Nintendo released Animal Crossing: New Horizons for Nintendo Switch on March 20, and it quickly became a cultural touchstone. With so many people at home and in the games, its release came at a perfect time.
The best-selling game in the series
Animal Crossing: New Horizons was a resounding success with fans, and it quickly sold out after its release in Japan. In reality, 1.88 million copies sold in the first three days in Japan. It should also be noted that Famitsu’s figures do not include sales of digital downloads, which are very popular at the moment given the current global health situation.
In North America, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was the best-selling game of March 2020 and is now the second best-selling game of 2020. It surpassed other popular Nintendo titles, such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018), in launch sales.
In Europe, New Horizons remains at the top of the best-seller list after more stock became available to retailers. To offer some perspective, sales figures are higher than all previous entries combined, and more than three times higher than 3DS exclusive Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
The Animal Crossing experience
The latest installment was released just when people were warned to stay indoors, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. In line with other Animal Crossing titles, New Horizons is popular for its comfortable, family-friendly gameplay, and the new addition to the series is simply stunning.
The reviewers took a look at Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ “Island Package”, and for good reason. You start your vacation on a desert island, with nothing more than the clothes on your back. You are free to do what you want. As a player character, it’s up to you to advance your desert island in a tropical paradise. You can do it at your own pace and set the rules.
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you can interact with friends and family that you can’t see in person at the moment. And if your friends don’t play, that’s fine too. There are a lot of people online who like to swap furniture and will talk about turnip prices with you for hours.
There is also a whole Discord Community dedicated to Animal Crossing. Reddit has a massive thread where people exchange friend codes—An invitation mechanism that allows remote players to connect and play. The whole community is super helpful and friendly, which makes sense because there is so much more to discover with the other players in the game.
There is still a lot to do if you enjoy playing solo. One of my favorite things about New Horizons, which is a significant upgrade from Animal Crossing on GameCube, is the different ways you can interact with the residents of your island.
Residents will send you letters, give you new nicknames, host birthday parties and even sing for you! There’s always something new and talking to the people on my island never gets old.
Residents interact with their environment in different ways. They interact differently with other residents based on their personality types, including eight. They will also interact differently from each other. They have emotions. Sometimes they will be happy or sad with each other, and it is up to you to suppress any dispute that may arise.
However, that’s what I like about this game: everything seems to be interconnected and it’s relaxing to sit at the end of the day.
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, everything is impermanent and it’s easy not to emphasize imperfections. Have you placed a house in a place you are not happy with? No big deal! You can move it later in the game.
You have the control and the time to enjoy the renovation of your island exactly as you wish. Because of global locking, people have more time than ever to play games. And the latest entry in the Animal Crossing franchise offers a relaxed time-spent gaming environment.
Each day in the game, you are faced with something new to explore. You will wake up with new items in stores, new hybrid flowers, a new recipe to wash on the shore, new visitors to the campsite and random sellers with exclusive items. It breaks the monotony of being locked up in your real home, day after day.
There are also many events that Nintendo offers to players. Couples hold wedding ceremonies on their islands and graduates can invite friends to in-game graduation ceremonies. Families can play together on the same console, and you can even give your mom a cup for the party mothers!
Nintendo does a great job of providing additional events and bug fixes that will keep you playing for hours.
On the other hand, there are a lot of things in Animal Crossing that you can’t control (unless you time travel, of course).
Just like your real world routine, there will be times when you will have to wait until the next day. Shops close at night and the turnip market is only available for a week before it resets. Sometimes you have to wait a full day before you can enter a store being rebuilt.
This feeling of relaxed impermanence is what makes the Animal Crossing series so special. It is interesting to see the players express their disappointment or surprise when the cherry trees end in April and realize that it is the ephemeral nature of temporal events that makes them so special. There is an inevitable sense of change, some of which can and cannot be controlled. It’s a truly unique experience.
For most, it’s just the right balance between structure and freedom. It’s even great for people who don’t usually play video games. Audrey, an 88-year-old grandmother who played 3500 hours of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, picked up Animal Crossing: New Horizons with the help of fan donations shortly after its launch.
Nintendo seems to have recognized the hype surrounding Audrey’s playing time on New Leaf with a brand new villager in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Many players believe that a coral-colored wolf named Audie is a reference to Audrey.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is easy to learn and fun for the whole family. No wonder so many people come together to play a perfect island getaway in these troubled times.