Animal Crossing: New Horizons
|Release date(s)||March 20, 2020|
|Media||Nintendo Switch Game Card and eShop download|
|Input methods||Joy-Con, Pro Controller|
Animal Crossing: New Horizons[nb 1] is a main installment in the Animal Crossing series for the Nintendo Switch that released on March 20, 2020. It's the first new installment in the main Animal Crossing series since 2012's Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and the first for a home console since 2008's Animal Crossing: City Folk.
In a departure from previous titles in the series, the player lives on a deserted island rather than in a town (referred to as the "Nook Inc. Deserted Island Getaway Package"). Crafting from Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has also returned in this installment, in the form of the DIY system.
Development and unveiling
The game was teased during a Nintendo Direct on September 13, 2018, and was originally slated to be released in 2019.
During E3 2019 on June 11, 2019, the gameplay (from trailer and Treehouse interview) and title were shown. It was revealed that the game had been delayed to March 20, 2020; it was stated that "to ensure the game is the best it can be, we must ask that you wait a little longer than we thought." Later, President of Nintendo of America, Doug Bowser, said the following: "The crunch point is an interesting one, for us, one of our key tenets is that we bring smiles to people's faces, and we talk about that all the time. It's our vision. Or our mission, I should say. For us, that applies to our own employees. We need to make sure that our employees have good work-life balance. One of those examples is, we will not bring a game to market before it's ready. We just talked about one example. It's really important that we have that balance in our world. It's actually something we're proud of."
An Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct took place on February 20, 2020, announcing the final release date of March 20th, 2020.  It showcased multiple new features of the game, such as terrain editing, additional house customization, and more.
This title supports more languages than all previous entries in the series, being the first to support the Chinese language since Doubutsu no Mori, which was ported to the iQue Player with simplified Chinese support exclusively for mainland China in 2006. This is also the first main series title since Animal Crossing: City Folk to have two separate localizations for Spanish and French; one for Europe and the other for the Americas, although it has been erroneously reported to be the first title, in general, to do so in the case of Spanish. It is the first title to include all localizations collectively regardless of regional release, and the first main series title to ever include Dutch and Russian languages.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be regularly updated with new content and special events. Unlike previous games, most events do not exist in the game's data until they are added through an update. These events are not available to experience in the game until the first real-world date on which it occurs, therefore time-travelling cannot be exploited until the update has been installed. An online date verification is required to experience the event for the first time, at which point they will reoccur offline indefinitely.
Online multiplayer can only be experienced if the most recent update is installed. The version number is displayed on the title screen and when talking to Orville about multiplayer functions.
|1.0.0||February 7, 2020[nb 2]||
|1.1.0||March 20, 2020||
|1.1.1||March 26, 2020||
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Tom Nook has a new business venture: selling the Nook Inc. Deserted Island Getaway Package, which is sold to the player. The game begins on a nearly deserted island where the player can explore, collect resources, and craft various items (including tools and furniture). The only starting buildings on the island are the player’s tent, two villager tents (after the player places them), and the Resident Services tent. Donating 5 unique fish and insects to Tom Nook will unlock the ability to place Blathers’ tent. Once Blathers’ tent is unlocked, he will give the player a Vaulting Pole to find more creatures. Donating 15 more unique creatures to Blathers will unlock the ability to place his museum, at which the player can donate and assess multiple things at a time. To unlock more tools, the player will need to pay off their tent, help Tom Nook build Nook's Cranny, build one bridge, and start the housing plots for animal villagers. Once the Resident Services tent is upgraded into a building, Isabelle returns as Nook’s assistant. The Plaza in front of the upgraded building will feature events and visitors.
In addition to earning bells, the player can also earn Nook Miles, which is a new form of currency that can be exchanged for furniture, plane tickets to mystery islands, upgrades, and recipes.
As in Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, the game features the ability to place furniture outside. A new Vaulting Pole tool can be created, giving the ability to vault over rivers, as well as a ladder, allowing the player to climb up cliffs.
The player can earn an Island Designer Construction Permit. Once the proper terraforming tools are unlocked with Nook Miles, it allows them to pave roads (instead of having to place patterns on the ground), as well as modify or add rivers and cliffs.
Up to eight players can live in the player's island, but only one island can be made per Nintendo Switch.  Additionally, there is a maximum of 10 animal villagers on the island.
Resources can be collected through various methods, such as chopping at trees with an axe for several types of wood (including wood, softwood and hardwood), or hitting rocks with a shovel for clay, stone, and ores. Several different types of weeds appear, which can also be used as materials once plucked. Crafting is done through either Tom Nook's workbench, or a bench crafted by the player. With these mechanics, the player is able to build and develop the island over time. Players are also able to dig up clams in the sand, which can then be used as fishing bait or as crafting materials. Additionally, trees and flowers can be shoveled up to be stored in the pocket, flowers can be used as crafting material, and picking them will also leave the stems in the ground.
Players can fully customize their characters at the beginning and during the game without having to answer questions, similar to Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer and Pocket Camp. This includes skin tones, gender-neutral hairstyles, and nose shapes. The player characters' overall design is slightly more detailed than in previous titles, featuring a more subdued color scheme and clear hair physics and shaders. The players also appear more expressive, showing a thoughtful expression when selecting items in their pocket, and moving their eyes around to look at nearby villagers and bugs.
The player can purchase a variety of clothes from the Able Sisters shop and presumably other shops that will appear after doing certain tasks. The Able sisters will set up their shop after to buy a fair amount in bells from them. Able Sisters now includes a fitting room, allowing the player to try on clothes before purchasing.
An island can support up to eight players. For the first time in the series, four players can play at the same time on a single system, and up to eight can play together through online multiplayer or local wireless. Online play requires a Nintendo Switch Online subscription.
In local multiplayer, the screen boundaries will follow player 1; however, they may transfer their "leadership" to another player at any time. The lead player is the only player able to see text prompts after catching bugs or fish. In online play, all players have equal abilities, as in previous games.
This marks the first game where a player's friend cannot modify the island unless they are marked as a best friend.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes 24 special characters, 5 of which are new to the series:
- C.J., who runs the Fishing Tourney (replacing the role of Chip)
- Daisy Mae, who sells turnips on Sunday (replacing the role of Joan)
- Flick, who runs the Bug-Off (replacing the role of Nat)
- Orville, who works at the Airport for Dodo Airlines
- Wilbur, the pilot for Dodo Airlines
New Horizons has 391 villagers, which includes 8 that are new to the series(one for each personality):
- Audie, a peppy wolf
- Cyd, a cranky elephant
- Dom, a jock sheep
- Judy, a snooty cub
- Megan, normal bear
- Raymond, a smug cat
- Reneigh, an uchi horse
- Sherb, a lazy goat
Players that have Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp linked on the same My Nintendo account can redeem rewards via the My Nintendo screen in the mobile app. The rewards are 50 Leaf Tickets to use in Pocket Camp and a 16-digit download code for Nintendo eShop used to access special furniture and clothing items orders in New Horizons.
Differences between Animal Crossing Games
This is a list of differences from previous titles:
- New bugs have been added; the Citrus Long-horned Beetle, Common Bluebottle, Damselfly, Man-faced stink bug, Paper Kite Butterfly and Wasp made their series debut in this game. The Wasp replaces the Bee from previous games and serves the same role.
- New fish have also been added; the Anchovy, Barreleye, Betta, Golden Trout, Mahi-Mahi, Rainbowfish, Ranchu Goldfish, Snapping Turtle, Sturgeon, Suckerfish, and the Tilapia debuted in this game.
- The Barbel Steed, Eel, and Rainbow Trout are absent from New Horizons despite appearing in all of the previous games.
- Some Fish and Bugs have their seasonal appearances changed.
- The glowing spot from the first Animal Crossing has made a return; additionally, it is another way (the other being the golden shovel Tool) to grow money trees by putting at least 1,000 bells or more in the glowing spot.
- The message in a bottle has made a return; it allows players to learn new DIY recipes from random villagers that do not live on their island.
- The swimming mechanic introduced in New Leaf is removed; as such, Deep Sea Creatures no longer appear.
- As in when Crafting was introduced in Pocket Camp, Tools are now required to be crafted; with the sole exceptions of the vaulting pole and the ladder, all tools, even golden ones, will break within a certain amount of uses.
- Players can now hop over rivers within a 1 or 2 gap space, along being able to hop over holes.
- Players can now move an entire tree with the use of eating a fruit; additionally, players can now break any rock.
- Eating fruit now fills up a portion of the player's stomach, and upon filling it they will no longer be able to eat. Sitting on a toilet furniture item allows the player to empty their stomach, presumably through defecation.
- Players can now find some stone, clay, iron nuggets and rarely gold nuggets once per rock a day.
- Blathers once again gives lectures on donated items, a feature previously dropped in New Leaf, though unlike previous instances, players have the option to opt out of them per donation. Consequently, the informative blurbs found on museum plaques in New Leaf (including historical information on art pieces) are no longer present, returning to the pre-New Leaf standard of simply listing the item and donor.
- Players and Villagers no longer sit on rocks, but they can sit on any solid ground.
- Players now start with twenty pocket slots, compared to previous games' fifteen.
- Tools no longer free up space when held by the player.
- House Loans can now be paid by the players' savings in the ABD.
- Gyroids are not currently present in the game, but do appear within the game's files.
- Balloon Presents now give random items to the player rather than balloon furniture. They may receive Bells, Iron Nuggets, Gold Nuggets, DIY Recipes, Furniture and more.
- Saharah now sells Carpets in small, medium, and large. She also now sells Wallpaper and Flooring individually for 3,000 Bells.
- Additionally, when the player buys Carpets, they recieve Saharah tickets to reedem for a free Wallpaper or Flooring.
Please note, this list only reflects the version of the game as currently available and may change down the line with planned updates.
New Horizons received positive reviews from critics, with many praising the new entry for retaining the soul of other titles in the series while also providing enhanced visuals and new mechanics.
- Famitsu: 38/40
- IGN: 9/10
- Metacritic (an average of 67 reviews): 91% 
- Forbes: 100%
- Telegraph: 100%
- Nintendo Life: 100%
- Pocket Gamer UK: 100%
In Japan, the game sold over 1.88 million copies in the first three days of the release.
|Teaser from Nintendo Direct on September 13, 2018|
|E3 Nintendo Direct Trailer 2019|
|Aya Kyogoku and Hisashi NogamiE3 Nintendo Treehouse gameplay featuring|
|Nintendo Direct (September 05, 2019) Trailer|
|Deserted Island Getaway Package Primer|
|Nintendo Switch My Way commercial|
|Nintendo Direct (February 20, 2020)|
|Your Island Escape, Your Way commercial|
|ゼロから作る篇 (Make from Zero) commercial|
|上陸篇 (Landing) commercial|
|春 (spring) commercial|
Names in other languages
|Korean||모여봐요 동물의 숲
Moyeobwayo Dongmul-Ui Sup
|Animal Forest: Let's Meet|
Jíhé la! Dòngwù sēnyǒu huì
|Animal Forest Party Assemble!|
- Nintendo Direct 09-13-2018
- Nintendo Direct for E3 2019, YouTube.
- Nintendo Comments on Crunch and Game Delays, IGN.
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct 2.20.2020, Nintendo.
- Luigi’s Mansion 3, Animal Crossing, And New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Playable In Chinese, NintendoSoup.
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons vendrá localizado al español latinoamericano, 3DJuegos (in Spanish)
- How to Update Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Nintendo Customer Support
- いよいよ無人島に出発！『あつまれ どうぶつの森』の発売日アップデート内容や特典などをご紹介！, Nintendo (Japan)
- Nintendo Confirms New Details About Multiplayer in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, IGN.
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons will have skin tone customization, gender-neutral hairstyles for Villagers, Polygon.
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons E3 2019 Factsheet
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons Sold A Whopping 1.88 Million Copies In Three Days In Japan Nintendo Life
|Animal Crossing series|
|Animal Crossing series|