By now pretty much everybody who uses the internet already knows that Animal Crossing: New Horizons released and it is a very popular game.
Myself I didn’t buy it immediately. In fact, I tried to resist the temptation. Not because I thought it would be a bad game in any way, it is just that I played Animal Crossing: New Leaf before and didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped. So I was a bit wary that if I bought New Horizons it would be a repeat of that.
Still with so many people happily sharing their screenshots and experiences with the game the temptation was still there. So I did what I do in these occasions and decided to play New Leaf to see how I felt about the game’s core loop nowadays.
My first surprise is that my character was still wearing the Santa outfit. The second one is that apparently the last time I played seems to have been in 2016! Also, to the surprise of no one the animal residents barely contributed to the cafe project I started all those years ago.
This time though I tried to change my attitude towards the game. Instead of being frustrated because the game loop felt repetitive, I decided I was just going to play a bit every day, try to make some money and fund the café project. Any leftover money I just deposit in my savings account to eventually pay off a loan to Tom Nook.
This kind of attitude has been working very well and I find myself enjoying New Leaf again. With that said it is to the surprise of no one that it didn’t take me long to cave in and buy New Horizons.
I won’t go into a review/first impression of the game as I believe those who are interested either already bought the game already or they can easily find plenty of good reviews out there. I will say this though: it feels to me like this is a “Best of” of all the Animal Crossing games so far, including spin-offs. Of course, it also has a bunch of new stuff too.
One of my favorite new features is that fruits auto-stack now. Having to manually stack them in New Leaf is one of my biggest annoyances. Seashells can be stacked now too which is also nice!
Another one I liked but wasn’t sure how I would feel about it are the Nook Miles. They are a good mixture of Dailies and Achievements rolled into one. And since they are always stuff we would be doing anyway that makes them not feel like a chore.
It also can give some structure to the gameplay. Feeling lost and without an idea of what to do? Just check the Nook Phone and see what you can do to earn some Nook Miles! It also helps that those miles can be traded for some very tangible rewards so there is always an incentive to do them.
I also like the crafting system, something that others don’t seem to enjoy as much. Then again I am the kind who tends to like the option of crafting in games, as long as it is meaningful. And it definitely feels meaningful for me in New Horizons as it takes the burden of needing Bells for everything or not having a particular furniture you want at a particular time.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. This is one of those games that I could ramble on for days about all the things I like about it or the things I accomplished while playing. Which I might actually do in the future. We’ll see.
Just to be fair I also have a few nitpicks. The first is I don’t understand why I have to close my airport first just to send a mail.
I also would like if I could leave my airport open and go to the special islands. This way I could leave it open as soon as I start a game session so my friends could visit and just play as I normally do. As it is now I need to set some time aside just for visiting hours, after I am finished with every activity I want to get done that day.
I get that for this last nitpick there are good reasons for the way it is. It is just that I wish it could be different.
I also wish I had put a bit more thought into the placement of my buildings just for convenience’s and aesthetics’ sake. At least for those it seems there is a way later on to move the buildings around so I can fix my mistakes.
None of this is a big deal or really detrimental to my enjoyment of the game. In fact, I have been enjoying New Horizons so much that if somebody asked my what my Top 10 games are right now this game would definitely be in the list. I think this pretty much sums up my feelings about it. 🙂