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Animal Crossing: New Horizons Nintendo Switch Game Review

Join Tom Nook on the island getaway of your dreams!

Reviewed by on Mar 25, 2020
Rating: 5 Star Rating

The beloved life-sim Animal Crossing has finally hit the Nintendo Switch in New Horizons. Does this slice of the islander lifestyle live up to the series’ legacy? Visit Kidzworld to find out!

The Nintendo Switch has had some incredible experiences hit the system, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons proves itself as one of the must-play games on the console. The portable nature combines the best aspects of the 3DS titles, with the graphics and features you’d expect from a home console release, making New Horizons a landmark game for the Switch.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Your island, your life!

 

 

Island Getaway

You begin the game by customizing your character and picking between a randomly generated set of four islands. New Horizons has the most in-depth character creator the series has seen so far, but I felt the options were still fairly limited for the potential that Animal Crossing’s signature art style has to make everyone feel unique. I ended up restarting a few times to get the island style that suited me, but you don’t have to by any means. Each island has a few elements that are random for each player, with the villagers you start with being different for everyone as well as the plants, wildlife, and fruits. Tom Nook gets you started by providing the supplies you’ll need to get going, for a fee that you’ll have to pay back to him over time. If you aren’t sure what to do next, he also offers guidance for new players. If you need a goal right away, try gathering wildlife for the museum!

Wealthy raccoon Tom Nook gets you started on your island getaway.Wealthy raccoon Tom Nook gets you started on your island getaway.

Nook Phone

Your most useful tool on the island is the Nook Phone that you’ll use to do everything from taking pictures with the Camera, customize your player Passport, view your island Map, and even a Rescue Service in case you get lost. My favorite part of the NookPhone was the Custom Designs app, which lets you draw pictures that you can wear on your shirt, place on the ground or place in your home as paintings. I spent way too much time making custom shirts but had a ton of fun doing it. It is also how you manage your friends list, assign Best Friends, and keep track of your DIY Recipes and Critters you’ve caught. Like our real phones, it does a whole lot.

Your Nook Phone is one of the most useful tools you have.Your Nook Phone is one of the most useful tools you have.

Social Play and Nook Miles

With different players having different items on their islands, you’ll be glad to learn that you can visit your friends’ islands to share goods or just talk to different villagers. Four players can hang out on the same island locally, and up to eight can gather online. I had a lot of fun running around on friends’ islands and gathering their fruit to bring back to my island, it makes the game much less lonely. You can visit your friends’ island for free, but to travel to other random islands in the world, it costs Nook Miles. You can earn Nook Miles by completing different activities on the island, so as you progress you will naturally earn miles. When you go to different islands, you can gather and harvest materials, fruits, and wildlife that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise, so it is a good idea to head out and explore!

Play with friends to get access to resources you couldn't collect otherwise.Play with friends to get access to resources you couldn't collect otherwise.

Seasons and Time

Animal Crossing: New Horizons plays out over the course of real-world time, and depending on which hemisphere you select in the beginning, seasons will change based on where you actually are. Unless you want to purposefully make it different from your real surroundings, the game will evolve as the year goes on. Animal Crossing has always been designed to be played for a long time, and New Horizons is no different. Seasonal events and holidays will change up the experience, so there’s always a reason to check back on the island. If you want to cheat, you can always adjust the date and time in your Nintendo Switch’s clock, but its more fun if you don’t and let them come naturally.

Your island changes with the real-life seasons.Your island changes with the real-life seasons.

Some characters offer items on certain days or at specific times.Some characters offer items on certain days or at specific times.

Final Thoughts

The relaxing gameplay of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is simple, but a ton of fun. It lets you pursue goals at your own pace, and provides the tools to do it. Being able to play just a little bit every day is a lot different from many games now that demand so much of your attention, and it is better for it. The characters are charming, the atmosphere is laid back and there is no pressure to do things quickly which makes it such a great choice when you just want to relax and escape life’s pressures. This is a game that I and many Nintendo fans will be playing for years to come.

Turning your island into a proper village is in your hands.Turning your island into a proper village is in your hands.

Pros

  • Charming world and characters
  • Play at your own pace
  • Lots to do and explore
  • Fun social features

Cons

  • Barebones character creation

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Game Rating: 5

New Horizons' Box Art.New Horizons' Box Art.

Available now on Nintendo Switch!

 

Share Your Thoughts

What do you think? Are you ready for the island getaway of a lifetime? Let us know below!

 

*Nintendo provided a copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons for us to review