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Game review 16 March 2020, 15:00

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Review – Just Chill, Relax and Play

Animal Crossing: New Horizons will become part of your daily routine. Besides work, school, lunches and meetings with friends, you will catch butterflies and fish every day. And you're gonna enjoy it, because it's one of the best games of the year.

Easy, we'll do it tomorrow

Guess what – he’s happy. AGAIN. - Animal Crossing: New Horizons Review – Just Chill, Relax and Play - dokument - 2020-03-16
Guess what – he’s happy. AGAIN.

In Animal Crossing, the time of day matters – for example, we can catch different fish in the morning and in the evening, and the store where we sell products closes its doors at 22.00. And this would not be remarkable if it were not for the fact that AC's day-night cycle perfectly matches reality. If it's dark outside, it's dark in the game – this simple solution changes a lot, and I wish games would use it more widely. This completely changes the way we play this game – you end up launching the game at different times of the day, when you can make more money, or get a chance to talk to specific characters.

Then we also get different seasons, corresponding to the real year. Animal Crossing makes sure that the crops, fruits, veggies and animals that you can find correspond to reality.

And that's not Animal Crossing has to offer. If you want to build a museum, for example, you have to meet certain requirements – if you do, you can order the building to be constructed, but it will always take an additional day. Animal Crossing is a game that can't be completed in a few days, even if we work 20 hours a day – because some things just have to wait. Just like in real life.

I don't know how to sign this picture. I got it with a review, so here it is – editor. - Animal Crossing: New Horizons Review – Just Chill, Relax and Play - dokument - 2020-03-16
I don't know how to sign this picture. I got it with a review, so here it is – editor.

As a result, New Horizons offers a unique experience – rare, or even unheard of in other games. There's simply so much you can get done in a single day; sure, you can just "grind" money by catching butterflies, but there are simply thing's that you can't do on the given day or in the given season.

One of the most impressive things about New Horizons was that this whole system is flawless. On the one hand, it gives us plenty stuff to do, so you can play for hours on end and not get bored; on the other, if you're shorter on time, you can just focus on the main tasks and still maintain good development of the island.

I WANT TO PLAY EVERYDAY

Animal Crossing has a number of simple solutions that encourage playing daily. The amount of resources we can extract is limited, so there are good incentives to come back every day and complete some of the major tasks.

Splendid grind

Everything we do in Animal Crossing is trivially simple – all activities, from fishing to catching the butterflies can be completed even by kids. We just throw a fishing rod, wait for the fish to catch on, and then get it out – all this is achieved with a single button. Same goes for designing interiors, planting flowers, or crafting. In fact, it's a great multitasking game. I ended up just taking my Switch, sitting on the sofa, chatting with friends about Netflix, work, or the pandemic, and simultaneously catching new bugs in my net.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Review – Just Chill, Relax and Play - picture #3

If you think that the game has massive amounts of grind, you're right. The thing is, though, that Animal Crossing has a lot of grind, but it's all really fun. I spent about thirty hours in the game, most of the time playing banal minigames. I caught and sold everything I could to earn money for a better house, new furniture, or cooler outfits for my character. There really is something enchanting about these simple games being so compelling for so long – the fuel for my efforts was thinking about the future. I enjoy completing tasks, and donating dinosaur bones or new insect specimens to the museum helped me to meet this need for bringing order to the world. Another important element was the quasi-achievement Nook Miles, that is rewards for... almost everything we do. So, if you're a completionist, who likes to collect things in games, New Horizons will be the paradise for you.

THIS GAME IS BEAUTIFUL

If you're aesthetically sensitive, you just can't get enough of Animal Crossing. While the graphical style may not strike a chord with everyone, you just have to appreciate the amount of detail included in every piece of the visuals. The animations of fish and insects are extremely detailed, creatures react to what we're doing near them, and sunsets are a festival of charming kitsch.

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