Reviews - Updated on April 7, 2022

Choice Stopgame

Relevant for platform: NSW

The release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons seems to take place at the most opportune moment. Many countries and cities are trying to protect themselves from the coronavirus by closing educational institutions, shops and offices, which is why millions of people are forced to stay at home for several weeks. A ticket to a desert island will help brighten up the expectation of the next school or work day, where your second, parallel life will begin – with new acquaintances and the construction of an ideal habitat.

Signor Robinson

Unlike the previous installments in the series, in New Horizons the journey starts from absolute zero. The permanent raccoon Tom Nook and his nephews Timmy and Tommy offer the player to choose one of the four islands, which differ only in the way rivers and reservoirs are located there. Then a base is built for the raccoon, where he will deliver news and receive guests (in other words, a tent on a small area), and after that you can choose a place where your home will be located. By the way, it’s worth immediately answering a question that worries many – of course, there is no need to play the past parts of Animal Crossing before launching a new one.

In a sense, and for veterans of the series, the passage of New Horizons will be full of surprises. This is due to the advent of crafting – to collect resources, study recipes and create items in the workshop, apparently, throughout the game. It all starts with the simplest axes, nets and fishing rods that break after ten uses, but very soon it becomes possible to collect more durable tools in your inventory.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons game review

The hero arrives on the island not alone – two more settlers will live in neighboring tents.

Crafting and the ability to get recipes from time to time make the new Animal Crossing game in which you continue to spend time even when all the story missions are completed. In the first three days that I am allowed to talk about in this text, clear tasks were given: to choose a place where the scientist will live, to choose a place for a bridge, to choose a place for a store. But nothing was built right away – Nook always asked to wait until the next morning. And the time here corresponds to the real one, with seasons and changing time of day. If you come in the evening, it will be dark. If you turned on the game in winter, it will snow.

Don’t sit idle

However, even if Nuka’s tasks are completed, you will find something to do here. I devoted my first evening on the island to fishing and catching insects – I just ran for four hours throughout the available territory and tried to catch as many butterflies and crucians as possible, collecting shells on the beach along the way. The process is very simple, everything is done with literally two buttons, but it is very difficult to break away. At the same time, the “Atlas of living creatures” was filled in, in which each individual found was entered. All of them are available only at certain times of the day or in specific months.

The second day consisted of approximately the same thing – a biologist came to the island who wanted to open his own museum, and he willingly took the discovered fauna for himself. If some fish and butterflies were repeated, I took them to the store for sale – absolutely everything is ready to buy here, even useless weeds that you accidentally pick up from the ground, trying to raise something else. And there is a lot of rubbish to be sold, because Nuk built a house for the hero for a reason – you need to return the money to him. Fortunately, he will not flood with messages and attract collectors, so you can pay off the debt at any time. But the sooner you do this, the sooner you will have access to the next increase in living space, after which you will have to repay the loan again.

Nobody will be left without attention.

And it needs money

At the same time, another option was opened – changing achievements, for which they give out a valuable currency. There are two currencies here: dini and miles. The first can be earned only by selling the found things (sometimes buried treasures come across, but rarely), and the second you get for completing all kinds of tasks. There are long-running quests divided into stages (catch 10 fish, then 50, then 100, and so on), and there is a series with endless simple tasks. Collect five butterflies, chop down one tree, sell ten shells, spend such and such an amount in the store – almost all of them are very easy and can be done literally on the go, changing immediately after completion. Even when you are asked to catch some kind of bug, there is a high probability that you will not have to purposefully hunt for it – sooner or later it will catch your eye.

You can spend miles in a special Nook store, where everything is sold in a row – from improvements for inventory (you should purchase an increase in the number of slots first of all, otherwise you will be tormented) to hairstyles, clothes, accessories (glasses, backpacks, sleep masks) and all kinds of decorations for the house . The assortment grows as you go – on the third day, plank and brick fences became available to me, which it was not yet possible to create on my own. The Nuka Catalog is available nearby, where items of clothing, furniture, wallpaper, and everything-everything-everything received earlier are entered. So you don’t need to keep the sneakers found at the beginning of the game forever – calmly sell them, then buy them back if necessary.

The main item in Nuka’s store is a ticket, thanks to which you can fly from the airline’s office located on the coast to a random island. When everything has been studied and found for today, it is best to go on a journey to an uncharted location. Bamboo may grow there, palm trees may stand, fish and insects can be found that do not live in your area – just a paradise for those who want to collect resources. If iron nuggets are not lying around the house, they will definitely be found on the neighboring island, and you can cut trees there without a twinge of conscience – you still won’t return there. And there you meet new friends who respond positively to an invitation to live on your island. So far, none of them have moved in with me, but it’s unlikely to have to wait long.

To view mini-tasks and much more, there is Nukophone – it’s like a smartphone, only from Tom Nook.

New characters also appear near the house, and at completely random moments. For one of them, I completed a small assignment, for which, after leaving, he thanked me with a gift that was in the mail. The other turned out to be a merchant who brings valuable goods on Sunday morning and leaves the island soon after. They say that the cost of these goods when sold the next day will be several times more – I hope I did not buy all the money in vain. By the third, I had to fly by plane to see his photo studio and listen to a lot of explanations about how it works and what to do there.

My own boss

That’s how you spend time in New Horizons – minding your own business and reacting to unexpected things. In the process of collecting shells on the beach, you can stumble upon a bottle with a note, and inside you will find a recipe for some object for the room. Balloons with gifts attached to them periodically fly above the ground – shoot them with a slingshot and get something useful. You shake trees, collect branches that fall out of crowns, and sometimes you stumble upon a bee hive and, bitten, go to the store for medicine. You go fishing, cast your line and catch… a tin can. But it doesn’t matter, the hero immediately comes up with a recipe for succulents and can create a beautiful decoration for the house from a jar and weeds.

You get involved in the process instantly, and it is difficult to fight the desire to enter the game several times during the day – suddenly you miss something. The game is not designed to continuously sit in it from morning to evening. Even at the very beginning, this is not necessary. Of course, you can create a dozen nets and sell the caught butterflies in order to pay off the loan on the same day, but there is no hurry. If you like collecting resources and trading, do it. If the plot tasks are completed, and there is no desire to “farm”, then it is not necessary. If the house is already large enough and you want to decorate the walls, put a prettier bed, and place a table with chairs behind the house, then the workshop is available at any time.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons game review

In a minute, he will again get into debt.

It also helps that New Horizons looks wonderful both in portable and stationary mode. The position of the sun affects the shadows, with a strong wind the foliage on the trees sways, shy bugs run away at the sight of the hero. The characters look cute, the textures on their models even have the illusion of relief, so that fluffy and feathery creatures do not seem like dolls come to life. Yes, and furniture and other decorations look great both in the house and outside.

Well, the main thing for the Russian audience is the presence of full-fledged localization. I did not compare the translation with the English version, but at first glance it seems that it is done at a high level. When catching a fish or a bug, a joke (often rhyming) is written related to the name of the living creature, and in dialogues with Nook and other heroes, cases are always correctly used, which I was worried about before release. It turned out to be in vain – they did not avoid cases and rebuild for the sake of this proposal, all names and denominations are inclined depending on the phrases.

It is very difficult to look for shortcomings, but I managed to find one slightly annoying element. Here, unfortunately, it is impossible to craft several identical items at the same time – you have to watch the creation animation every time. However, when such a trifle turns out to be the only drawback found, it makes no sense to pay much attention to it.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons game review

Gifts do not appear very often, so you do not want to miss them.

***

Every day Animal Crossing: New Horizons will get better. New tasks will lead to new goods in shops, new acquaintances will make the island livelier. Later, terraforming will even be unlocked – it will be possible to change the appearance of the island, destroying rocks and “rearranging” rivers. With the onset of the next season, new living creatures will appear, and in winter everything will be covered with snow. The holidays will be accompanied by special events with exclusive items, which will take a long time to get after the events. The first such entertainment is promised right on the day the game is released, March 20th.

Therefore, it will be possible to evaluate all the content offered in the game after at least 365 days, when March 13 comes again and exactly a year has passed since I received a copy of the game and settled on the island. Perhaps I will even devote a separate material to this and summarize. But the first three days were, without exaggeration, wonderful. So far, everything indicates that Animal Crossing: New Horizons can be listed as the main game on the Nintendo Switch – if everything started so great, then it’s scary (in a good way) to imagine what will be here in a week, a month or a year. It’s just nice to spend time in the game, and what you do – make furniture, save money or just sit at night on a stump from a felled tree – it doesn’t matter at all.

Pros: charming visual style; clear crafting system and a huge number of recipes; the ability to quickly earn currency in different ways; the game captivates, even when the main “plot” has nothing to do; various secondary characters – each with its own character; mountains of opportunities for customization, and not only clothes, but also faces with a hairstyle; big plans to support the game in the future.

Cons: in the workshop you can not create more than one thing at the same time.

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