One of the main goals in Animal Crossing: New Horizons gameplay is to reach the coveted 5-star status from Resident Services. After logging 185 hours in the game, Moonacre received its’ 5-star rating from Isabelle on the 23rd April, and it was so exciting! To commemorate the occasion and share some of my tips, I thought I’d share an updated, 5-star island tour of Moonacre, an ever-evolving fun-filled kidcore forest island.
Floating atop a glistening gem-like ocean in the Northern Hemisphere lies Moonacre, a curiously colourful island where civilisation has planted its roots. What was once an untouched forest – wild with flowers and nature; abundant in magical corners and winding waterfalls – has blossomed into a fun-filled playground for Mish’s best villager friends. Run amok through cosy winding trails, stay up late at the outdoor cinema, play pranks on Gonzo, win prizes every time, and build your very own bear to take home.
Watch the most recent Moonacre Island Tour and discover my decorating tips on YouTube.
How to Reach a 5-Star Rating
In some ways, I’m sad that it only took me a month to reach the 5-star rating because Animal Crossing is usually such a slow game. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have unlocked the Golden Watering Can recipe and the coveted Lily-of-the-valley spawns. There are a few ways to go about nabbing the 5-star rating, much in the way that you can properly decorate to earn a gold trophy from the Happy Home Academy.
- Decorate with a mix of both bought furniture (from Nook’s Cranny) and crafted items using your hard-won DIY recipes.
- Improve the scenery with natural landscapes, using your newly acquired cliff and water terraforming skills.
- Pick up dropped items around your island. This means placing items rather than dropping them, and stashing any unused items and tools in your upgraded home storage.
- You’ll also need a complete set of villagers (10).
- Plant plenty of hardwood, cedar, bamboo and fruit trees. But not too many; a good amount is three or four per 3×3 tile.
- Use fencing around your island.
- Weeds do not seem to affect the rating.
As far as I can tell, what elevated my island from its’ 4-star rating on the 22nd and its’ 5-star rating on the 23rd is that I placed a mix of bought and crafted items around the whole of my island. No cliff or beach was left undecorated. I also created a few flower farms around the island, which boosted the number of flowers and number of fenced zones.
My Honest Review of New Horizons
As an avid lover of the Animal Crossing franchise, I of course LOVE the New Horizons addition to the catalogue. From the swish upgraded graphics – the Museum is truly something to behold now! – to the generation-conscious additions, this is really a game of its time. The NookPhone is a sweet nod to the Digital Age, there’s a focus on eco-friendly habits like recycling and up-cycling materials, and yet many of the original features remain, retaining the series’ soul-soothing allure.
I’m really enjoying the expanded decorating capabilities; we were fairly limited in previous games because you couldn’t place items outdoors. You could only build villager-requested Public Works Projects. The new indoors furniture placement feature is nice too, offering an easier way to place items as you’d like them. As somebody that hugely neglected my beaches in New Leaf, I’m excited to get to grips with using up all of that glorious, sandy beach space! I also like the Nook Miles function, which seemingly replaces the badges you’re awarded on occasion by Phineas.
However I’m curious to see Nintendo build on the game with their rolling updates. There’s a LOT missing from New Horizons that we had by default in previous titles, and a wealth of ‘missing’ items too. When will we see Leif? Brewster? Luna? Katrina? Hopefully these will come in bigger updates to further gameplay, because right now I’m just busy racking up valuable Nook Miles by completing everyday tasks.
All in all, I feel that New Horizons is a well-considered, genuinely fun game for all players. There’s so much scope, as always, to make the game your own, and I’ve always found it be the perfect respite from busy or long days and patches of poor mental health. From the real-time gameplay forcing you to wind down as stores close, to there being an upper limit to the amount you can buy or farm, and the noticeable changes in weather and season bringing forth new things to discover, Animal Crossing is a real gem in a busy and distracted world. There’s something new to look forward to every day, whether that be new interactions, new NPCs or opening mail from friends and villagers.
The Moonacre Tour (updated September 2020)
Welcome to Moonacre! When you arrive from Moonacre Airport, you’ll be greeted by a colourful, whimsical, winding road. There’s a lil camper, chugging along, a cosy trail to the left, and a staircase to the right.
Gonzo is the resident Cranky, and he tends to his lavender farm whilst keeping a watchful eye on Moonacre’s kiddies. He’s also the Campsite ranger.
Leave Mom at Central Perk, a recreation of the most famous fictional café in New York. Phoebe often collaborates with K.K. Slider on K.K. Smelly Cat.
Don’t forget to swing by our very own Build-a-Bear inspired workshop. Craft to your heart’s desire and take home some beary cute Moonacre merchandise.
We’re celebrating autumn on the island with the cutest pumpkin patch in town! Pick your own, and enjoy a cup of coffee on the farm.
Class is in session! We’re all about positive learning here, and residents get to learn how to forage, live sustainably on a self-sufficient island, and take breaks on the playground.
You can stay up late at our very own Outdoor Cinema, complete with cosy sleeping bags and a popcorn machine. We often run showings of Animal Crossing: The Movie, which you absolutely need to watch in real life.
Lastly, you can visit Moonacre via its Dream Address! ➳ DA-6552-7939-9130 𖣰´-