I called an Animal Crossing Direct about a week or so ago. Nintendo said more info would come before the game releases and still not hearing anything halfway through February, I had a feeling they’d wait until the 20th, one month away from this grand new adventure.
I have to admit, when I found out there was going to be a direct at 9 am my time on a Thursday morning, I wasn’t surprised. I’ve tried to live stream on Thursday mornings for the past two months and something has always come up where I couldn’t – three Nintendo Directs included.
I was excited to finally get more information on Animal Crossing New Horizons. Although I’ll admit, I would have been okay being surprised when the actual game comes out. Nintendo packed a lot in the 30-minute direct and showed off so much from the game. It seems to me that the game is keeping just about all the old mechanics from previous Animal Crossing games (especially New Leaf) in addition to adding a bunch of new mechanics that definitely seem like they’ll work for the game overall.
I took notes while watching the direct and it’s a huge one-block paragraph of me rambling. I can’t make sense of it and, because there was so much to take in, I’m going to ignore my notes and talk about what I remember. So, I apologize if this particular article seems a bit jumbled itself.
First, it seems as though the game itself is going to be similar to past games. You move to a new area – in this case, an island – and choose the layout. You get a tent to start off with but can upgrade to build a house and expand upon your house down the road. Since you’re on a getaway package, you’re not the only one to move onto the island. Some villagers are moving in along with you and you can choose where they put their tent.
There’s a DIY workbench where you can make tools and furniture yourself. The furniture can have custom designs and the tools can be upgraded as such as well based on your materials. This particular service is open 24/hours a day and you can buy and sell items. However, Nook will still run a separate shop that sells items and furniture that you can’t make yourself.
In addition, the museum and the Able Sisters will be there. Other small shops, such as the flower shop and Kicks from New Leaf, won’t be there but they’ll appear once in a while as special visitors with pop-up shops. Speaking of special visitors, free updates will occur throughout the year for special occasions and holidays. For example, the first free update will be available the same day the game releases to celebrate Bunny Day.
Instead of a bus or train station, you get to the island by plane, which makes sense. The airport is used as a way to visit other islands either locally or online. You can also send postcards, so it acts as the post office as well.
It looked like you have more pocket space. The slots were smaller than they are in the previous Animal Crossing games so maybe it’s the same amount. I didn’t count it while watching the direct and I don’t know the exact amount of pocket space you have in the other games (10, maybe?) but it seemed as though you’re given more pocket space in New Horizons. Plus, you can change tools easier. Whether they’re in their own inventory slot or part of your pocket, I’m not sure. That one was hard to tell. If the tools go in your pocket then that’s almost some space gone.
Of course, fishing, bug catching, and fossil hunting are still a big part of the game. Certain creatures are available in specific seasons. Yes, even though we’re on an island, the seasons still exist. This is great and I’m looking forward to building snowmen in winter.
I will say this though – they’ve made so many changes to this game to the point that you can rearrange the terrain. Yep, destroy a cliff with your shovel and create a waterfall into the river. This is a super cool concept and I’m looking forward to making the island on my own.
With that said, in addition to the seasons… I now want to ice skate. They showed off winter a bit in the direct and the water was never frozen. I think, down the line, it would be cool if a special event occurred where the rivers froze. You can ice skate on them, go ice fishing and only be able to get certain fish through ice fishing, or only have the ability to fish in the ocean. Also, igloos. We should be able to build igloos and have a snowball fight.
I just had to get that off my chest. I’m happy with the add-ons they’ve made but I’m realizing skating and ice fishing maybe something in Animal Crossing none of us knew we needed.
Speaking of a wish list though, I wrote an Animal Crossing Switch Wish List almost a year ago. Surprisingly enough, some of the things I mentioned seem to be there. There are no biomes, like a desert area, but they did show off a scorpion and I specifically said I wanted to get Blathers a scorpion. So, there’s that.
Honestly, I could go on and on about everything that the direct showed off. We have so many new and old things to look forward to in New Horizons and I absolutely cannot wait for the game to release.
There’s so much I didn’t touch upon that was shown in the direct, but… I’m going to leave it at that. It’ll take me a week to get through it all and I think I’ll sit back and begin counting down the days.
Just for fun, you can read my jumbled notes about the direct while I watched it:
deep dive into deserted island life choose island north or south hemisphere all four seasons orientation session with other villagers to get a tent and pick where everyone lives resident services open 24 hours buy and sell diy workshop learn a recipe and make it gather materials like wood from trees and stuff custom design furniture airport to use internet or local to invite friends to my island i can also visit other islands up to 8 people can be on the island at one time send postcards nookphone will add new apps at some point nook broadcast milage program can be used to pay debt and other rewards quickly change between tools dangerous creatures nighttime castaway sighting gulliver rescue service resetti? optional extras building a house more pocket space interior decorating similar to happy home designer house additions as well nook miles ticket can travel to island tours mystery tours take stuff home YOU CAN JUMP party play four residents can play together if they live on the same island whoever calls the others is the leader but that’s easy to change while you play recycle box nooklink for new leaf and happy home designer to bring them to the switch chat system on switch online app this launches in march 2020 shortly after the game on march 20 2020 that was only part one, holy crap, onto part two additional residents wanted invite new villagers nook’s cranny museum able sisters campground residents services expansion ISABELLE lots of visitiors i want a magic wand participate in planned events fishing and bugging free updates seasonal stuff ladder in pocket bridges and ramps paths and change terrain the sims in animal crossing form i can’t wait I’m going to cry can i play with my family on one switch can have 8 people on one island total support amiibo yes from animal crossing series photopia more info about visiting friends can play with friends or not friends can be restricted with parental controls cannot use tools unless on a “best friend” island what if i lose save data does not support save data cloud a service will allow to restore this in certain cases new animal crossing switch system free updates will happen after game launches first one will be on march 20 celebrate bunny day in april pocket camp connection social media plug where’s fang