Animal Crossing: New Horizons Aims to Connect the World
After watching the announcements made on today’s live streamed Nintendo Direct, I’m confident that Nintendo is hellbent on creating their own online world.
This’ll be a world in which we will gleefully live out our perfect little lives… in a place where Nintendo is Lord.
The New World According to Nintendo
This article will address the information that I found most compelling in the Nintendo Direct update. If I missed anything, I apologise. Nook be praised.
The direct started with day one on the island, and it begins much like you’d expect.
When you’re first dropped onto your island you’ll start with a simple tent, a collapsable bed, and a lantern. Where you go from there is up to you.
As long as you’re willing to go into debt with Grandmaster Tom Nook, you can upgrade your tent into a house at your own leisure.
Once your house has been built you can expand it, adding infinite rooms and growing an infinitely expanding mortgage at the same time.
With that it seems that once again the bells are back with a vengeance. So with the chime of the bells and enormous crushing debt, the cutest/most hellish version of Monopoly is set to begin again.
The World is Yours for the Griefing
Perhaps the most exciting update in my opinion was the revelation that you can visit anyones island any time you feel like it, you just need the password.
Nintendo revealed that in order to visit the islands of anyone you’re not friends with through the Nintendo Switch platform, that person will need to provide you with a ‘Dodo Code.’ This code will act as a temporary password that will let you in, unless parental controls have been activated.
Once on someone’s island you can do anything you please, except digging and cutting down trees.
Nintendo has disabled shovels and axes while visiting other users islands, unless you’re registered as a ‘best friend’ in which case, chop away.
And speaking of chopping, Nintendo revealed that after receiving a ‘permit’ we are now permitted to fully customise the island.
Nothing is Set in Stone. Not Even the Stone
An entirely new but desperately desired development in the series, the island on which the game is based is now completely customisable.
Cut away a mountain, redirect a river, it’s all yours for the changing. I predict within 2 months we will have islands online that have been painstakingly crafted to resemble exact replica’s of countries and cities as they exist today.
Islanders tents and houses are also movable, as are shops and everything else. You can even decide where islanders live, right from day one.
Speaking of real life countries, you can also choose which hemisphere you’d like your island to be in. That way the in-game seasons will reflect the way your seasons actually appear in your real life (the ugly version of real life that takes place outside).
Besides hemisphere, you can also choose which preset you’d like your island to resemble.
Customise Until You Die
The whole game is teaming with customisation options, one example shown was a custom cushion design being added to a couch in the demonstration video.
Also, don’t forget that this version features crafting much like the Pocket Camp edition, so the options are potentially endless.
You can also use a QR code scanning feature (on the Nintendo Online smartphone app) to scan designs you made on previous Animal Crossing games and bring them into New Horizons.
During the Nintendo Direct, the player showed an example by scanning a drawing on the 3DS edition of a previous Animal Crossing game and turning the design into a t-shirt on New Horizons.
(More details about the app soon).
The airport feature on the island will allow you to explore the world and be taken to random islands at any time. (It will cost bells of course).
While on random islands you can find items that don’t exist anywhere else, and unique islanders.
You can’t choose where you travel though, it’s dependant on the “mood of the captain.”
If you’re on the island with friends, you’ll be able to use the Nintendo Online app to communicate with others on the island through a new feature called Nooklink.
Through Nooklink you can either speak-to-text or type messages that will pop up in the game once you hit send.
While on the island with friends you can engage in ‘Party Play.’ While in this mode, one of the players will be the leader and the rest of the gang will automatically follow wherever the leader goes. You can change leadership roles whenever you like.
If your whole family wants to play on the same island and on the same Switch, it’s allowed by changing profiles. Just choose the profile associated to your character before logging on, and your character will be automatically loaded in. Everyone can have their own house and their own influence on the island.
Nintendo revealed that seasonal updates are coming, and that they’re coming for free. They’re planning on holding events, releasing new islanders, and hosting special holidays that will be revealed in the coming months. The first event will be ‘Bunny Day’ which will be hosted in April, and will be downloaded into the game as part of the day one patch.
Animal Crossing: New Horizon will release on March 20th and is only available on Nintendo Switch. Pre-orders are available now.
I’ll be there, setting up my island on day one. If you’ll also be there let me know, maybe we can connect and do some island hopping. Be warned, if you grief my island you will be publicly shamed.
Do you love Animal Crossing? Then you’ll love my monthly newsletter. How are they connected? Through the power of imagination.