Today’s Nintendo Direct for Animal Crossing: New Horizons has just come to an end, giving us another look at the upcoming island life sim.
This ‘Deep Dive into Deserted Island Life’ was split into three parts, giving us a refresher on everything we know already, digging into mid-late game content and finally answering some frequently asked questions.
You can, as always, choose the island you’d like to move to, as well as which hemisphere you’d like to live in – this determines which seasons you’ll be enjoying, matching your chosen hemisphere. The activities available to you change depending on the season.
Arriving on the island alongside a few animal residents, you’ll get a tent and be able to set it up wherever you like, as well as helping other residents pick a spot for their own tents. This is the start of island life for you, but you’re not completely cut off.
Resident Services is there, manned by the Nooks, buying unwanted items from you, letting you craft at their workbench using DIY recipes, and so on. There’s even DIY customisation to let you change the materials and decoration of the items. You also have the Airport, using the internet or local ad hoc connections to invite others to your island, or to head off to other islands. Up to eight people can meet up on an island and hang out – the game also supports four players at once on a system in Party Play, picking from up to eight residents on a console.
Your Nook Inc. life will be accompanied by the Nook Phone, with standard apps like a camera, with more apps coming along the way. The start of each day will also start with a Tom Nook broadcast, giving you an update on events and more. The Nook Mileage program is also on the phone, tracking all your activities and earning you Miles that can be traded in to pay off your debt to Nook Inc.
Of course, if you’re looking for more space, you’ll have to take out a loan to build a house, leaving you scrounging around for Bells to pay it off – thankfully there’s no interest on this. Houses are really customisable, with flexible drag and drop tools newly added to the game to help you move things en masse. There’s also extensions adding extra rooms on the side.
Save up Nook Miles and you can spend them on a plane ticket to visit other islands on tours, finding different environments, trees, plants and animals, and being able to sample and take them back with you.
Nook Link will be added to the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app shortly after the game’s launch, letting you scan QR codes from Animal Crossing New Leaf or Animal Crossing Happy Home Designs and then download them to New Horizons. You’ll also be able to talk with other players that you’re partied up with using text or voice chat.
Mid-late game content
The aim of Animal Crossing is really all about building community, and part of that is inviting new residents. As you progress, you’ll be able to reserve spaces in the island for them to move into (giving you much more control over the island), whether that’s through Nook Inc. or meeting people and inviting them to move in.
The Resident Services will grow from a campsite to a building, expanding what it can offer to you, and this will also see the Museum, Shop, Tailor and Campsite areas reappear from previous games. You’ll also see fan favourite characters like Isabelle, Mabel and Kicks reappear, alongside travelling merchants offering goods not necessarily found on your island.
Finally, Nintendo showed off the Island Designer Permit, which you earn after reaching a certain point. This will let you go beyond building bridges and stairs, and actually let you reshape the island itself, digging into or building cliffs, creating new ponds, rivers and waterfalls and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
The FAQ section answered and reiterated the following points.
- 8 players on a Switch can play from a single copy of a game, but will share an island.
- The game support amiibo and animal crossing cards, and Photopia lets you host these characters for photo shoots.
- Characters like DJ KK are not in the game at launch, but will be coming later on.
- You can connect with players who are not listed as friends using temporary Dodo Codes from the airport.
- Tools like axes and shovels are restricted when visiting other people’s islands, unless you are labelled as a ‘best friends’.
- Animal Crossing does not support Switch Online cloud saves, but Nintendo are planning to offer limited cloud restorations for lost or damaged consoles after launch.
- Free updates will include free seasonal events. The first free update will celebrate Bunny Day in April.
Animal Cross: New Horizons is out for Nintendo Switch on 20th March.