Though Animal Crossing is a long-running franchise, New Horizons has seen the cult favorite become a mainstream smash hit.
Many found solace in a rough 2020 through gaming. Animal Crossing: New Horizons offered people something in the vein of an ideal life, having the opportunity to hang out with friends in a positive environment and work towards a common goal. Though it’s not quite as trendy today as it was after its initial launch, the life sim remains a popular pastime for many. Here’s everything you need to know about Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Animal Crossing is a game that tasks a player with building a new life in a new environment.
The franchise is built around players moving into a town and having to carve out a life there. This typically includes building up one’s home, befriending local villagers, and collecting things.
The game quickly became a favorite among fans of the genre thanks to its charming characters and fun graphical style. It was originally debuted on the GameCube, but became primarily regarded as a handheld game thanks to the successes of Animal Crossing: Wild World on the Nintendo DS and Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the Nintendo 3DS. It still maintained a presence on the Wii and WiiU, but those installments in the franchise weren’t as well-regarded as their handheld counterparts.
Animal Crossing: New Horizon came out worldwide on March 20, 2020.
The game launched to strongly positive reviews and quickly ballooned into being one of the most popular games in Nintendo’s recent history. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is alraedy approaching 35 million units sold as of this writing.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is exclusively available on the Nintendo Switch.
Traditionally, Animal Crossing has dropped a single title on each Nintendo platform, with some spin-offs popping up elsewhere. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the sole Switch installment to date and will likely remain exclusive to the platform. New Horizons may not have a proper successor until the next console generation.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons still retails for its full $60 price while the DLC costs $25.
Though ACNH is coming up on its second birthday, that doesn’t mean the game’s price has slipped at all. The game is still selling at full price at all major retailers and isn’t likely to see its price reduced any time soon.
That’s not unusual for Nintendo games. Dating all the way back to the Nintendo GameCube, top first-party titles rarely dropped below full retail cost even years after release. Super Smash Bros. Melee on the GameCube, which was effectively a launch title for the console, was selling for a high price deep into the Nintendo Wii’s lifespan. Animal Crossing: New Horizons will likely be in the same boat given its continued success at full price.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons does offer online multiplayer and local multiplayer, though local multiplayer requires multiple Nintendo Switch devices. The decision by Nintendo to require multiple Switch consoles for multiplayer has been a rare source of frustration for Animal Crossing fans who have generally approved of the series’ latest entry.
Players can easily invite friends and other players to visit their island and tackle chores together. The process for doing so is simple, with players having the option for send invites with one-off codes or by inviting people through their Nintendo Switch friend list. Joining up with friends remains good fun, in spite of frustrations around the number of consoles required or Nintendo’s archaic approach to online gaming.
The Animal Crossing: New Horizons 2.0 update came out on November 5, 2021.
The ACNH 2.0 update included a number of quality of life improvements and expanded options for established gameplay mechanics including more than 900 new items, new crops to farm, the ability to catalog DIY recipes, and much more. Alongside the ACNH Happy Home Paradise DLC, this made for a major overhaul of the game.
Those who stopped playing the game within its first year of existence can return to Animal Crossing: New Horizons right now and find what’s almost a totally new game. Anyone that has been considering a return to their island will find plenty of new content awaiting them.