Animal Crossing: New Horizons and New Features

Annabella Rivera

"Animal Crossing: New Horizons" is the latest of the Animal Crossing series and definitely worth the buy.

Annabella Rivera, staff writer

Release Date: March 20, 2020

Developer: Nintendo

Grade: A

“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is the sequel to “Animal Crossing: New Leaf”. With new gameplay, story and levels of customization, New Horizons is by far the most creative and innovative of the Animal Crossing series. In New Horizons, players start their own town from scratch and work their way up from there.

The gameplay starts off with the player visiting Nook Incorporated, seeking a new home on a deserted island. The player arrives on the island with two other residents and there they meet Tom, Tommy and Timmy Nook. Afterwards, the player receives a tent from either Tommy or Timmy and place it on any spot on the island. The player eventually works their way up by establishing new businesses in their town and inviting residents to live there. The player has unofficial mayor-like leadership of the deserted island, making decisions on where shops are placed and what flag they are represented by.

“New Horizons is definitely a lot more entertaining than New Leaf and I find myself constantly checking up on my town,” freshman Cindy Lop said.

Compared to New Leaf, New Horizons has an abundant amount of opportunities to customize your island and make it your own. The player gets to place shops, town hall, museums, etc. wherever they want. This was not an option in New Leaf, seeing as you came to a town that was abandoned by its previous mayor so all the establishments were already set up when you got there. Not only does the player get a larger say in their island layout, but in their appearance as well. Choices on your hairstyle, eye color, cheek color and skin tone are available from early on in the game.

Animal Crossing has had minor controversy with skin tones in their series. For a long time, Animal Crossing did not allow players to choose a skin tone, to which they were stuck with the default white skin tone. This went on for a surprising amount of time, with the creators not changing it until four years after New Leaf’s release with the “Welcome Amiibo” update.

Pullquote Photo

For me, I really enjoy the features that let me change my image, especially with multiple skin tones being an option, I feel more included,”

— Freshman Jazzmin Chavez

“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is the first of the Animal Crossing series to have HD graphics. This allows for a more enhanced and vibrant gameplay. What is also introduced in New Horizons is a better attention to detail in everything from the shadowing of your player’s footprints to the highlights in their hair. The overall graphics of New Horizons provide a picturesque scene and intriguing town.

New Horizons surpasses New Leaf in all departments. New Horizons allows for customization on the players behalf and serves as a bigger creative outlet. Customizations in appearance introduced much needed diversity and inclusivity. With the games release date being during a newly begun quarantine, this is the perfect pass-time. It is important to practice social distancing, and what better game to at home with than “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”.