Updated: Jun 23, 2020
If you haven’t already purchased Animal Crossing New Horizons, I’m guessing you're reading this review for two possible reasons. Either, you want to know if you, a full grown adult should purchase a game featuring childish looking animals and characters or secondly, you want to know is the game worth buying?
When I am deciding whether a game lives up to its hype, I do some research. I look at second hand places such as Gumtree or marketplace. If I see multiple copies of the game there, I know that many people have decided the game was not worth the money they spent. I looked on both and could not find any copies there which was a good sign. The game was released on the 20th of March, however at the time of writing (Late April 2020) Animal Crossing was still sold out at most outlets and a hard copy still difficult to obtain.
Next, I asked some friends who told me they were already hooked on Animal Crossing. Even though I know their maturity is questionable at the best of times, I took the plunge and decided to get the game. I begged my other half for some “sponsorship” to assist, Not wanting to go into great detail I finished the chores set, hung out 6 loads of washing and then I was able to download the game direct from the Nintendo Switch.
Animal Crossing is a sandbox style of game where you initially complete challenges given to you by dubious in game characters to build, craft and manage your own island, before being left to govern your domain! The appeal of this game comes from the ability to customise multiple aspects such as; your island lay out, your personal look, the clothes you wear and even your house decore and surroundings. The widely appealing multiplayer aspect of the game has caused me to reach out and be more personable to obtain collectable objects and share them with online acquaintances aka “friends”.
I was genuinely blown away by the sheer depth of this game, there are simply a million and one things to do and learn, some things you wouldn't have even imagined doing until your friend or someone online brings it up.
Annoyingly, “time” in Animal Crossing is real time, so when the game speaks about “tomorrow” it actually means “tomorrow”. After the first day I was ready to chuck in this game and lie about how much I enjoyed it to appease my gaming “sponsor” so she can be rest assured she didn’t waste her money. I found it repetitive with nothing to work towards. I persevered and am happy I did as the following day unlocked more crafting, building and exploring activities.
What initially grabbed me about Animal Crossing is that it has very nice bright graphics and colouring. The sound is also nice and at the same time is also annoying. When the characters speak it almost sounds like they are speaking a mixture of very fast words and an ancient dialect.
Another interesting aspect of Animal crossing is the "Stalk Market", the stalk market is essentially an animal crossing stock market. Every Sunday between 5am and 12pm you're visited by an adorable/ gross looking bore named Daisy Mae. Daisy Mae sells Turnips, thats right turnips, and basically you buy as many turnips as you can and then play the waiting game. Every day your local shop will buy these turnips for a different price and its upto you when you sell them and how many you sell. Be carefull though, if you don't sell by the following Sunday they will spoil and you'll lose the lot. Which take my word for it, is not fun!
One of the things that appeals to me the most is that I can easily play this game in hand held mode whilst the other half watches “Farmer wants a chef” or “Married at first glance”. In docked mode, the graphics stay large making writing easy to read from a distance. No squinting required!
Frustratingly however is, “one purchase” of Animal Crossing only gives you access to a single island. Different people can play on the same game but they have to share the same island. I’m sorry but my Mrs and I have very different concepts on what an island should look like! This is a significant problem for families not wanting to buy one game per person.
Overall - 8/10
A warning though although Animal Crossing New Horizon is a fun, family friendly, wholesome game, it is addictive, very Addictive. (To be honest this review is late as I have been playing this game too much.)
Written by Gaming Australia member Ninji Geekinstein