Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Time Played: 195+ hours
I’d never had any interest in the Animal Crossing series before New Horizons came out. I didn’t get the point of it. There didn’t seem to be any objective other than paying off a loan to a capitalist raccoon. That being said, when I saw the first trailer for New Horizons, my interest was immediately piqued. While the graphics were sharp and adorable, the crafting and terraforming mechanics seemed to give me the flexibility I’d want in such a simulation game. And while there is plenty to do in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, at a certain point, it becomes a repetitive chore.
By now, this game is my most-played on my Switch. I’ve put in the time and effort to build a 5-star island and have long paid off my house (thanks to a fortunate week in the “stalk market”). I have orchards full of the different varieties of trees, flowerbeds on their way to be able to breed rare flower colors, rocks regenerated in the six locations where I want them, and the full complement of fossils donated to the museum. I consider my play-through of the game “complete” because there aren’t any large-scale projects I’m trying to accomplish.
Sure, there are still seasonal events, and the monthly rotation of new bugs and fish to catch…but does that mean I need to play every day? Not likely. My long-term goal is to collect all that there is, but I don’t spend much time each day doing so. The fact that the tools break so easily and the sturdier versions aren’t available until well into the endgame makes it a little frustrating to have to keep crafting a new ax or shovel if I want to farm something. Don’t get me wrong: New Horizons is the right kind of Zen that comes with menial tasks. However, at a certain point, these tasks become pointless.
A cute life-sim game that has plenty to do to occupy your time, I give Animal Crossing: New Horizons 4.0 stars out of 5.