AAA,  Nintendo Switch

Rapid Reviews: On New Horizons – One Month of Animal Crossing!

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Can you believe that it has now been a month since Animal Crossing New Horizons came out?! To me, it feels like it’s been out for so long since time has dragged under the current climate. That day ripping open the packaging on my copy seems like a lifetime ago.

Anyway, in my last post I had just unlocked terraforming, and I have been experimenting a lot with that. But first off…Bunny Day.

Everyone was pretty excited to see what this Easter update would bring. In fact, I mentioned it in my last post, saying how I would be talking about it in this post. And yes, I will be talking about it indeed, because it long overstayed its welcome.

It was fun at first; new outfits (though they were a little garish) and furniture to craft, with the promise of a reward from Zipper T. Bunner for crafting each item. The outfits required you to find different types of eggs, such as sky eggs found by shooting down balloons and water eggs found by fishing. The problem was, there was just too damn many of them.

Trying to catch a fish? Nope, you’ve caught an egg instead. Looking for iron? Have some stone eggs. It wasn’t long until I could hear balloons floating by when there weren’t any, as they were so frequent. When most people were trying to progress their island and needed materials or money, it was irritating to be drowning in eggs with your progression halted. Luckily, we were all in it together with our wish for the Bunny Day event to be shorter.

What made it worse was having other events coincide with it. Sakura season left showers of beautiful cherry blossom petals raining down on the island. However, trying to get the blossom DIY recipes was a nightmare when there were Bunny Day balloons everywhere with Easter recipes instead. We also had our first Fishing Tourney, which was marred by pulling eggs out of the sea during a fishing attempt.

The tourney itself was okay, but not of that much interest to me. Talking to C.J. lets you take part, where you have three minutes to catch as many fish as you can. The more you catch, the more points you earn, the points then being traded in for fishing-related prizes. You could earn trophies too (100 for Bronze, 200 for Silver and 200 for Gold) but I just wasn’t invested enough to even get bronze. It was frustrating having to keep returning to C.J. to restart the three minutes just to gain a couple of points, especially when catching water eggs instead!

On a more positive note, I managed to complete the main story of the game! It was so sweet to see Project KK complete and have the crooning pooch himself perform on my island. He sings a special song which you can’t hear any other time, Welcome Horizons, while the Animal Crossing credits roll. However, the game itself is far from over.

The message you get after the credits have finished and you emerge from your house was so sweet, and just what is needed in this surreal time. Animal Crossing really is an escape from reality, in a more relaxing place with no responsibilities. As well as finally seeing K.K. Slider, Kicks also showed up on my island to sell shoes and bags, and it was nice to see another familiar face from the series.

My villagers have expanded too, and now all my slots are full! Overall, I’m happy with my villagers, and I’ve become attached to ones that I didn’t think I would, like Twiggy and Butch. I also have some adorable ones like Beau and Poncho. However, my search for a cat villager has not been successful, so Kiki and Rosie amiibo cards are in the post, ready to replace my most detested villager…Hippeux. Shockingly, he’s a smug green hippo who stole a slot I was saving, so I immediately hated him. He’s just not quite aesthetic enough for me, in other words, not cute.

I’ve also been speaking to Sable every day to earn her trust, gaining some patterns to customise furniture in the process, as well as some emotional lore. I’ve loved trying out the designer too (make sure to enter our competition over on RRUK Twitter!), who knew Eunice was a Foo Fighters fan?

It’s also been really helpful to pair with my terraforming, and I’ve created flower patches, path borders, log slices and pebbles to scatter around, bringing some more life to the island. They’re not perfect, but I’m learning! If you look at the picture of my map, my island has drastically changed since day one. I’ve built paths connecting everything, a garden, a park, an orchard, and now I’m working on a forest area at the top of my island.

Terraforming has taken me a while to get my head around, particularly as I’ve seen so many high-quality islands and compared mine to theirs. But everyone moves at their own pace and has their own unique island, so don’t worry too much about what everyone else is doing! I have a feeling I’m going to be testing it out a lot and changing things up multiple times. At the moment, I’m growing hybrid flowers to decorate my forest and other areas! Hopefully I’ll be able to show you in my next post, now, onto the guest interview!

Guest Interview

Jonathan Ober

Age: Old…37

Island Name: Volantis

Are you enjoying New Horizons so far and why?

A thousand times over, yes. On one hand, the game has met all my expectations as far as what an Animal Crossing game could and should be. I have enjoyed playing alongside my daughters and visiting their islands, having fun with friends in small games we makeup, treasure hunts, and swapping items. On the other hand, as many have said, ACNH arrived when the world needed it. Most of us are in lockdown and isolation of some sort because of the quarantine and having our islands, and other islands to visit has just made this now isolated world we live in feel a bit bigger.

What is your favourite part about the game?

The item collecting and island-building. I didn’t think I would like collecting the sets I have seen before, but I do, and I am, this time so I can use those items to decorate my outside world. I have just started terraforming my island and love developing the ideas I have in my head to landscapes and rivers. If I could change one thing though, it would be how finicky the system can sometimes be.

What is your native island fruit? Are you happy with it?

Oranges, yes, I love oranges in real life, and in Animal Crossing life.

What did you name your island and why?

Volantis. My wife and I are huge Game of Thrones fans and we wanted something island sounding without being a main spot in the book/TV series.

What villagers are your favourite, and what villagers do you have on your island?

So far, my favourites are any wolf characters. I had Audie as my first islander along with Coach and Jeremiah. I had Plucky, though he left recently. I now have Becky, Lobo, Cranston, Merengue, Savannah, Sydney, and Quillson. Out of those I like the funny Cranston and downtrodden Quillson the most.

What do you think could be added to New Horizons to make it even better? Or anything you’d like to be changed?

I’d love some more sport aspects, like actually playing soccer, basketball, or even those arcade games being fully playable. I also think that building outside needs to be easier and more intuitive. It seems like sometimes moving items along paths isn’t as straight forward or easy to do.

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