Becca Laurenson vists Chris Lee’s Animal Crossing New Horizons island on Feb. 11. | Screenshot by Becca Laurenson

Animal Crossing New Horizons, The Quarantine Game

A check-up about the hype over Animal Crossing then and now

Animal Crossing New Horizons came out towards the beginning of quarantine in the \on March 20, 2020. It became instantly popular with students, but have they continued to play?

Ash McElroy, a creative writing major, enjoys the game and the aspect of creativity and freedom the game creates.

“I got Animal Crossing New Horizons literally the day it came out, I spent a solid month playing it,” McElroy said.

McElroy enjoys games such as Animal Crossing New Horizons where you get creative freedom. The game includes terraforming, design, and the the ability to shape the overall look of an island itself while offering a bit of structure.

“I like there is structure even after you’ve finished the game, you still have more options to continue playing,” McElroy said.

The hype around the game centers on the relaxing and calming gameplay that students can use. Even now it’s still popular.

“I definitely think it is still very popular, there are whole communities for designs and how to decorate your island,” McElroy said. “But I do think the hype has gone down.”

Although not everyone who bought the game at first enjoyed it as much in the long run. Monica Vidaurre, an anthropology major at Humboldt State University, bought the game when it came out and it didn’t stick as much.

“I decided to download it because it was the hype at the time,” Vidaurre said. “I’m always looking for something new to play and so I downloaded it and when I started playing it I thought it was really boring.”

Vidaurre tried all the activities in the game but it just wasn’t as fun as other games she had played, although she liked the design and overall “cuteness” of the game. Once she reached the ending of the game it wasn’t the hype she thought it would be.

“It really wasn’t for me, after playing it I regret having it,” Vidaurre said.

Chris Lee, a wildlife major, played previous titles in the franchise and bought New Horizons the day it came out. Lee has continued to play the game and enjoys its relaxing nature and creative freedom.

“I like how relaxing it is, it’s different from games, but it is more of something that I can escape into and work on my island and customize things the way I want,” Lee said.

New Horizons has frequent updates which add more and bring people back to the game as well as adding aspects from the previous Animal Crossing games.

Part of the appeal of Animal Crossing New Horizons is the connection factor, it is a friendly game where one can visit other friends’ islands and communicate. Especially in a pandemic, being able to visit friends’ worlds without risk is another fun aspect.

“It still is popular but not to the extent when it first happened,“ Lee said. “I think a lot of people saw it as something came out for us because of quarantine and we are all able to still connect and have some sort of social aspect.”

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