Enjoy a Pandemic-Free Christmas on Animal Crossing
’Tis the season for Animal Crossing, especially since the virus may mean spending the holiday season alone for the very first time.
Since the virus took over all of our lives, none of us could have anticipated that we’d still be dealing with it at the end of the freaking year. It seems like only yesterday that Trump was promising an Easter celebration free from the widespread virus.
Instead, we’re all facing the reality that we’ll be enjoying only the company of ourselves for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thankfully, Animal Crossing is here to save the day!
For those who don’t know, Animal Crossing is a long-running series of Nintendo games that follow the real-world clock and calendar. If it’s dark outside in the real world, it’ll be dark outside in Animal Crossing.
In the newest version ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’, players build and run their own deserted islands.
Over time, up to ten villagers can move to your island and live there, providing you with friends you can hang out and socialise with.
There’s no set point to the game, no missions to achieve or objectives to unlock. Instead, players are encouraged to decorate their island as they see fit, and find happiness in peace and tranquility.
Nintendo is dropping a new patch today (November 19th 2020) that will provide us with a number of updates to see us through until the next patch in late January 2021.
True to their word, the patch is completely free, and no paid DLC has been announced for the future.
When the game launched, Nintendo promised an entire year of free patches, and so far they have more than delivered on their promise. We don’t know if they’ll change this model in the coming year, or abandon the game all-together. But we do know that because of the virus, the game has sold beyond any of Nintendo’s projections, or even their wildest dreams.
Nintendo has publicly said that they’re motivated to keep sales high as the game continues to age, so at least until sales die down; so we can expect detailed and high quality patches to keep coming.
So, let’s see what we’ve got.
November 26th is Turkey Day
In true Animal Crossing tradition, all major holidays have been given cute variations on their real world names.
Thanksgiving has been changed to Turkey Day, and comes with the re-introduction of series favourite, Franklin the chef.
In games past, Franklin was a core part of the Harvest Festival. His role has been changed for New Horizons into a forgetful chef that needs our help to find the missing ingredients he needs to cook our Thanksgiving feast. Aah, I mean Turkey Day feast.
December 24th is Toy Day
Toy Day is the Animal Crossing equivalent to Christmas Day, and takes place on our real-world Christmas Eve.
My guess as to why they’ve decided to put the holiday on Christmas Eve is so that parents all over the world don’t have to deal with their kids spending all day enjoying Christmas on their islands instead of with their real-life families.
Getting Toy Day out of the way before “real Christmas” is sure to prevent a lot of fights.
With Toy Day, we meet another series regular, Jingle the Black Nosed Reindeer. It will be our job to help Jingle deliver presents from Santa to all of the villagers living on our island.
For me, this’ll be a fun chore, because I’ve already driven out all of the villigers I hate.
But for others, I can imagine them filling with bile when being forced to positively interact with those they’d wish would hurry up and leave already.
With the patch, we’ll also get a bunch of cool new hairstyles and some groovy reactions too.
My favourite is the new yoga reaction which allows your character to perform Warrior 2 wherever you happen to be on your island.
Better yet, the maximum storage capacity inside your home has now been upgraded from 1,600 to 2,400. Which is a huge deal for those of us who somehow managed to fill our storage to max capacity faster than a base-level iPhone.
The game will also introduce the ability to transfer save data, which is a huge relief and was a massive criticism of the original version of the game.
Nintendo clearly heard us when we complained about the save data limitations, and have given us half of what we asked for. Now just give us cloud-save Nintendo and we’ll leave you alone.
And That’s It!
If you don’t have Animal Crossing and want in on the action, you can grab it from the Nintendo Switch online store, or by visiting one of the remaining Game Stops before they go out of business.
Nintendo promised updates, and they’ve delivered. While I don’t know how or whether they’ll continue to support the game into 2021, I do know that I’ve received my money’s worth in 2020, so I’m satisfied.
Merry Toy Day everyone!