The next instalment in the Animal Crossing series, New Horizons, is just around the corner and it’s time to enjoy the Nintendo favourite slice of life series in a new tropical island setting.
Real estate entrepreneur and shop owner Tom Nook is back with his Nook Inc. Deserted Island Getaway Package and is giving villagers new and old alike a chance to build their own island paradise from the ground up.
Like a lot of things in life, things aren’t going to be perfect from the start, as gamers will have to live out in a tent, working day and night to get their paradise up to scratch. When you drop in on your island, you’ll see it go from dawn till dusk in real time as the game works off your Switch console’s internal clock and reflects day and night back to you.
To step up the immersion a little bit further, you can now also choose which hemisphere your island is in, so the seasons can reflect your part of the world. As time and the seasons change, so will the in-game activities – on its March 20 release, gamers in the Northern Hemisphere will be greeted with the start of Spring, while those in the Southern Hemisphere will experience Autumn.
People who aren’t familiar with Animal Crossing always seem to ask, “what do you do?” and the simple answer is “whatever you want!” Participating in free event updates that involve activities such as fishing tournaments, bug collecting contests, or foraging challenges are to be expected and crafting the island into your own vision is a great long-term goal for all players. The first event for the game will drop in April and is called “Bunny Day” and no doubt reflects the Easter period.
Whatever your plan is for New Horizons, upgrading from the tent to a house is a must. Tom Nook will kindly loan you the money to afford your new home, but it might take a while to pay off your debt to him. The currency in Animal Crossing is called Bells and you’ll have to sell a lot of stuff for them to work your way to the top – but once you’ve got an income going, you can develop and expand your slice of paradise to your heart’s content.
If you like customising stuff in-game, New Horizons has got you covered. Your character will be fully customisable, from the way they look to the way they dress. Your home can be designed and laid out in any which way you like and the island it’s on is yours to shape!
When you start, the island will have a few animal visitors for you to interact with, but as you build it up, more and more unique animal friends will arrive to check out the island and eventually move in too. As your island expands, more residents will continue to move in and facilities like a museum, specialty shops and a tailor will become available to you.
Why wait that long though? Invite your friends! Up to four players can work together in New Horizons on a single Switch system to build up an island, or up to eight players on different consoles can join in on the fun. Get help on your island from friends and family or go to the island’s airport and fly off to visit another player’s and see how your paradise matches up against theirs.
An accompanying app called NookLink is expected to drop for iOS and Android devices after launch and will allow players to communicate with friends through voice or text options. Players with copies of Animal Crossing: New Leaf or Happy Home Designer will also be able to download their custom designs from these games onto New Horizons with the app’s QR scanner. Amiibo functionality is also going to be available, with two features currently announced for owners of both Animal Crossing amiibo figures and cards. With these, you’ll be able to invite specific villagers to hang with you on your island, or take them to Photopia, another in-game island where you can use your villagers as models to create photoshoots.
Whatever your plan is for your Nook Inc. Deserted Island Getaway Package, your custom video game paradise is just around the corner.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is out on Nintendo Switch on March 20, but you can check it out early at Supanova in Melbourne (7-8 March)!