Nook Inc. Welcomes You

While earlier “Animal Crossing” games may have been great, the newest installment is sure to be the best yet.

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Carsten Oyer

A photo from the "Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct" of the expanded resident services building.

Carsten Oyer, Columnist

On March 20, 2020, Nintendo is releasing a new installment of their classic “Animal Crossing” series, as stated by Pocketlint. Called “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” the game places more emphasis on community and the starting-from-scratch concept than prior versions. Of course, we will have to wait for the game to come out for any conclusive results, but here are a few reasons why this newest installment of “Animal Crossing” will be better than any of their previous games.

One reason that “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is better than most games is the fact that you can customize your island any way that you want. According to iMore, you arrive on a deserted island, completely barren except an airport and a dirt plaza with the resident services tent. It is up to you to make the island feel like home by decorating the land however you please. “Animal Crossing: New Leaf, ” released in 2013, had something similar, where you would pay for and place down “public service projects,” such as fountains or fences. However, in the new game, furniture can be placed anywhere, eliminating the need for a limited selection of projects. iMore also states that you can build bridges, stairways to other levels, paths, and even terraform the landscape itself, with the ability to alter water and cliffs.

Not satisfied yet? According to the “Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct,” a YouTube video published in February by Nintendo, you have control over where new islanders move in. In all previous games, new animals moved in wherever they pleased. While this might not sound bad, imagine breeding the mythical golden rose, only to discover the next day that a witless gorilla had built their house on top of it. Now, Tom Nook, the tanuki who provides you the opportunity to become a resident on the island, asks you to find a place for new homes. You can even find a spot for other facilities and stores, such as the museum, campground, and Able Sisters’ Shop, where you can shop for all of your clothing needs. In the end, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is putting the player in control.

If you are still unwilling to part with your money, do not fear, because there is still more to this new game. The “Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct” showed that a major aspect of the game is that you are moving onto a deserted island. This means that you get to watch your society of anthropomorphic animals develop into a vibrant community. Of course, in the other “Animal Crossing” games, your town started out small, but never this small. You can even see resident services turn from a small green tent and on a dirt plaza, into a full building, complete with a brick pavement. The museum grows as you donate to it, starting out as a tan tent until you donate 15 items, when it will become a complete establishment. As you buy things from the Nook Shop, it levels up, starting as a shanty and ending as a department store. This feature is not new, but is fun nonetheless.

However, one complaint “Animal Crossing” fans have found with the game so far is that you can only play one island per Nintendo Switch. According to Animal Crossing World, it was hoped that the player would be able to play multiple games on different islands, so that if you wanted to escape from one island, you could play on another. Nintendo explained in the “Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct” that this would not be the case. However, it makes sense. With the ability to travel between multiple islands on the same system, it is likely that you would be able to generate unlimited bells (the “Animal Crossing” currency), furniture, or other benefits, thus making the game less of a challenge.

Tom Nook has officially taken both my heart and my wallet. Even though the game is more expensive, it is sure to be a delight that is worth the $59.99 price tag. If you want more information about the game, you can check out the “Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct” here. The release date of March 20, 2020, according to WinCalendar, is special, too. It falls on both the Spring Equinox and the International Day of Happiness. For all of the fans snuggling up to play “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” it will be a day of happiness indeed.