Animal Crossing: New Horizons


Piper Todd

Animal Crossing opening screen

Sophia Dewael, Staff Writer

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) is a video game by Nintendo that is part of a larger series. This game came out on March 20, 2020 almost eight years after the previous game in the series, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, was released. 


In the first 10 days, the game was able to sell over 2.6 million copies and has sold even more since then. The game is highly addictive once you get it, and many players are racking up several hours. 


One example of a person doing this is Madalyn Owen, 12, who has played over 110 hours. She said, “it is so addictive because it provides a welcome escape from the stresses of today. It has little to no objectives, other than the ones that you set for yourself, which allows you to play at your own pace with no pressure to actually complete anything. Couple this with relaxing music and absolutely adorable villagers, and you’ve got why I find it so addictive.”


At the start of the game, the player is dropped off at an abandoned island with only a few others on it with them. The player is given just a tent to start with and then must gather more items and tools throughout playing the game. 


Another aspect of the game is the villagers that are the player’s neighbors on the island. They are animals ranging from chickens to cats whom the player is able to interact with.

While some say the purpose of the game is to earn in-game money or improve your island, there is really no end goal. The game is set up so that the player can work at their own pace on whatever game aspect they feel like. While the first part of the game is somewhat structured, the player does not actually need to follow that storyline.


The environment of the game is very laid-back and the player can spend all day fishing or catching bugs if they want to. They can also plant flowers or trees and change their island’s appearance.


The game takes place in real-life time with different features that come in and go in certain hours of the day or seasons of the year. An example is the Easter and Earth Day celebrations that have happened already since the game has been released. The user can participate in these events, but if they do not log on then they are unaffected by them when they return to the game.


I enjoy that ACNH has given a very calming and stable environment to people during this time when nothing is certain and almost everything is unknown. It is consistently there while other events are all getting canceled. This coincidence in timing has made the game even more adored because it has given people something to do that keeps them occupied but also relaxes them.


“I really like Animal Crossing: New Horizons because it is something relaxing to do and you do not have to think too hard about it, you can just play,” said Tara Callahan, 10.


The game itself is an enjoyable game, but I believe that it would not have done this well or be as loved by the players if it were not for the circumstances of it being released during the 2020 Pandemic. Some have described life as being frozen, and this gives people an escape to that which resembles hope in a way, which is something people are trying to find in any way that they can. I think that this is what makes Animal Crossing: New Horizons an amazing game.