“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” brings new life to the “Animal Crossing” series, both nostalgic and entirely new.
There has been an abundance of convenient changes made to the game play of “New Horizons." One example is the use of Nook Miles in addition to Bells. Both of these forms of currency can be used as payment for various items and activities on the player’s island. Not only are Nook Mileses helpful, but they are also exceedingly fun to earn as players must complete tasks such as fishing, catching bugs, taking pictures, decorating buildings and much more.
Unlike the previous entry in this series, “Animal Crossing: New Leaf," there are a lot more elements of game play that are under the control of the player. Buildings are now moveable, while the land is also able to be shaped to the player's liking later in the game. Furniture can now be placed outside, making the entire island rather than just the player's home a place to decorate. Which and where villagers move to the island, how expanded the island is and how far the “plot” progresses is entirely up to the player.
"New Horizons" offers a much slower start than other games in the series, arriving on an island with little in the way of civilization and with only two other animal friends to join you, giving the player the deserted island feel the game was aiming for rather than a bustling town of past games. The player must craft their own tools and collect a wide variety of new resources to thrive in their island life.
A major selling point of “New Horizons” is its multiplayer functionality. While “New Leaf” had the ability to visit each other’s towns, “New Horizons” takes it a step further. Upon the purchase of a Nintendo Switch Online account, friends can not only visit each other’s islands but can trade resources, help each other build their villages and obtain more villagers. Players can also opt out of buying a Nintendo Switch Online account and visit a game-generated island, where the player can collect an abundance of resources while meeting other non-playable character villagers to invite to live at the player's online town.
“New Horizons” is able to capture the same wholesome and relaxing atmosphere as the rest of the “Animal Crossing” series. The distinct cartoon-style design and animation are both immediately recognizable and enjoyable. The soundtrack was created by a team of composers for Nintendo. The works of Yasuaki Iwata, Yumi Takahashi, Shinobu Nagata, Sayako Doi and Masato Ohashi are featured. The relaxing melodies and upbeat tunes make for an immensely pleasant playing and listening experience.
Within 24 hours of its release, “New Horizons” became the highest-rated game in the “Animal Crossing” series with a score of 91/100, according to Metacritic. This game certainly earns this title as it is as close to a perfect game that fans have seen in a long time.
Final verdict: 10/10