Tomorrow marks three weeks of Animal Crossing: New Horizons! And what better way to commemorate that than with a cosy, soul-soothing post all about Animal Crossing? In case you’ve been living under a rock, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the adorable life simulation game by Nintendo. It’s the fifth in the series and many of us AC veterans had been waiting for eight years for the newest release. In fact, if you’re a super long-term Daisybutter reader, you might remember when I was an ambassador for the Animal Crossing: New Leaf launch, in proud partnership with Nintendo UK themselves! (You can read the series here!) Needless to say, I was completely beside myself with anticipation for the launch and gladly picked up my copy (Harvey kindly got me it as part of my birthday present!) on 20th March 2020.
Why is Animal Crossing so popular?
I can’t give any definitive reasons for Animal Crossing’s popularity, but much of it must lie in its cosy escapism. No matter what’s happening in your real life, the villagers always have your back and there are always little insignificant things to work on (but that always end up amounting to something good afterwards). Particularly in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic we find ourselves in, New Horizons has landed and immediately become a soul-soother, a place to escape to from the confines of our own homes.
Why I adore the Animal Crossing world
The Animal Crossing world is a source of comfort to me, in similar ways to how many of us find comfort in re-watching familiar episodes of Friends, Gilmore Girls and other old TV series. Whilst I love a good Spyro or Crash Bandicoot or Pokémon session, I always gravitate towards games that let you go at your own pace and Animal Crossing does just that. You can collect bugs, flowers, fossils, fish and decorate your own little house. Of course you are also crippled by debt to a money-grabbing raccoon named Tom Nook, but that’s a worry for a distant day. You can make friends with adorable animals, and visit friends in their islands (or towns, if you’re playing a different edition). And the MUSIC!! The music is just the best; I’ve used Animal Crossing: New Leaf’s 7am music as my alarm for the past four or so years.
The magic truly lies in how Animal Crossing is made to be played. And that’s however you wish. There are morning activities, afternoon activities, evening activities. Whenever you choose to plunge back in to the Animal Crossing world, it’s there to wholeheartedly welcome you back. Villagers ask how you’ve been, flowers have bloomed, new species are around. You could be gone for an hour or a month, and your animal critter pals will ask after you, send you wonderful letters and gifts. In times where I’ve felt incredibly low or alone, it’s always been a place to retreat to. It’s a cosy game where no deadlines or pressures exist.
A little tour of Moonacre Island, three weeks in
Three weeks in to New Horizons and I am truly besotted with this game. I remember how much I loved — or love, as I still play! — New Leaf, and this almost eclipses that. From being able to furnish outdoors to the tinier details, like pitter-patter rainfall on windows, almost every stop has been pulled out for this game. I’ve always really enjoyed expanding my town on Animal Crossing, so I’m thoroughly excited to get to grips with terraforming and customising Moonacre Island exactly to how I want it!
I didn’t reset my game (lots of people do to try and get their dream starter island layout and native fruit), and I don’t ever time travel (although it’s fine if you like to!), and I’m really pleased with how my island is coming along so far. I started with native peaches and native pansies, and although I’d rather have started with lilies, hyacinths or roses, I’m over the moon with my native peaches! My villagers aren’t completely to my liking, but I wanted to focus on progressing the game and then dealing with my dream cast of characters later.
Without further ado, welcome to Moonacre…
When you arrive on Moonacre Island, you’re greeted with a handy workbench for any additional tools you might need during your stay, and a little destinations signpost. I can’t even tell you how many times I customised and re-customised this because I was so indecisive about the wood colour… I also painstakingly moved hardwood trees around so that new guests would always be greeted by seasonal trees!
On the left, is my humble abode, front garden and private beach. I haven’t really been focusing on my own house because I prefer to do that when I’ve built more rooms…
… But my garden has a brick pizza oven, and my private beach has a bonfire and chairs to hang out on.
I’m hoping to have all of my island amenities and stores behind the front pond. Currently I’ve set up a little vending machine area, a play park, and a community garden by the Resident Services Building (unpictured)!
Over on the eastern side of the island, I’ve created a beachside coffee bar!! I’m going to expand this in a few weeks or so, but I’m waiting on stumbling across the perfect furniture and DIY recipes.
On the northern side is my Japanese garden, another work-in-progress. And here you can walk up the incline to visit my cliffs! There are lots of little seating areas here, as well as a campfire, star-gazing area and the camping site (which is beside the waterfall).
Have you been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons?