New Horizons: A Perfect Game for the Time


Margaret Young

An early morning on the island, the sky slowly fills with color as the virtual sun rises on the island.

Margaret Young, Staff Writer.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a game that released in March of this year.  It came out perfectly for when quarantine was first starting.  The community has significantly grown since the release of the game. A few updates later and we’re getting even more throughout the year. The game has become one of the best selling for the switch, but what makes it a good game for the pandemic?

New Horizons is a life simulation game, running in real time with your Switch’s clock.  Days go by without a care in the world.  You play as the Resident Representative for a deserted island turned town. Fishing, talking to your neighbors, and other tasks contribute to the game, offering activities for you to do as the day progresses. There is no real end goal to the game, you just live life on the island. 

Sometimes villagers like to hang out in the town plaza and enjoy the sun on the island.

Gameplay consists of the player living a day of life on their island, talking to villagers and other activities. The player can use various tools like fishing rods, shovels, and nets to complete the tasks given to them by their villagers for the day. If the player still has debt to the game’s capitalist raccoon, Tom Nook, they may be gathering materials to sell to pay off those debts and expand their house. 

New Horizons is a stunning game to look at, and it helps the graphics compliment the gameplay as the player goes through the game. The game is refreshing to look at and designed to be played almost daily — the graphics help the game and let the player enjoy the game daily and for long periods of time. 

The museum’s aquarium can be filled with various fish and creatures the player catches and donates to it. (Margaret Young)

Hourly music is a staple in the Animal Crossing series. New Horizons takes a different approach in the beginning of the game, with the hourly music not appearing until you finally get the town hall. The hourly music then appears and it takes more roots in the original GameCube game. The music is more experimental than Animal Crossing: New Leaf with more repeating loops and strange sounds —  the 2 p.m. music is a good example of the feeling the music provides for this game. 

Overall, New Horizons is a life simulator that can fill the player’s day and provide them with satisfaction and dopamine for several activities and accomplishments. The game will continue to get updates for the next few years.