Review: Animal Crossing: New Horizons

I have never played a single Animal Crossing game until June 9th, 2020. Here’s what I think about it after playing it for less than a month.

At first, I thought “Animal Crossing” was about animals literally crossing streets. Then I finally asked someone what “Animal Crossing” is, and they just told me it was a game where you always owe this raccoon called Tom Nook money and you catch bugs and fish. That’s it.

They failed to mention the stress of the Stalk Market, the annoyance of gardening, and the chase to get your island to five stars.

Note: I have no idea how the other Animal Crossing games work, so I am assuming New Horizons’ features are not new and exist in previous games.

They have also failed to mention the fact that Tom Nook is not exactly a crook. Sure, his prices are ridiculously high but he lets you pay off your debt at your pace and doesn’t even charge you interest for the long wait. He’s not as bad as everyone made him out to be.

Besides, this rich raccoon and his kids (?) have TOE BEANS!

animal crossing blog | Tumblr
Timmy or Tommy’s toe beans on the cover of Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Other than that, most of the villagers in this game are adorable. I enjoyed myself immensely when I found that Molly moved to my island and I spent every day talking to her and becoming her best friend.

Molly - Nookipedia, the Animal Crossing wiki
Molly is precious and deserves everything in the world.

However, despite this game’s cute denizens, there are a few monsters hidden in the code.

First of all, I want to point out that I don’t usually play these kinds of games – the closest thing I play is probably Minecraft and that’s not even exactly the same. I usually play games Skyrim and GTAV, or Left 4 Dead and Don’t Starve.

Secondly, I am not a patient person to say the least. If I ever play Sims, I always use the “motherlode” cheat because I can’t wait for my Sim to earn money so I can get better furniture. Why wait when I can immediately get what I want now, right? Even in Skyrim, I only played through the game once legit, without any console commands. Then, I just used console commands for every playthrough afterwards. I just don’t have the patience for grinding.

Third of all, I rarely play games that don’t have combat as part of the gameplay. The only other game I like that doesn’t involve combat is Firewatch but I like that game for the story and the visuals, which New Horizons doesn’t even stand a chance to compete against.

So, why did I choose to play this game? And how do I feel about it, considering it’s so different to every other game that I’ve played and liked?

Long story short, I played this because everyone was talking about it. I wanted to see what the fuss was about and my cousin had a copy which she let me play for a few minutes. I loved the relaxing tone it set when I went fishing, and the fun interactions I can do with the villagers. I saw online all of the adorable photos of the villagers. I wanted to get my own island because I love building spaces.

Considering my personality and the game’s nature, I obviously clashed with the whole “waiting” thing that it wants me to do. I did find myself getting really impatient with the steps I have to take to eventually terraform my island, as well as the wait for Nook’s Cranny to upgrade and for the Able Sisters to set up permanent shop, but in the end, it’s just a game so I decided to relax a little.

Another huge point of stress is the Stalk Market, or the buying and selling of turnips. This was never mentioned to me at all and the stress of finding the best price to sell your turnips at is enough to turn my hair white. I’ve had so many issues with connection and I was often booted out of my friends’ islands because of a weak connection. I feel so stressed out every time I queue up to sell my turnips and I get stressed if I can’t leave the island immediately after I sell them.

I guess this is just my personal problem. I know other people find selling turnips as easy as shaking a tree with a net, but I’m not used to this stress because I can usually just press tilde on the keyboard and give myself as much money as I want.

However, the pure joy of paying off your debts is enough for me to keep selling turnips.

And there’s nothing cuter than when a villager recuperates your “joy” emote, especially when she is your favorite. Yes, I am talking about Molly.

In conclusion, this game is great. Play it to relax and you don’t have to sell turnips if you don’t want to.

Now, I need to go and see if I can find Lolly…

P.S. I have Julian in the campsite if anyone wants him. I also want to get rid of an ugly blue cow.

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