What is Animal Crossing? What you need to know about the Nintendo game

Becoming obsessed with a video game is a natural distraction for many people who practice safe social distancing to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

One game that people are excited about right now is Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

The first new title in the series since 2012 arrived on March 20, just as people began to settle into this unprecedented new reality, looking for something to do with all of this extra time that we were getting. suddenly find ourselves spent at home.

New Horizons was developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch game console.

Those without a Nintendo Switch can sample the Animal Crossing experience through the free Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp mobile game.

“The perfect game at the perfect time”

And as the New York Times suggested, the whimsical escape of shaping a new society with the help of adorable anthropomorphic animals may be just what the doctor ordered for people looking for comfort and connection in this time of isolation.

“I honestly think it was the perfect game at the perfect time,” says Mega Ran, the Phoenix-based hip-hop musician most likely to rap on video games.

“These games have sold millions in the past, but I think with the pandemic and everyone self-quarantining themselves, it has made this game even more must-have.”

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What is Animal Crossing?

Zipper T. Bunny, who just finished hosting the annual Bunny Day event on Easter Sunday, is just one of the many talking animals you’ll find in this wildly popular life simulation game series.

Players assume the role of a person whose neighbors are matching animals. There is no real structure in the game, which allows individual players to choose their own experience by engaging in activities ranging from catching insects and fishing to planting things and letting go. interaction with animals.

As Gaming site Kotaku summed up the series’ appeal in 2011, “Animal Crossing has never really been a mainstream video game. There are no enemies to fight or directed quests to pursue. It is more of a play space and an area of ​​gathering and expression. self.”

This non-traditional approach clearly resonated with gamers. The non-linear series, which extensively uses the video game console’s clock and calendar to simulate tree growth and flower blooming in real time, has sold over 30 million units worldwide .

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What is New Horizons?

In New Horizons, the player character purchased a desert island getaway package from Tom Nook, a Japanese raccoon dog who has featured in every title in the series.

The player explores the island in a non-linear fashion, collecting and crafting items, farming, fishing, catching insects, planting trees and flowers, crafting furniture, and building an island community of anthropomorphic animals.

When the game begins, the player only has a tent and two animal friends rather than a preexisting village full of talking animals.

Animal crossing: new horizons

The player has to earn Nook Miles by pulling weeds, catching fish and other tasks. Miles can be redeemed for furniture, tools, and other items to improve living conditions on the island.

Mega Ran found it to be more fun than other life simulation games because of the “almost limitless possibilities,” he says.

“There is music, friends, decorations, personalization, everything I love in nice packaging. Every day I watch someone else’s island online and it motivates me. to do more, now that I know the possibilities of the game. “

He’s seen people on Animal Crossing: New Horizons host podcasts, throw dance parties, and even get married.

“My wife is even in it,” he says. “I have begged her to play games with me in the past and this is the only one she loves as much as I do. The online community is so strong that I don’t see this game going anywhere for a while. time. Maybe I should buy my wife her own Switch for her birthday. “

In Japan, Animal Crossing: New Horizons broke the record held by Pokémon Sword and Shield for the region’s largest first Switch game.

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The first game in the series was simply called Animal Crossing, released in 2001 in Japan. A North American version followed in 2002.

The series was created by Katsuya Eguchi, a Japanese game designer whose previous credits include work on Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, Star Fox 2, Wave Race 64, and Yoshi’s Story.

Animal crossing: new horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the fifth game in the series, following Animal Crossing: Wild World, Animal Crossing: City Folk and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Three games derived from Animal Crossing have also been released: Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer for Nintendo 3DS, Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival for Wii U and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp for mobile devices.

Mega Ran says he played the latest games a bit, but never had time to get the most out of Animal Crossing until he started to get hooked on New Horizons.

“Now I only have time, so this is the perfect game for that,” he said. “It rewards your patience and gives you something to look forward to every time you turn it on like no other game does. It’s not a game you can play for 12 hours and beat, like a Mario. “

Contact the reporter at [email protected] or 602-444-4495. Follow him on twitter @EdMasley.

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