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Top 5 Reasons To Get Excited for Animal Crossing: New Horizons

We are officially less than a month away from the launch of Animal Crossing New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch. After a long 8 years of waiting, our dreams of crafting endless items, creating one-one-of-a-kind designs, and catching bugs at all hours of the day is so close to fruition!


Before we get carried away by the exciting island breeze, here are the top 5 reasons why you should be excited too:

Terraforming

A fair skinned video game character with red hair and a hard hat holds a clipboard. A menu is overlayed above, with various textured boxes. A hand-shaped cursor hovers over a brown box labeled "Dirt Path." In the upper right-hand corner, a title reads, "Island Designer construction permit."Source: Nintendo

For the first time in any Animal Crossing game, you now can shape the landscape around you by creating (and destroying) streams, ponds, cliffs, waterfalls, paths, and more. To navigate around your newly changed surroundings, you can build stairs and bridges in addition to carrying around your nifty ladder and vault pole. With this new ability, you have a different type of role in game. You can truly create something one-of-a-kind that you and all its islanders can call home.

Terraforming may be the #1 reason why we are so excited for this release. It’s the ultimate way to customize your island. However, take note that this feature will not be readily available to you right when you start. Construction permits are only granted once your island has fully been decorated.

New Residents

The face of video game Tanooki character Tom Nook, imagining a series of other animal video game characters in a giant thought bubbleSource: Nintendo

The creators never fail to introduce fresh personalities that leave an impression on us years after an Animal Crossing release. As a newcomer in each game, these villagers have comforted us over the years by providing advice, making us laugh when we felt lonely, and building friendships through gifts and witty banter. To put it simply, there are villagers that we are obsessed with.

According to the Tom Nook Twitter account for the UK, there is an astounding 383 potential villagers that can visit or even inhabit your personalized island. The UK Twitter account posted an image of a handful of potential residents last week showing some of our personal favorites making a comeback. With Nintendo’s promise of free updates after launch, we’re confident that there will be additional islanders old and new that we will meet with content releases and special seasonal events.

Will these new faces greet us with kind words or snappy remarks? What castaway will wash up on our shores? What new shoe, chair, or design print will they bring? Will Isabelle ever stop working?!?! We are impatient to see who will come visit the island next!

Nook Miles

A Tanooki video game character stands wearing a light green tropical shirt and khaki shorts. A title says "Tom Nook." A logo for Animal Crossing New Horizons is displayed in the bottom left corner.Source: Nintendo

Tom Nook has proved time and time again that he is an economic mogul. Tom does not let us down in New Horizons with his introduction to a brand-new currency, Nook Miles. The Nook Mileage Program sets goals to work towards in different categories such as crafting, decorating, selling, trapping, and overall maintenance of the island. As you complete each assigned task, you will be rewarded with Nook Miles. These miles can then be used towards unique clothing, uncraftable items, new recipes, and player customizations like new hairstyles.

Another way to redeem your Nook Miles is to exchange them for a special ticket. This ticket will allow you to travel to far off islands via the Dodo Airlines. The destination of your flight is a different mystery each time where you are free to gather any sea shells, apples, and other materials as you please. And, of course, you can bring all your findings back with you to your home island.

The Nook Miles Program is a much-needed addition to the game to give value back to the town’s currency. These quest-like tasks give us a fun way to enhance the game vs. the typical strategy of endless beetle farming for bells.

Party Play

A male, brown-skinned video game character looks at a mobile phone. A menu is overlayed on the left, displaying icons. A hand-shaped cursor hovers over a camera icon. The word "camera" is displayed at the top of the menu. Two options are displayed in the bottom right corner of the screen: B Put Away, and A Select.Source: Nintendo

Besides your basic tent, bed, and radio that you start your new life with, you’ll gain a new mobile phone. Using your NookPhone you can select an app to initiate “Call Resident." Doing so allows up to four friends to see the sights across an island at the same time. The leader (the player that initiates Party Play) chooses 3 other residents to follow them as they catch bugs, garden, chop down trees, or just lay in the summer sun - all on one Switch system. Once you’ve had your fill of being the head honcho, it’s an absolute breeze to switch roles to give other followers a change to lead the pack. And rest assured, anything you catch or find on while you explore with friends is yours to keep.

Four video game characters explore a green, wooded environment including an apple tree.Source: Nintendo

Want to go on an adventure without any followers? You always have the choice to travel alone and visit another friend’s island solo. Reminder that one island can have up to 8 visitors at one time (including yourself). It’s promising to see staple features like exploring given a breath of fresh air.

NookLink is an extra feature Nintendo is incorporating that is hot on our radar. Planned for a release shortly after the console game, NookLink offers a way of connecting our consoles and smartphones which is aimed in enhancing the multiplayer experience. This new integration will allow us to communicate with our party members through text or voice chat via the app.

HINT: Need a way to talk seamlessly with friends on the app while still listening to audio on your Nintendo Switch? Try the Arctis 3 Bluetooth gaming headset!

Furniture Customization & DIY

A blonde female video game character sits on a couch in a customizeable room. Options are displayed to the left: "ZL Normal," "L None," and an icon that indicates movement. To the right, a pair of cartoon eyes with the letter R is displayed. A zooming scale is displayed on the right with a "plus" magnifying glass labeled "X" at the top and a "minus" magnifying glass labeled "Y" at the bottom.

Customization - one the true core values of Animal Crossing life. We’re happy to see that more options and choices are being added not for only furniture, but your character itself. Players now have the choice to pick any skin tone, facial feature, or hairstyle regardless of gender. There is also an option to change your character selections and gender at any time you choose to.

Another nice upgrade has been made to your design slot allowing you to carry a wider array of patterns and prints. Have some older designs in older Animal Crossing games you want to add to your current library? Use NookLink to scan QR codes, transferring your previous designs from New Leaf and Happy Home Designers to New Horizons.

The last and blessed feature we’ll mention is for the die-hard decorators out there. We now can move furniture in half units, similar to Happy Home Designer. Goodbye awkward spacing and furniture that could never be centered!

What feature are you most excited for? Did we miss anything on our list? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter!

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