Animal Crossing

Pictured above: In-game image captured of two virtual people

Wild World. City Folk. New Leaf. Pocket Camp. New Horizons.

Nintendo’s Animal Crossing has been a fan favorite since the release of the first game in 2005. New Horizons, the game’s most recent release, is bringing fans a sense of comfort during uncertain times.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released on March 20 for the Nintendo Switch and instantly began breaking records. According to data released by Famitsu, a Japanese video game magazine, 1.88 million copies of the game were sold in Japan in only three days- making New Horizons the fastest selling Nintendo Switch game in the country.

Similar to past games, New Horizons allows the player to explore and develop their island while creating a community of animal visitors. In contrast to past games, however, New Horizons takes personalization to the next level.

“There is so much more customization in New Horizons than any other game,” sophomore Shawn Swift said. “Whether it’s customizing your character or your island in general, the graphics are beautiful and have majorly improved since New Leaf.

Additionally, New Horizons provides more diverse and inclusive options than previous games. The feature to select skin tone, for example, allows for greater representation than past games, in which character skin tone was a default tan. The game also introduces a variety of gender-neutral hair styles to choose from, whereas customization in the past has been extremely gender oriented.

The game offers both single player and multiplayer options. However, there is only one island per Switch- meaning that those playing multiplayer on the same console are forced to share an island. In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, progress was saved in the game cart, which allowed players to switch between islands and towns. New Horizons, however, is saved locally- essentially linking the player’s island to their system. This has been the main topic of criticism in reviews from players.

The game’s recent release has also given students an outlet during quarantine.

“It’s a good distraction from everything and I really enjoy it,” junior Stevie Frenz said.

Improved graphics, features promoting diversity, and increased customization set New Horizons apart from past Animal Crossing games. New Horizons allows players to completely personalize their character and island while stuck at home in quarantine.