million copies. The composers of the game are Yasuaki Iwata, Yumi Takahashi, Shinobu Nagata, Sayako Doi, and Masato Ohashi.

I’m not going to lie, I was stoked when I found out when this game was going to be released. I waited for days to pass by just so I could get my hands on it, and it was worth the wait! The graphics are a huge step up from the previous Animal Crossing game, Animal Crossing New Leaf, and there was a lot of detail put into it.

The game starts with Timmy and Tommy asking you questions before you get flown to your island. When you arrive, there are two residents and Tom Nook. Tom Nook helps you get situated on the island and he also gives you debt to pay off. After you figure out the basic game mechanics, you get to invite more residents to your island.

One of the main parts of the game is building up the island so it can be inhabited by more animals. You can put furniture and other items outside to decorate the island and make it more lively. Your island gets a rating based on how much you decorate your island. Isabelle works in the town hall, and she’s the character to talk to about the ratings. Once your island gets a 3-star rating, a musician named K.K. Slider will appear on the island and perform. K.K. Slider plays music every Saturday and he can give you music notes that you can listen to.

Unlike the previous Animal Crossing games, this one involves gathering materials and crafting. You can get new DIYs from the residents on the island, bottles on the beach, or by purchasing them from the ATM or Timmy and Tommy’s shop. Resources for DIYs can come from trees, rocks, the beach, fishing, flowers, and bamboo plants. When crafting you need a workbench and you can make furniture, tools, and clothing items.

Terraforming is also a new feature in the Animal Crossing series. It is unlocked after K.K. Slider goes to your island. The terraforming feature involves building up and breaking down your island to your liking. You can make ponds, rivers, and waterfalls with a water shovel. The cliff shovel can break layers of the island or build them up. Making paths is also a part of this construction kit. There is a set of given paths that you can use or you can use custom designs for paths.

Another aspect of the game is befriending the residents. You can talk to the other characters that live on the island and once they open up to you enough you can give them gifts. The residents can be found in their homes, at shops, at the museum, and outside on the island. If you become best friends with them then they will give you a picture of them. 

Not all residents have the same personality, and they can give you different reactions based on their personalities. The reactions are expressions that your character can earn depending on their level of friendship with a resident. Another way to get reactions is from the ATM in the town hall, and you can unlock some during holiday events in the game.

Fishing and bug catching is another interesting part of the game. Every time you catch a new fish or bug it gets added to your encyclopedia. The things you catch can be sold or donated to the museum. Blathers is the owl in charge of the Museum. When he first makes an appearance, the museum isn’t fully set up because he doesn’t have enough bugs and fish. You have to donate bugs and fish for the museum to be built. 

Later when a fox named Red shows up, you can donate art. Red’s shop is on a boat located at the back of the island. Donating a painting from Red results in the museum expanding and having a room that showcases art. Red can be deceiving when he sells items because not all the art he sells is genuine. There are guides online to tell which works of art that Red sells are real and fake.

Timmy and Tommy run the furniture and supplies store called Nook’s Cranny. Tools, furniture, wallpaper, flooring, and other things can be bought at Nook’s Cranny. You can also sell things to them for bells, the game’s currency. When the store is closed, you can sell things through the drop-box on the outside of the store. The Able Sister’s shop ran by Mabel and Sable will be built after Nook’s Cranny is open for at least 30 days. Talking to Sable can unlock a QR machine so you can get custom designs from other players. You can also create your own custom designs.

If you share your Switch with a family member then they can make another character on the game with a separate account. You can play co-op with them and switch who is in charge of the game. Although, if you want to play online or locally, you can’t play simultaneously with the other accounts on your switch. Opening your gate can allow other people to visit your island and you can choose between local and online. If you want to play with your friends you can fly over to their island when their gate is open.


This game is pretty fun and I recommend you to check it out if you have a Switch or are planning on purchasing one.