Nintendo’s new Animal Crossing: New Horizons may be the perfect quarantine pastime


Morgan Severson

Creek student enjoying Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons in quarantine

Alex Martinez, News Editor

Nintendo’s newest iteration of the 20 yearlong Animal Crossing game series introduces new game elements that provide a fun gaming experience, with the sales to prove it. Upon its release, it sold one-point-eighty-eight million physical copies in three days in Japan alone, making it the biggest single-game launch on the Nintendo Switch game console. Given the quarantining occurring just about everywhere in the world, Animal Crossing: New Horizons provides a peaceful, enjoyable way to pass the time.

Each Animal Crossing game operates on the same basic game principle of social simulation, where the player creates and customize a character, spends time creating a community full of cute animal characters which the player can design and plan entirely to their liking, and create a happy existence for the many characters in the game. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the player starts out the game on a deserted island, accompanied by Tom Nook, a capitalistic raccoon eager to help them progress, Timmy and Tommy (Tom Nook’s assistants) and over time the player finds and invites more anthropomorphic cartoon characters to join their island, such as Bertha the hippo and Elmer the horse.

Unlike most video games, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is not driven by goals, but rather moves at a slower pace that the player is free to control. The player can grow plants, harvest fruit, gather natural resources, and craft various objects, furniture and tools to further advance and customize their island however they please. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a game that operates on personal progress, without relying on nonstop action and violence to entertain players. The process of gathering resources, catching bugs and fish, placing buildings and crafting personalized decorations is more wholesome than the traditional gaming experience and relaxes the mind, often bringing a sense of peace and fulfillment to those who play it.

Speaking from my own personal experience, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a great game; chock-full of fun and whimsical features that ensure an enjoyable playing experience for anyone of any age. This game moves at a controllable pace, syncing with real time. This addition discourages unhealthy game binging, rewarding a gaming experience with long breaks in between play time. The very beginning of the game is kind of slow, but after around 30 minutes of play time it quickly develops into the player’s very own adventure. Creating, maintaining and decorating a virtual island in Animal Crossing only gets more exciting as time goes on. Making progress on the island is innately satisfying and a great way to destress, whether it be fishing, decorating, chopping down trees or any number of the actions a player can do in this game. All in all, Animal Crossing: New Horizons promises an enjoyable and relaxing gaming experience thanks the its plethora of fun and creative features that let the player game at their own pace and customize their own tropical island to their liking.

Given the current global situation, countless individuals across the world are at home, quarantining. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the perfect game for those quarantining, due to their new abundance of free time. It conveniently provides a great outlet for people to develop some form of pleasant relief or escapism to deal with the stress. The game’s pacing, theme, setting of goals and content collection all come together in a way that comes across as calm to most. Slowly working towards creating a community within a tropical island whilst beautifying it entirely to the player’s liking makes for calm video game sessions and gives them a sense of accomplishment every step of the way. It is times like these where people need a good distraction, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons provides a great one. The versatility of this game is also phenomenal, its age rating is three years and up, yet the player base for this game is very diverse and consists of kids, teenagers, adults and elderly people.