Animal Crossing New Horizons | Thoughts and Tips

Friday 27 March 2020

I know that a lot of people have already blogged and vlogged about Animal Crossing New Horizons and that I'm pretty late to the party but I wanted some time with the game. I wanted to make sure that my excitement and love of past Animal Crossing games weren't just clouding my judgment. So what did I think? My friends, we may have the best Animal Crossing game yet. But this blog isn't a review. What this is, is just me talking about some of the new things introduced in this new adventure as well as some tips that may help some of you who haven't had a lot of time to play recently.

First, I must be honest. I haven't played every AC game there is. I've played the first one back on the Gamecube, I played Animal Crossing New Leaf on the Nintendo 3DS, I played Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer, and finally the mobile game Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. I never played Wide World, City Folk, or Amiibo Festival. With that in mind, I still think I have enough experience with the series as a whole to give a reliable review. Want to add me as a friend for either New Horizons or Pocket Camp? Just comment and we can swap friend codes.

If you've ever played an Animal Crossing game before then you'll know just what to expect. The characters will be familiar, paying back Tom Nook will be familiar, and collecting bugs, fish, fossils, and furniture will be familiar. There are a few new aspects which makes this game fresh while allowing it to stick to it's roots which made it so popular. The first notable thing that's different in this game is the crafting element. You have to craft quite a bit, everything from the tools you use (which will break after a certain amount of use) and key pieces of furniture which can be used by you or to help an animal decorate their house before they even move in.

There are new goals in the game which provide you with “Nook Miles” upon completion. Everything ranging from collecting supplies to having a balloon present fall into the water. You can use these miles to buy things from Tom Nook. Some goals are obvious while others are hidden and are only revealed once you complete it. That was the only upside to my misjudging where a balloon present would land and loosing it to the water. Speaking of those presents, unlike New Leaf, the balloon presents have all kinds of furniture in them instead of only balloon themed furniture.

If you remember the island from New Leaf, New Horizons has something similar but each time you visit an island it's a randomly generated one. It could be just like your island and provide the same supplies, or it could be a unique island like one that's full of money rocks or covered in tarantulas (which not only would make Blather's cry, but can be sold for quite a bit).

        Isabelle, Blathers, and the Able sisters have to be earned before they come to your island. Isabelle will only come when Resident Services is upgraded from a tent to a building. Blathers will arrive after you give Tom Nook 5 new fish or bugs and then you must pick the site that the museum will go. Mable Able will show up after you unlock the museum and Nook's Cranny. She'll have a pop up store and once you spend enough bells there, you can help her build the tailor shop. I've heard that ReTail's Reese and Cyrus will be included in the game but I don't know how to unlock them yet. Nintendo Direct announced that Leif will unlock on Earth Day (April 22).

Here are some tips! You may already know this stuff and if so, yay! But maybe you'll learn something :)

Tip: Don't worry about hoarding Nook Miles. You'll get plenty of them. My initial concern was what would happen when I complete all the challenges, but even then there will be a constant stream of smaller repeating challenges to help you collect miles.

Tip: Try to visit an island once a day. It's not a big deal if you forget and miss a day, but the more you travel the higher your chances of finding one of the rare islands. So make sure you empty your pockets before you go, taking with you only what you need.

Tip: When you travel to different islands you may run into a random animal. You can invite them to move to your island. But don't worry if you've invited animals and they haven't come yet. They will, they'll remember your invite.

Tip: Don't be afraid to mess with your Switch's clock. I normally can only play at night after work, so I mess with the clock so I can experience morning and afternoon times. Also, it's worth it if you normally play during the day because sometimes at night you'll find a whisp (spirit/ghost) wandering around your island. Talk to them and you'll scare them and have to hunt down five pieces of their spirit. Do so and you'll get your choice of expensive furniture or furniture you're guaranteed not to have.

Tip: If you play Pocket Camp, go to the menu (the four grey boxes above “social”) and click on “My Nintendo.” You'll see one called “Animal Crossing: New Horizons with a cost of 0 points. If you accept it you'll get 50 leaf bucks for Pocket Camp and a code. If you enter the code in the Nintendo Shop on your Switch, you'll unlock Pocket Camp themed items that will be sold in Tom Nook's NookStop store.

Tip: Decorate outside too! Have fun. You find out early on that you can place things outside (especially if you're hoarding bugs and fish while you're waiting for the Museum). But it's easy to forget that you have free reign to decorate how you want. Set up a camp on the beach? Sure! Make an outdoor arcade? Of course!

Tip: If you see one of your island's animals in their house, visit them! They may be working at their DIY station and if they are, they'll give you a new DIY recipe.

Tip: Don't forget to search for all the daily things on your island:

Buried things: 4 buried fossils, 1 gold glowing patch (which contains bells but if you replant the money you find a money tree will bloom). As far as I can tell there are no pitfall seeds.

Laying Around: A DIY recipe in a bottle somewhere on your beaches.

In The Trees: 2 pieces of furniture, money.

Hitting Rocks: Money (remember to dig two holes behind you to avoid knock back but don't dig the holes so close that it takes away from the room around the rock.)

Timmy and Tommy's “Hot Item.” Sometimes it's something well worth the time to either hunt down or craft.

The new items in Timmy and Tommy's store and Tom Nooks NookStop store.

And finally any visiting animals like Sahara and Daisy Mae. I haven't seen him yet but I've heard that Crazy Redd is confirmed to return.

Tip: You may have already realized that eating fruit actually does something in this game. Be careful though, as one hit from a shovel after eating fruit will break the rocks and they take a few days to respawn. If you want to get rid of fruit you ate you can either uproot trees (and then replant them if you want to keep them) or, if you have one, sit on a toilet until the number reaches zero.

Tip: As you know from previous AC games, if you shake tress you run the risk of knocking down a wasps nest. Most of us veterans know that you should always hold a net when shaking trees but there should only be 3 to 4 nests a day. I won't promise that there will never be more or less than, but I've averaged 3 to 4 a day. Always shake a tree before hitting it with an ax because hitting it with an ax will cause wasp nests to fall too.

Tip: Use the stone ax to harvest wood. Only use the regular (or 3rd upgraded) ax if you want to chop the tree down. Burying an ax in the golden hole you found bells in won't turn it into a golden ax. For that you have to break 100 axes then you'll get the idea for the DIY recipe. (Thanks to Polygon for that one as I've yet to achieve this)

Are there any tips that you think I should have added? Let me know in the comments and I'll add your tip (and credit you of course)

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