One of Nintendo’s big selling points for Animal Crossing: New Horizons was that the game would get updated throughout the year with fresh events and new reasons to keep playing. For the first few weeks, the game was flying high without any major post-launch support beyond patching out exploits. But now that we’ve had a taste of multiple events in rapid succession, they’ve inadvertently made the game worse.
Let’s start with Bunny Day. The in-game equivalent of Easter features an egg hunt where players can find eggs hidden throughout. These eggs can then be crafted into event-exclusive items. Build them all to receive a special gift from Zipper, an overly-enthusiastic, somewhat-mysterious, and definitely creepy rabbit who may-or-may-not be in a costume.
Partaking in an egg hunt sounds like a great idea until you experience how it’s integrated. Instead of being tied to its own mechanic, finding eggs is tied to your standard actions of digging, chopping wood, shaking trees, shooting balloons, and fishing.
This creates a whole host of problems. If you need wood, chopping out wooden eggs just slows you down. It’s disappointing when you dig up an earth egg instead of a fossil. Sky eggs were always a rarity, even when the initial spawn rates for everything else were way too high. Fishing became a nightmare, as large silhouettes would repeatedly surface as water eggs. All of the Bunny Day’s activities actually got in the way of everything else one would want to do.
Overlapping the tail end of the Bunny Day event was the first fishing tournament. Players were tasked with catching hundreds of fish of they wanted to unlock all of the items and trophies. The scoring requirements alone were awful, forcing players to grind for hours at a time – even if groups gained bonus points for playing together. Randomly snatching eggs instead of fish made the grind even more painful. My one consolation came from inviting Rachel from Double Jump onto my island and comparing scores after each round. For the record, she bested me in our mini competition.
Though I don’t know for certain, I’m pretty sure that the Bunny Day event also compromised the overlapping cherry blossom event in the northern hemisphere. The trees looked beautiful, but my gut says the game weighting Bunny Egg recipes greatly outweighed the cherry blossom recipes. I got all of the Bunny Day recipes and never had a chance of getting all the recipes for cherry blossom items.
Updating Animal Crossing: New Horizons with fresh content is a worthwhile endeavour. Sadly, its execution during these overlapping events proved that Nintendo has plenty of kinks to work out. I came away from them all feeling more annoyed than amused due to the plethora of ways these events compromised what made the game fun in the first place. Hoping Nintendo is able to course correct for future events from here.
Buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons Now From Amazon.com
[Purchasing through this Amazon affiliate link gives me a small commission without adding any extra cost or effort to you. Thanks for your support!]
I think I joined the game at the right time, considering how many people I saw being annoyed at the Bunny Day events.
On one hand, I feel a little bad for Nintendo attempting to create a fun, real-time event for all, but they should have tweaked the programming a bit so it was exciting to find eggs rather than shoving them in your faces.
I had a lot of fun watching and listening to you and Rachel join forces in the fishing tournament, though! At one point, I had to ask for clarification if you and Rachel were on a team or competing against one another. Rachel mentioned, “In the game, we’re on a team. Through discord, we’re totally in a competition,” lol!
You’re right in that Nintendo came at this with the best intentions. But also, the particulars of the event just didn’t create the desired outcome. To their credit, they were patching things during the middle of the event to make stuff less annoying. Gives me hope that events will get better from here.
The tournament was the best and worst part. Even with Rachel’s help, I played for like 4 hours and still didn’t unlock the gold medal. With the event being only one day, there’s very little wiggle room to get all the items and trophies and thresholds that were way too high.
Fishing with Rachel was the best part. Admittedly, I was approaching it at first just for the sake of grinding out more points. Then I got wrecked by Rachel in the first round and it was on.
Also, congrats on joining the Animal Crossing club! How are you enjoying it so far? Also, you know where to find me when you’re ready for visitors or ready to take a trip 🙂 #triplejumpanimalcrossingmeetup2020
In a little defense of the event, I’m guessing the egg frequency was intended for those who don’t have a lot of time to play the game (although I thought that’s why it was a 12 day event), and not for the current world situation in which we all have lots of time to play.
I agree with you on the fishing tourney – way too much grind, although I did like the three-minute speed fishing. I’d like it if that were just an option in the tourney, rather than the whole thing.
Only a week and a half until Earth Day – I’m excited to see how that goes!
Thanks for the comment!
Fair point. In light of what’s happening, maybe it wasn’t tuned for everyone playing as hard as they have.
To counter the counter, fishing became a nightmare, regardless of the world situation. Seeing that big shadow, wrestling with it, and getting yet another egg sucked every time. I was on a rare island on the last night fishing for hours and got dozens of eggs that would have been fish. Ugh!
I don’t know how they do it, but future events need to find a way to add to the overall experience and not take away from it. Adding eggs to the RNG pool definitely made it harder to do all the other things one would want to do. If the requirements for the fishing tournament were ‘t so high and the eggs weren’t in the way, it could have been great. I’d like to see more stuff like the fishing tournament (with better parameters) instead of compromising the core gameplay loop.