For many years Animal Crossing has been providing the best conflict free getaway. In Animal Crossing New Horizons, you arrive at a deserted island. Once arrived, you are greeted by the famous Tom Nook and his family, alongside two animal villagers. Unlike the other Animal Crossings, this island is empty and makes it very different than moving into an already established town. From this point on, it is up to you to place the homes, make friends, and build your community.
Through your tutorial, you learn how to craft, customize, and more. This tutorial lasts an entire week, so get ready to grind. Materials on the island provide the chance to prepare fishing poles, shovels, and nets at the DIY table. Some parts of your island are off-limits due to cliffs and rivers, but over time you gain access to pole vaults, stairs, and bridges.
Once you have completed the tutorials by crafting, planting, and running errands, you will eventually open the tools you need to make your island whatever you want. By unlocking the terraforming mode, players can form hills, cliffs, land bridges, waterfalls, and creeks. These features give unlimited ideas for creativity on your island. You can create massive waterfall entrances, or cave-like valleys leading to your home.
Other substantial additions include placing furniture outside, giving the players the freedom to create any outside environment. If you want a relaxing beach hangout or a California gym style beach, the choice is yours. Clothing has become my new obsession. Once Able Sisters was built, I caught myself running to the store every day to see what was new. Mixing tops, bottoms, shoes, and accessories allows you to give your player an outstanding personality.
At times Animal Crossing can seem aimless. Through your in-game cell phone, you can access the Nook Miles program. Things like planting trees, catching fish, and selling fruit provide Nook Mile points. These points are redeemable for inventory space, a tool wheel, items for your island, and even a Nook Mile Ticket. These tickets allow you to travel to mystery islands at your local Dodo airport. The Nook Mile program is an excellent addition to Animal Crossing, as it offers the opportunity to gather resource material and explore a new environment.
New Horizons is slower than previous Animal Crossings; anything built takes one day in real-time. It often takes too much time to acquire the museum and shops as the right errands must be done to unlock them. Once I opened the museum, I was anxiously ready to fill it by donating every fish, bug, and fossil I could find. Each room is beautifully made in detail, making it feel like a dedicated museum exhibit.
Every animal on your island brings a confident personality. Overtime my villagers grew on me. Eventually, I was buying Bam new shirts to hear about his weightlifting obsession while catching Hazel doing her routine night walk on the beach.
The graphics in this game are beautiful. On a windy day, you feel like you are on a breezy island as each tree and flower blow in the wind. Early morning gameplay has fog like weather that gives the reliable feeling of an early morning beach walk. Every season brings fresh new colors to your island, making it feel new every season. Every day holds something new, and the real-time effect makes this game something special. Stores have closing hours, and certain fish and bugs come out at night. These things make the player curious enough to continuously check in.
Overall, Animal Crossing New Horizons is precisely what we needed in these trying times. It is the perfect getaway that makes you feel like you are taking a vacation. The graphics are so good they give the island true effects like fog, wind, and snow. The music keeps you going with new tunes by the hour each song is catchy and easygoing, making the time go by fast. New additions like terraforming and personalized clothing give Animal Crossing the touch it has always missed. Although some moments can feel slow and drag on as the gameplay functions in real-time, generally, this game is excellent, and if you are looking for that special island getaway, this is the place to go.
The Ruling Score: 8