Graphic by Jen Kelly

New Details for Animal Crossing: New Horizons

The hype is real for the new Animal Crossing game after their recent presentation

The hype is real for the new Animal Crossing game after their recent presentation

The first console Animal Crossing game since 2015 is less than a month away from its March 20 release date. Nintendo just announced a list of new features for the upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch.

Animal Crossing is a series that puts you in control of a small town filled with anthropomorphic animal villagers. In this edition, you have bought the Deserted Island package, which gives you an island to build your town on. Despite being put into debt immediately by Tom Nook, the owner of the company that you bought the package from, there is no need to pay back the loan. There is no time limit or interest—pay it back whenever.

That’s one of the main draws of the series. There is no push to play it one way or the other. Whether you want to spend your days fishing or collecting fossils, or just decorating your home, the game will never push you. You’re free to play at your own pace and relax with the other villagers that populate your town.

On Feb. 20, Nintendo aired Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct. The press conference, given by Tom Nook, the series’ resident loan shark, was broken up into three parts. It gave a refresher of what had been shared before along with new developments that will appear in future updates to the game. It ended with a FAQ section.

The main addition this iteration of the peaceful life simulator brings is customization.

When you’re first put into the game, you’re told to choose from four different island layouts for your town and to choose your hemisphere. This will help accurately portray which seasons are happening in your town at their specific times. You’ll also be able to terraform your island so you aren’t limited to the exact layout you choose at the start for the whole game. You can add hills and create new rivers and waterfalls. The island will be truly yours.

Another big addition is the ability to determine where villagers move in. In past games, villagers just moved in where they saw fit, even if it was on your flower bed or on top of your favorite apple tree. This time you get to map out exactly where villagers move in and shape your town around that.

The game now allows eight people to live on your island at the same time—not just non-playable villagers, but your friends and family. The game even adds four-player co-op, where you and three friends can explore your island together on the same console.

Later updates to the game will be for holidays. The first announced update, for Bunny Day in April, will be released the same time as the game, March 20.

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