It’s been a long time since the last game in the Animal Crossing series came out - about seven years. I’ve had every game in the series since the original on Gamecube, where my sister and I would sit in front of our TV day after day to visit our village, harvest apples, and cultivate a happy populace.
The latest, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, came out last week for the Nintendo Switch, at just about the most opportune time. Everybody is stuck at home, so what better escape than to a deserted island? Well, the island starts deserted, but then, day by day, other villagers move in to make it a more lively place. The animal villagers have different personalities and hobbies, and there are more than 400 of them that might move in.
You don’t complete the game so much as you curate it. There are small goals to accomplish each day, such as getting things ready for a new villager to arrive, or building a bridge across a river. You can also gather supplies, harvest fruit, and see what new pieces of furniture are in the shop to decorate your house. And if you’d rather, you can use the things you’ve gathered to build items rather than buy them directly, like in Minecraft. You can also find bugs, catch fish, and dig up fossils to display in the island’s museum.
You can even connect to a friend over the internet and visit their island, too. It’s a good way to find flora or fauna that might not be native to your island. My sister lives on the east coast now, but every day for the past week, we’ve been visiting each other’s islands and working on our villages, just like we used to.