Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Or: All Good Animals Cross to Switch)

So, Nintendo’s latest Animal Crossing main line title has launched today for the Nintendo Switch and Switch Light! Heralded as a savior from Coronavirus-related lockdown blues and the first home console release in the series since City Folk on the original Wii back in 2008, the series returns to its roots and breaks new ground all at once in a new deserted island adventure!

Just what is Animal Crossing, you ask? Well, briefly, it’s a series of social/life simulation games that got its start with the original Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Gamecube (okay, technically that was a port of a limited-release, Japan-only Nintendo 64DD title, but, ugh, whatever). Each game invites you to embody a twerpy-looking little human Villager who is freshly arrived in a town inhabited by cutesy, nonsense-speaking animal critters and make a life for yourself. Each game begins with you deeply in debt to notorious late-stage capitalist raccoon Tom Nook, who has financed your new home and starting gear, and you can engage in myriad little minigame-esque activities to harvest resources and perform tasks for the other Villagers to earn Bells to purchase increasingly bigger homes, nicer furnishings, swankier outfits, and more. Meanwhile, you can wander around chatting up the animals, collecting seashells and fossils, getting and receiving gifts, and even inviting friends to come visit your town!

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The games aren’t terribly complicated, but they are known for one interesting twist on the life-sim formula. All AC titles use a real time clock that maps the in-game activities to the real world time and date on your console. Although you can fiddle with system settings to “time travel” your save, the intent is that you play in sync with the real world around you – shops might close at night, some critters might only show up during a particular season, and goodie-filled holidays only crop up at the right time of years.

This encourages a relaxing thirty-minutes-a-day sort of atmosphere to the game once you’ve gotten the initial set of fetch quests and gather-em-up’s taken care of to get the town up and running. Pop in, chop some wood, shake some fruit from trees, make a few Bells to tick down your debt to the Nook clan, and see how your animal buddies are doing, then sign off and do it all over again tomorrow.

New Horizons changes the formula up in a few novel ways. First and foremost, you begin play on a “deserted” island, lush with flora and fauna and populated only by your Villager, two randomly selected pals (chosen from the game’s huge library of returning and novel animal Villagers), and the ever-present Nooks, with everyone roughing it in temporary tents. It’s up to you to help your neighbors choose where to live and to gather up the resources needed to turn this campground into a proper settlement! Moreover, in a series first, DIY crafting is available to use all those resources you can gather from refreshing sources each day. No longer are you restricted to merely buying up your worldly goods like furniture, tools, and clothes from the shops in town! No, you can make your very own! Once you roll in the custom design maker tool that lets you craft pixel art skins for clothes and furniture, the customization options scale to infinity.

Hop on a plane and visit a neighboring isle rich with harvestable resources, invite your pals to visit your private island via the internet (or local play – important note, all AC:NH players on a single console will share a joint island), stock up a newly revamped museum with your novel findings, and eventually even gain a permit to reshape the island and its waterways! Eventually, time-limited “DLC” holidays will join the fun (released via patches to prevent people from time-traveling forward), too.


Anyway, that’s enough blathering from me. I’ll link a few reviews and video overviews below. I mostly just wanted to create a proper thread to extract the ongoing discussion from the main Switch thread here on the forums :)

Switch Friend Codes

If anyone’s interested in playing together, feel free to share your Switch Friend Code and ideally ping me in the post; I’ll try to collect them all here :)


Qt3 Name Island Name Island’s Uniqueries Switch Friend Code
ArmandoPenblade / Randy P Arubelle Apples, Cherries, Oranges & Peaches SW-5885-1735-7489
Mike_Cathcart Kyoto Oranges SW-1509-1866-5003
Reemul Sandbanks Cherries SW-1664-4296-1510
Left_Empty Ithaque Pears SW-8417-0772-4602
Scott_Lufkin Krowe Nest Pears Forthcoming
Knightsaber Capirca Pears, Cherries, Oranges SW-5698-6813-4294
dgallina / Diego Bonita Peaches SW-8140-3543-2052
Profanicus Newlandia Oranges SW-0697-8175-1309
Thraeg SW-4925-1847-5873
SadleyBradleyDadley Adleyton Cherries SW-2619-2629-7678
Clay, Cecily, and Blythe Mahalo Peaches SW-4232-0022-7648
lostcawz Red Branch Cherries SW-6472-5802-1227
barstein / Fitz Borphee Peaches, Oranges, Coconuts SW-7771-2171-4334
Vesper / Mike Evergreen Pears SW-6658-8825-1097
MichaelFortson / Mike Anejo Oranges SW-1632-3735-5704
anonymgeist / Jeff NewRoanoke Cherries SW-6262-9260-1830
Ephraim Catlandia Oranges SW-7907-9724-4485
paul_chambers / ppiixx Floun Peaches SW-6843-0889-3677
Octavious230 ?? Peaches SW-4036-4737-0608
BaggerMcGuirk America 2 ?? SW-7339-0449-9490
Fozzle Chili P Pears, Apples, Coconuts SW-0900-8849-5005
Scott_Dobros / Burrbon COVIDity Peaches SW-7264-1055-5722
wisefool Sunflower Peaches, Oranges, Coconuts SW-5449-6934-1782
Lantz Sichult Oranges SW-6033-4046-2927
DennyA ?? ?? SW-6551-8166-9609
NuclearWinter Natsukashi Apples SW-4246-6120-7535
rowe33 ?? Apples SW-4643-0206-4231

Thanks to @Mike_Cathcart for the tip about unique items on our islands and to @Scott_Lufkin for the tip on island names :)

Yay, Animal Crossing thread. Also early on might be nice to let people know what fruit you have!

I’ve got oranges and my friend code is SW-1509-1866-5003. Island is named Kyoto.

Well, I’m working away for company scrip on the surely-not-bound-for-tragedy island of NewRoanoke.

I’ve got my eye on the Nooks for when the Flavor Aid starts getting passed out.

Reemul - SW -1664 - 4296 -1510

I got Pears at 8417-0772-4602

Damn, your me is staggering @ArmandoPenblade!

Tell me about it, buddy. “Fearless leader” is just straight up “welcome to our cult!” speak, haha.

I went with Arubelle, which sounds suitably fantastical.

Having never played an AC game, my kids are going to flip when I set it up next week. Will add my ID when I get one.

This is awesome.

Everyone should let folks know what they named their island, too, for this list!

I don’t have access to my Switch right now, so no idea what my Friend Code is (or, now I think of it, how to get it?) but I have Pears and my island is Krowe Nest.

Front page of IGN is excellent right now.

god I love the DOOM/AC crossover fandom shit so much!

For succeeding generations, DOOM Eternal and ACNH both launched today, and fans were quick to notice the. . . unusual dichotomy. And then proceeded to go all-in on the nonsense.

Once work is over I’ll look up my friend code and post it. We have peaches I believe. My wife doesn’t play games, but loves AC. I just have to keep an eye on her as she gets very carried away. Like omg go eat something it’s been days carried away.

Same. I remember having dinner out many years ago.

“Hey, if we finish fast, we can make it home in time to catch some new songs from KK Slider.”

Woo hoo. I’m on Caprica with Pears…seems to be popular. SW-5698-6813-4294

Yay thread, @ArmandoPenblade

I ordered late so I won’t be set up til next week but will report in when I am.

Hey all. I’m on Bonita, have peaches, and friend code sw-8140-3543-2052.

Diego

No idea what my friend code is (or where to find it, but I can look when I get home), but I’ve got cherries growing on my island.

1m

Its so weird to have a game, where after an hour, you are done. As in, there is absolutely nothing more to do. Then you have to wait until the next day.

I hope things open up a bit more later on!

Just spent a little hour with it. I don’t know what it is, but I don’t mind the silly menial tasks in this game. Can’t wait for the next day!

I think you need to open the gates at the airport to allow other people in.

My place is Ithaque.

But be careful if you come… I fainted twice already. Roughless place I picked!

On Home screen, select your profile icon at top left, then ‘Profile’.

I’m on the creatively named Newlandia, bountifully stocked with wonderful Oranges, and my code is SW-0697-8175-1309