One Year Of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”

March 20, 2021, marked the one-year anniversary of the latest installment of the Animal Crossing series, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.”

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Nintendo

An update on year one of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.”

Abbi Prieto, Columnist

“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” was first released on March 20, 2020, one year ago. It was a success, mainly due to the timing of the release. People were beginning quarantine, and “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” became the second best-selling game on the Nintendo Switch. Many people played with their friends through “New Horizons.” There have been features that have returned to “New Horizons” along with many new ones being added to the game. At the same time, many characters and features were missing. It has been one year since the release of the game. Through the year there were many updates for the seasons and holidays. So what have we seen over this first year?

Holidays

There were many holidays, ranging from small events to large celebrations. The first-ever holiday to take place in “New Horizons” was Bunny Day. It lasted from April 1 to April 12. Zipper the Bunny would announce the start of eggs appearing on your island. At first, it was cute, but soon the egg spawn rate became annoying when you wanted iron, wood, fossils, or even fish, leading to a desperately-created patch update. A month later came May Day, where you would take a May Day ticket to the airport and the Dodos would fly you to a special island. This island was a giant maze and at the end was Rover, who was from the previous games.The next event was Halloween, which took place on Oct. 31. Throughout the month of October, you would create spooky furniture, collect candy, and find a costume. There were also new reactions, skin colors, and eye colors available. On Halloween night you would find your islanders dressed up and they would demand candy. Jack would also show up and ask for candy. If you forgot to get candy for your islanders, Jack would let you dress like him so you could scare your islanders into giving you candy for other islanders. The next month on Nov. 25, the first-class chef Franklin would come to your island to cook for Turkey Day. You would find ingredients for Franklin so he could create his recipes. Next came the long-awaited Toy Day on Dec. 24. You would help Jingle craft some wrapping paper so he could wrap gifts for your islanders. He would later ask you to hand out presents to your islanders who would sometimes give you gifts in return. Then was the New Year’s Eve celebration. You would count down with your islanders to the New Year in the plaza. Then, the last holiday in “New Horizons” was Festivale. The dancer Pave would come to your island and dance in your plaza along with your islanders. You would give him feathers in exchange for Festivale furniture. If you gave him three rainbow feathers, he would reward you with the Festivale float. Holidays were just the beginning of the things you could do, though.

Updates

The summer update gave us weekly firework shows and reintroduced swimming and diving from the preceding game, “Animal Crossing: New Leaf.” The fall update introduced the growing of pumpkins. The winter update introduced making snowboys. The updates also reintroduced NPCs such as Redd, Pascal, and Leif. Many characters  were reintroduced in “New Horizons,” but many did not return to the series. There were many fan-favorite characters that did not appear.

Missing Characters 

Characters such as Brewster, Kapp’n, Tortimer, and Harriet are still out of the game. For some characters such as Brewster, there is evidence of them in the game’s code. Some characters were replaced by objects. Pete, Pelly, and Pylis who ran the post office were replaced by the card stand in the airport, and Harriet who ran a hair salon was replaced by the mirror furniture item. Some characters were replaced by their younger counterparts. Joan the turnip seller was replaced by her granddaughter Daisy Mae, Chip the fishing tourney host was replaced by his son C.J, and Nat the bug-off host was replaced by Flick. Some characters are missing all together. Gracie Grace and her store are gone, as are Tortimer and his island. A couple characters appeared in a small way in “New Horizons.” Rover appeared at the end of the May Day maze, and Reese and Cyrus appeared for a wedding photoshoot. The creators intend to keep updating the game so maybe missing characters will appear in the second year of the game.

New Features 

At the same time many new mecaniques were added to the game. The NookPhone and Nook Miles appeared for the first time. Mystery Island Tours were also introduced, but one thing stood out among all the new mecaniques. That is the Island Designer app on your NookPhone which allows you to terraform your island. You can create waterfalls and cliffs and you could change the path of your rivers too. You could create a path you purchased at the Nook Stop or you could create your own custom path. A couple new characters were also added, the most popular being the cat Raymond.

“Animal Crossing New Horizons” stands out among the other Animal Crossing games. Nintendo plans to keep adding to the game, so there will be more content coming this next year.