EXTRA PICTURES PENDING

The new Animal Crossing game is out now and given all the hype and attention it has been given why not make it my first review?

The title page featuring my island paradise, Bananaland

Title: Animal Crossing New Horizons

System: Nintendo Switch

Release Date: 20 March 2020

The box art for the game.

First Impressions

From the very start the game smacks you with how impressive it is. The world is vivid with (mostly plant) life, sounds of the sea and colour. Although not a desert island, you do get the feeling that you are on a deserted island. From the surrounding waters to the lack of buildings to the abundance of nature, you are immediately hit with the feeling of being in a natural and undisturbed paradise. All this gives the first impression that you have a big job here turning it into your dream community.

Graphics

The graphics are bright and colourful which ties in nicely with both the Animal Crossing series and a gentle, relaxing game which you can play at a leisurely pace. The game has the best graphics ever seen in the series but being on the most advanced hardware to date this isn’t a surprise. The beautiful graphics do translate nicely between docked and handheld mode though.

Sound

The sound of the game adds to that feeling of being on a deserted island at the beginning and that a transformation is taking place to a thriving island community. At first there is barely any sound of characters but instead the sound of the sea and wind. As time goes on this changes as you hear singing and the sound effects of character’s reactions as your community grows. Then of course there is the glorious sound effects and theme tunes of each individual characters speech.

Gameplay

The gameplay is what you would expect from a first party Nintendo title, especially one aimed at all ages. The controls are simple to understand with some screen prompts to remind you (such as for the Nook Phone). Talking to characters and finding your way around your island is easy with numerous ways and benefits to interacting with elements of your environment. This game does seem friendly to both adults and children bar the few annoyances below and is easy to pick up within a few minutes.

There are also numerous gameplay elements to enjoy, all typical of an Animal Crossing game such as fishing, catching bugs, digging fossils, talking to characters and developing your property. The environment is pretty much fully interactive be it a tree, rock or lake and you will be here for a long time building the community you want.

That’s not to say they’re perfect though. One notable instance of clunky gameplay noticed by myself, my girlfriend and I’m sure many other players is with digging, fishing and terraforming. You can be thinking your facing one way and your item will go in the direction you want it to. But alas, this is not always the case and sometimes it will go in a bit of a different direction meaning you miss a fish or dig a hole where you wanted to hit a rock. Additionally hitting balloons can be difficult as it can be hard to judge where to stand due to the camera and the character turning to face you when you pick an item up can be annoying if you’re trying to go a different direction.

Summary

Overall, Animal Crossing New Horizons is an amazing game and probably the best entry in the series so far. It stays true to the series format while providing a fresh input by being on an island and harks a more than welcome return to the traditional Animal Crossing games after Happy Home Designer and Amiibo Festival. It has its problems (that may be fixed in a future update, who knows?) but is well worth a look whether you have tried the series before or not.

Positives

– Variety of gameplay elements to enjoy

– Fully interactive environment and charcaters

– Beautiful to look at and listen to.

– Plenty of game to play.

– Tom Nook generously giving you loans to allow you to build and develop your house.

Negatives

– Using the shovel and fishing rod can be clunky at times.

– Camera angles can make it a bit hard to identify where to shoot balloons from or where an item is.

– Tom Nook expecting those property development loans to be repaid.

Score

9.2/10 – a beautiful game which will eat your time up and if Nintendo fix those small negatives this could get much nearer to a 10.

Note

Thank you for reading my review.

As this is my first review I’m not expecting it to be great but I hope you can help me improve this by leaving some feedback on what was good and what was terrible. It all helps and is much appreciated, thanks!