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Animal Crossing: New Horizons (あつまれ どうぶつの森 Atsumare Dōbutsu no Mori?, Animal Forest: Gather) is a real-time social simulation video game developed by Nintendo. It was released on March 20, 2020, and is the eighth (and currently the newest release) main-series game in the Animal Crossing series, after New Leaf.[2] The story starts with the player living on a deserted island as part of Nook Inc. Getaway Package.

Compared to previous installments, New Horizons aesthetics are even more detailed, with more realistic flora, detailed characters, intricate furniture, and weather patterns.

New Horizons also introduces new features and mechanics, such as pole-vaulting over the river, cliff construction, waterscaping, and the introduction of crafting materials into the main series games, which had previously only been seen in Pocket Camp.

Blurb

How will you live your ISLAND LIFE?

Nook Inc. presents the Desert Island Getaway Package, the ultimate island escape.

Craft and customize your world

Build tools and furniture from island resources

Customize your home and island!

Celebrate the seasons

Seasons unfold in real time and reveal new events and activities

Gather friends for island adventures

Local or Online Play

Up to eight players can play on a single island.

Party Play

Four island residents can play together.

Gameplay

Main gameplay

In New Horizons, the player takes on the opportunity to develop a deserted island, offered by Tom Nook as part of Nook Inc.'s Getaway Package. Initially, the deserted island is almost fully empty, only occupied by several tents (occupied by the player and 2 villagers). The player completes tasks to develop the island into a flourishing town of villagers, and makes use of the crafting item system to achieve the creation of various tools and furniture. Like previous games, the game makes use of bells as the primary currency, with some limited secondary currencies such as Nook Miles for some limited transactions and upgrades for the player's NookPhone which Tom Nook gives them after they sleep at the tent, along with a bill for moving in.

Introduction

written content to be modelled after the page Animal Crossing: New Leaf...

When the player first starts a new account, they will be at Nook Inc., waiting at the counter. Timmy and Tommy run towards the counter to greet the player, and express their gratitude for the player's decision to sign up for a Deserted Island Getaway Package. Timmy and Tommy introduce themselves as workers for Nook Inc. The two prompt the player to fill out an application related to the player and their island. An application is written, with the provided details prompted.

The first step in the application is to fill in details of the player, starting with the player's name and birthday. The player's name is limited to 16(?) characters. Neither the player's name nor birthday can be changed once submitted. Afterwards, the player customizes themselves to a particular player customization, picking a masculine/feminine style and then selecting particular face features (skin color, hairstyle, eyes, nose/mouth, and cheeks). Players can re-customize themselves with the player customization tool any time.

The second step is picking an island. Firstly, the player must choose either northern or southern hemisphere for their island; Timmy and Tommy explain that seasons differ between these hemispheres, and they recommend picking a hemisphere that matches the player's country. Afterwards, the player is given four different island layouts to choose from.

Afterwards, Timmy asks the player what one item they would bring out of a selection of pre-determined entries ("a sleeping bag", " a lamp", "some food", and "something to kill time"). However, Timmy explains that this is purely a hypothetical question; the question actually has no impact on gameplay. Timmy explains that all of the basic needs are covered in the package.

The player, Timmy, and Tommy all board the plane to the new island, via Dodo Airlines. As the plane gradually flies to the new island, the pilot tells the player that they will be watching a "complimentary video presentation about a deserted life" by Nook Inc.; this is a video introducing a montage of New Horizons gameplay, including several gameplay footage and photos, will play in the background with the New Horizons main theme.

Afterwards, the player will arrive at their deserted island on Dodo Airlines. Wilbur advises the player to collect resources in the island. The player then leaves the dock to get started on their island.

The player then is tasked to go to Nook's Tent. ...

[insert more of the introduction and first few days and similar]

Player Customization

The player can customize themselves with a variety of features. [insert more info]

Announcements and History

New Horizons was first announced on September 13th, 2018, during a Nintendo Direct with a 2019 release date and no official subtitle. The announcement of New Horizons occurred subsequently after Isabelle was announced to be a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

The first gameplay footage was shown during the Nintendo E3 2019 Direct (June 11th, 2019) and it showcased the new story and game mechanics. A Nintendo Treehouse live stream followed later that day with more gameplay and additional features.[3] More gameplay was shown during the Nintendo Direct on September 4th, 2019 where a received a new trailer with more information on the game and what it would bring was shown. During the E3 it was also announced that the game would be delayed until March 20, 2020.

On February 20th, 2020, in an Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct, an in-depth look in the game was given.

The game was finally released on March 20th, 2020 as announced during E3 2019. There is also a channel for the game in the "News" section of the Nintendo Switch. The first article ever released was an article relating to Bunny Day.

Following the release of the game, periodic updates have been added, fixing bugs and adding new content. New major updates are added approximately every 1-2 months, adding new content alongside returning content. Alongside any new content, many of the events and features that were present in New Leaf have been gradually added every update, along with the return of a number of special characters every major update. Announcements for new updates for the game are often posted on their official YouTube channel.

On April 21st, 2020, a video was posted to the Nintendo YouTube channel detailing a new update, version 1.2.0, including new holiday events, new island visitors, and a new paintings section to the museum. Subsequent updates were announced via additional videos posted on their official YouTube channel.

On June 22nd, 2020, the trailer for the diving feature was announced for the first ever summer update, and the feature has been fully implemented in Version 1.3.0. Along with this is the return of Pascal.

Most of the "traditional" events from New Leaf were ran during the first year of the game's release, with exception of April Fool's Day which did not happen in 2020, 2021, or 2022.

Two crossover celebrations have been added in two different updates, 1.8.0 and 1.9.0. Version 1.8.0 celebrated the Super Mario franchise's 35th anniversary, featuring Mario-themed items that were added in March 1, 2021. Version 1.9.0 returned the Sanrio-exclusive villagers that were present in Welcome amiibo, plus Sanrio-themed items.

An announcement for a final free major update, 2.0.0, was announced on November 5th, 2021. It introduced various returning and new characters.

As of Sunday, July 21st, 2024, the current version is Version 2.0.6.[4]

New features

NookPhone

Main article: NookPhone

In Nintendo's E3 presentation, it was shown that the NookPhone could be used to Call Islanders, look up DIY recipes, collect Nook Miles, and take pictures. It was also confirmed that the NookPhone would have more apps than what was originally shown off in the Direct.[5]

As the game progresses, the player can customize their NookPhone's appearance through a customizable case which costs 1,800 Nook Miles (obtainable by using the Redeem Nook Miles feature of the Nook Stop), use the Island Designer app to landscape their island, create more complex custom designs through Pro Designs, and even order items from the Catalog through their NookPhone.

Nook Miles

Main article: Nook Miles

Nook Miles are a form of currency that the player can earn by completing tasks around the town, such as fishing, catching bugs, hitting rocks, etc. Nook Miles can also be used to pay off the player's first initial loan from Tom Nook (it is not possible to use Nook Miles to pay off future loans after the first, although you can redeem miles by buying a voucher which can be sold to Nook's store for bells). They can be used to buy special items like a Nook Inc. uniform, DIY Recipes, add Pro Designs to their Custom Designs NookPhone app, alongside other services and products.[5]

Crafting

In New Horizons, players are able to use workbenches to craft furniture, tools, and some consumables (medicine and fish bait) using various materials gathered from their island and on mystery tour islands.

Initially, the player is only able to use Tom Nook's crafting bench, but eventually the player will learn recipes to create DIY benches of their own. Islanders can also teach the player new DIY Recipes if the player talks to them while they are crafting.[5]

Furniture Customization

Main article: Furniture Customization

Some furniture can also be customized at workbenches using customization kits purchased through Nook's Cranny. There are some "ready-made" furniture items that are unable to be customized at first, but Cyrus might have a go at them.

Town Customization

New Horizons gives the player much more freedom to customize their island compared to previous iterations. The player is able to place furniture both indoors and outdoors; choose starting locations for their home, their residents' homes, and buildings other than Resident Services; move buildings once placed; place bridges and ramps; and change river paths and cliffs. Fences were also introduced to the game along with an official path creator, whereas in other games players would place designs on the ground for paths.

Additionally, when eating food such as fruit, turnips, or bamboo shoots, the player gains energy. Energy can be used to uproot whole trees, which can be planted elsewhere at their current height, and destroy rocks, which will respawn the following day (one per day). This energy can also be disposed of by using a toilet.

New Buildings and Locations

  • Resident Services is where the player can craft, buy or sell items. It is initially where the player can sell items and buy from Timmy, before Nook's Cranny is opened. The Nook Stop is also located there, where the player can use the ABD, buy from the catalog, and redeem Nook Miles. It is also where the player can talk to Tom Nook about upgrading their home or adding new buildings. Once Resident Services is upgraded from a tent to a building, Isabelle will handle services like setting the island tune and flag and enacting Island Ordinances, while Tom Nook will start handling construction and infrastructure in addition to home expansion.
  • Dodo Airlines is where the player can go to visit other player's islands or have them visit their own. It is also where the player can go on island tours in exchange for one Nook Miles ticket, obtainable from the Nook Stop for 2,000 Nook Miles. While on an island tour, the player will be unable to bring items that will not fit in their pockets. The player will be able to bring additional tools to obtain materials such as bugs, insects, fish, fruit, etc. The player can also borrow tools from Wilbur for Nook Miles. If the player has an empty plot on their island, they can also meet other animals through the island tour and invite them to move to their own island.
    • Harv's Island is also available through Dodo Airlines, where the player can stage photo shoots with their villagers inside Harvey's cabin. As of Version 2.0, the island will upgrade to include an open-air market of sorts, featuring various vendors and other special characters.

Miscellaneous

During the start of New Horizons, the player is asked to customize their character's eyes, skin, hair, nose, and mouth. These settings can only be changed through a vanity or mirror after creating the player's island. More hairstyles and colors can only be obtained by redeeming Nook Miles at a Nook Stop or stopping by Harriet after setting up a shop on Harv's Island. A new addition to custom designs is face paint, which can be done by clicking on a custom design, selecting "Wear", and then selecting "Face Paint" once more. In the original Japanese version of the game, the player also has to choose between being a boy or a girl, but this was changed to simply read "choose your style," with the boy and girl subtitles being entirely removed in the American localization to accommodate non-binary players.

The game allows the player to select which hemisphere they would like to live in at the beginning of the game, when applying for the Deserted Island Getaway Package. If the player is in the Southern Hemisphere, the game will accommodate the seasons and the night sky to that part of the world.[3]

The player is able to upgrade their shops as in previous games, including the Resident Services building.[5]

Like in New Leaf, player characters are taller than previous installments. New to the series is the player's ability to change their characters' hairstyles, facial features and skin tone at any time.[3]

It has been confirmed by Nintendo that there will not be any new personality types in New Horizons.[5]

Clothing will be more characterized with many more realistic types of clothes including sweatshirts around the waist, backpacks, and phone cases.

Tom Nook, Timmy, Tommy, and Isabelle also change their clothes in different seasons; specifically, all of them each have a summer and winter outfit.

The game now automatically saves, which makes the Reset Surveillance Center obsolete. Due to this, Resetti now works for the rescue services.

Island

Islandlayouts

Similar to choosing a layout for a town in the previous installment, the player has the option of choosing an island layout when applying. This also includes a choice in either living in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere.

Choosing either of Northern or Southern Hemisphere results in differing seasons depending on the time of year. For example, while it's summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it will be winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

The location of the Town Plaza, Airport, Dock, and northern "secret" beach seems to change along with the rest of the map layout. The airport and plane, which match, have at least blue, yellow, orange, or green for color possibilities.[6]

As of right now, there is only one island allowed per Nintendo Switch console. After progression in the game, you will be able to change the landscape by unlocking permits. A key difference from the previous installment of New Leaf, there are no bridges or ramps built when the player initially visits the island. The only way to navigate at first around the rivers is to create a vaulting pole with a DIY workbench. After three villagers decide to move in, Tom Nook will be able to create bridges for the island. The player also has to initially unlock a ladder to go up cliffs.

Players should consider the placement of the beaches, river heads, and ocean rocks when deciding on an island as these landforms are non-editable even as the game progresses.

Multiplayer

The game has multiplayer capabilities where 7 other players on different devices can be invited via local network play or online network play. New Horizons also offers a single-console local co-op play, where up to 8 other players create residents on the same island, and up to 4 of these residents can play simultaneously. In order to interact with other people online, you will have to obtain a Nintendo Switch Online Membership and do not have parental controls restricting online interaction.[3]

Party Play

Main article: Party Play

Different user accounts on the same Switch console can create residents within the same island, and when one resident is playing, up to three other residents can be invited to play as well with the Call Islander app on the NookPhone. During this simultaneous play, the main player is the "leader", and the joined players become "followers". In addition, leaders and followers can redirect making one another leader and follower.

The items that followers pick up will automatically be stored in the Resident Services building's recycling box because they won't have their own pockets, but the items can be claimed at a later time. Once party play ends, the current leader becomes the one playing.

Main article: Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Happy Home Paradise

As announced in the 10.15.21 Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct, New Horizons will receive paid downloadable content called Happy Home Paradise. It includes additional features such as new characters and design options. The DLC can be purchased via the Nintendo eShop separately, or can be played at no additional cost via the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. It was released on November 5, 2021; preorders went live one week prior on October 29.

Trivia

  • In the teaser trailer, Tom Nook is sitting at his desk in Nook's Homes as it appears in Happy Home Designer.
  • The game's initial announcement coincided with Isabelle being revealed as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, with moves based on actions featured in the Animal Crossing series.
  • This is the first game in the Animal Crossing series to have a simultaneous release in all regions.
  • On the first 6 weeks after the release date, it sold about 13.41 million copies. It later became the best and highest selling game of the series, and the 13th best-selling video game of all time.
  • New Horizons is the first game to feature an extinct species as special characters, with Orville and Wilbur being dodo birds.
  • There was a typo where within a Nook Miles achievement description (Gulliver's Travails), "kindness" was misspelled "kindess", omitting the 2nd N. This was fixed in version 1.2.0.
  • When a new island is created, the first two villagers the player starts with will always be a jock and a sisterly villager.
    • When the player is instructed by Tom Nook to place down three new plots, the inhabitants will always consist of a peppy, a normal, and a lazy villager.
  • When New Horizons had its first gameplay publicly shown at E3 2019, the graphics were slightly different. Things in the background were a bit more hazy, the Grass Triangles were in small patches instead of spreading across the entire map, and the circles on trees were more muted. These were changed in the final release.
  • Since Version 1.6.0, it is no longer possible to see events not yet released, therefore disallowing viewing Turkey Day 2020 and any future year special events before they are officially released by Nintendo, although past year events remain still accessible.
  • The first February month-related video for New Horizons by Nintendo was done on February 2021, rather than in February 2020 because of how new the game was at the time. The same applies with March, and likely would for April.
  • The internal name for this game is "park".[7]
  • Several special characters from previous games have passed their roles down to the next generation, including Joan (replaced by granddaughter Daisy Mae), Chip (replaced by son C.J.), and Nat (replaced by son Flick).

In other languages

In other languages
Japan Japanese あつまれ どうぶつの森 Atsumare Dōbutsu no Mori
France French Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Germany German Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Spain Spanish Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Italy Italian Animal Crossing: New Horizons
The Netherlands Dutch Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Portugal Portuguese Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Russia Russian Animal Crossing: New Horizons
China Chinese 集合啦!动物森友会/集合啦!動物森友會! Jíhé la! Dòngwù sēnyǒu huì (Assemble! Animal Crossing)
South Korea Korean 모여봐요 동물의 숲 Moyeobwayo Dongmul-ui Sup (Get Together, Animal Forest)


References

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