Animal Crossing looms on the (new) horizon, releasing a month from today (Feb. 20). It’s long been a well-known fact (and meme) that Animal Crossing fans are obsessive over anything newsworthy, from confirmation of fan-favorite villagers’ inclusion in the game to minor environmental details.
It’s honestly pretty pure—the Animal Crossing community is, in comparison to nearly every other videogame fan community, pretty peaceful and happy with any developments. Needless to say, the desire for a Direct with further information on the Switch’s forthcoming New Horizons has been palpable.
As for the highlights, there were several. First, pleasing the exact demographic of Animal Crossing fans who obsess over the symmetry and design of their towns, you can pick not only where your tent is placed but also where the island’s villagers go. This hopefully means that never again will we have to deal with an unexpected villager move-in mowing over the flower garden you’ve been tending to for weeks. You’ll eventually be able to replace your tent with a full house, which comes with its own house payment. Nook is a businessman, after all.
There’s a couple of new facilities. The first is resident services, which is a simple store with a bench for crafting. Along with crafting, you’ll be able to use the workbench for “DIY customization,” a feature that allows you to edit the furniture that you have. You’ll be able to change the color of items and also use your own custom patterns to add prints.
There’s also the airport, which is the game’s version of the train station, where you’ll be able to invite other players and visit other villagers through local or online play. In contrast to New Leaf, New Horizons allows you to have eight players in one village at a time, whether that be players that live in the village or visitors. Party Play is now an option, meaning up to four residents can play together in their village using Joy-Cons. You can also now send letters to other players across villages.
Nook has a couple gifts for us upon moving to the island. He provides a “Nook Phone,” which comes loaded with apps like a camera and map. One of these apps is called “Nook Miles,” which provide you with challenges that can be used to pay away your debt and buy rewards. One of these rewards are “mystery tours” in which you can travel to small, randomized desert islands with harvestable items.
Interestingly, many of the facilities that exist from the start in previous games have to be earned in New Horizons, such as the museum, Nook’s Cranny and the Sable sisters’ tailor shop.
Perhaps most importantly is everyone’s favorite Shin Tzu mayoral assistant, Isabelle. She’ll be working at resident services, seemingly once the building is upgraded, fulfilling a similar role to what she did in New Leaf. She is a resource for information on the village’s status.
While we wait, Tom Nook promises to post any further updates on the official Animal Crossing Twitter account. We’ll all get to enjoy our deserted island getaway on March 20.