How I’m Still Absorbing the ACNH Magic in 2023

Long time no gaming speak, friends!

Once again, I’m ready to alienate plenty of my readers in order to talk at length about my love for Animal Crossing. A few years ago, I wrote about my love for this soul-soothing instalment of the game franchise, and now I’m back to talk about how I’m still playing New Horizons and how I’ve retained its inherent cosy magic.

At its heart, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a sweet little life-sim where you can befriend animal villagers and cultivate a community of your own. There are endless ways to enjoy the game and I’ve indulged in, well, almost all of them. From playing it every single day to gently checking in, tinkering with the build to hours of cosy fishing, I’ve somehow kept the game fresh by simply playing the game.

This autumn, I’ve been busily working on a brand-new design for my island. Perhaps I’m one of the rare few, but I’ve never reset my ACNH island, instead choosing to adopt an ever-evolving mindset for my little homestead. Here’s how else I’m continuing to absorb the ACNH magic:

Slowly completing the collections

Over the summer, I finally completed my bug collection in the Museum. Since I don’t time-travel and I don’t always play the game, there were a few outstanding bugs that I hadn’t yet donated to our friend, Blathers. But it was so satisfying to see the collection completed and receive my long-awaited Bug Poster as well! Taking my time to purchase art from Redd and fish seasonally has really stretched out my playtime.

Selling and re-buying my ‘catalogue’

Another thing I do in my own gameplay is sell and re-purchase my items. In early game, lots of us held cataloging parties via my Discord, which means we have access to far more items. Rather than hoarding everything – which is impossible, due to limited storage space – I like to sell many items and work on slowly re-purchasing everything. This forces me to be smart about growing fruit trees and collecting bugs, shells and fish to sell and earn money, thus playing the game rather than simply decorating and redecorating time and time again.

Moonacre 1.1 and its lore

I also always have a little lore behind every island design I’ve created. I’ve even got an ACNH Instagram account where I (used to) post screenshots and write tales from Moonacre. Every iteration has had a little written story to accompany it, and my latest design is no different.

Moonacre 1.1 is an ever-evolving, shaded, woodland island lit by the glow of a moon above a curious lake. Nestled amongst acres of thousand-year-old trees, visitors can discover snug reading nooks, inspiration-soaked writing coves, experience perfectly brewed coffees and matcha, and enjoy a switched-off, slow-living island getaway.

Its design is inspired by Island Rep Mish’s first-ever ordinances and map, only elevated with new tricks and the community’s ever-helpful guidance.

Are you still playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Let’s be friends!

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