The perfect game for quarantine—’Animal Crossing: New Horizons’

Your whimsical island getaway awaits. If you are looking for ways to entertain yourself during quarantine or ease your mind in this stressful time, look no further. Nintendo has your back with its latest release, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” 

Staying true to the original design, creator Katsuya Eguchi kept his simple and pleasing aesthetic with a  new and modern twist. This roleplaying game (RPG) offers a bit of nostalgia to the millennials who may have played the original Animal Crossing, released in the early 2000s, while also adding in modern elements such as giving your character a cell phone to help navigate the gameplay.

It is the perfect game to get lost in for hours and is geared for collectors. One nice perk of this edition is “Blathers Museum,” a facility your character helps establish by donating the first 30 fossils and creatures the island provides. The museum simulation alone allows for a tranquil experience and offers growth with the endless space for exhibits.

The initial mission starts out the same: to pay off your debts. Moving to a deserted island cost bells, the game’s currency. The get-away specialist and host, Tom Nook, helps your character keep focus with task missions. Starting off with simple tent-kits, Tom Nook gives your character the responsibility of placing your neighbors’ tents, mapping out the foundation of your island. 

 Once your character pays off one debt, you unlock new statuses. Over time and in moderation, new bugs, fish, fossils and even rare art pieces appear in the gameplay for you to sell and donate. Moving up in the ranks on the island, your character, with new loans from Tom Nook, embarks on building cozier houses and a lavish life on the island. 

With only you and two other travelers starting a new life on this island, the game allows for the D-I-Y concept to build your own tools with the abundant resources from the land adventured, wherein prior versions tools and furniture were traded among friends and neighbors in the game. 

The game is peaceful, and you choose what goals you are after every day, whether that be selling fruits and shells you’ve collected or digging up and donating fossils to the museum. The game gives you an incredible amount of responsibility with the reassurance that everything will be alright. “New Horizons” is stress-reducing and what everyone could be using during COVID-19 to safely social distance. 

One of the favored features of “New Horizons” is the fact it reflects real time. For example, if you are playing at 6:00 p.m. in real time, the game will even display the sunset. The game includes changes in the weather and seasons as well. If you have friends who also play, one of the unique features of the game is online play with friends. You can travel to your friends’ islands or to random islands via local play, which makes for a unique way to virtually hang out with friends and keep you safe. 

The replayability is high. If you are a beginning gamer, don’t fret—it is easy to learn the controls and excel quickly through the game. The replayability is different because the game doesn’t necessarily have a sure ending. Out of your options to purchase, rent, buy on sale or stay away from this game, I can safely say, after logging 40 hours, it is worth the purchase. That is assuming you have the luck to find the sold-out game and console. 

aamnx9@mail.umkc.edu

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