Animal Crossing: New Horizons Review

How do you revitalize Animal Crossing? Many may argue that this question is built on a false premise and that’s fine. For me, every gimmick they’ve bolted onto each subsequent release couldn’t mask the fact that I’m still catching fish, talking to villagers, and paying down a mountain of debt in the same ways that I did on the GameCube decades ago.

Much of what’s defined the franchise still persists in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, right down to how annoying it can be to cast your lure at the exact angle. Even so, I find myself completely enamoured with this Switch iteration thanks to a host of quality-of-life improvements.

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Welcome to My House! – Animal Crossing: New Horizons Live Stream

Welcome to Steff and I’s island of Pawnee! We just got a shop and I’ve got a boatload of tasks to cross off my to-do list. I have also put in a lot of work making sure the art on my in-game walls is reflective of what you see in the basement. Towards the end of the stream, we take a visit to Randy’s island that is rich in fruits!

Click through for the full video, highlights, and shoutouts!

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How Animal Crossing: New Horizons Focuses Players Within its Open-Ended Structure

One of the coolest things about the Animal Crossing franchise is that its open-ended structure allows players to have a rewarding experience however they approach it. Want to collect one of everything? Go nuts! Prefer to focus on designing clothes? Have fun! Want to dabble in everything the game has to offer? Me too!

However, this openness can feel like aimlessness. With so much to do, where does one even begin? Or, as someone who has played almost every entry in the series, “What is my incentive to fish, talk to strangers, and collect fruits again?”

Admittedly, I did not expect Animal Crossing: New Horizons to have a compelling answer to this question. The franchise has struggled with this question with every release past the original on GameCube. Lo and behold, I think New Horizons figured it out.

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