Reviews > Animal Crossing New Horizons Review

Animal Crossing New Horizons Review

by Kegan Mooney
Published: Last Updated on

I might be a little late on my Animal Crossing New horizons Review compared to some reviews! Why? Because there is so much to this game! I wanted to make sure I had enough time to play it before committing to a review.

Animal Crossing isn’t really a game with a story. On this basis, I’m not going to be announcing any spoilers. If you’ve already purchased Animal Corssing New Horizons, why not head on over to our tips & tricks post.

Starting story:

The game starts out with a campaign story mode of sorts. It’s essentially a really long tutorial that could have been much shorter than it actually is.

You start off with a desolate island, a greedy Racoon and his posse, as well as two villagers. But don’t worry, the story will have you building shops and homes before you know it.

The problem for me lies in the amount of time it takes. Gathering and chores seem endless to finish the basics of the island.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Tips

Once you have completed the main storyline, you will finally be given a building permit. This allows you to reshape the land around you as well as creating lakes and rivers.

Once you’ve reached the free-play portion of the game, you will find yourself enjoying it much more.

Until you’ve reached the end game content, you may find there just simply isn’t enough to do. During the first couple of days, you can’t cross rivers or scale cliffs. Exploration is somewhat limited, and the focus is really on building your island.


Like many other Animal Crossing games, the time is based on your Nintendo Switch’s clock. This has made it possible for people to time travel to complete building projects quicker.

If you plan to play the game as intended, without using the system clock to speed things up, you will need to wait until the next day for a building project to complete. Not only does that include building new houses and upgrading your house, but also building bridges or slopes.

Customization & Personalization:

One of the things I really love about Animal Crossing New Horizons is how customizable it is. You can really make both your character and the island exactly how you want them.

In fact, you can even give clothes to other villagers who will then wear them. This means you can make other characters look how you want them to look.

Once you have unlocked Nook’s Cranny, you can buy tools that have cool patterns on them. You won’t always be stuck with the boring crafted ones you started with.

There is even a designer app within the game that allows you to create your own custom designs for clothing, paths and other items in-game. This really gives you the freedom to be as creative as you like.

If like me you are not so creative, you can also use a design ID to use someone else’s design. Many of these can freely be found online and there are some really cool designs out there.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Moana
Disney’s Moana Dress Code

Other Islands:

Whilst the main focus of the game is around your own island, there are in-fact other mystery islands you can explore too as well as online player islands.

Once you’ve been to a couple of mystery islands you will likely bump into a random animal. Talking to them will give you the chance to convince them to join you on your island and become a permanent resident.

You can have up to 10 residents on your island at any given time, but don’t worry too much if you don’t like one of them, you can simply ignore them until they tell you they are thinking about leaving, then agree with them and they will leave, freeing up space for a new resident to move in.

To visit a mystery island you will need to visit the ATM at the Nook Stop and spend 2,000 Nook Miles on a ticket. Then head over to Dodo airlines and use the ticket.

Visiting islands online can also be a great way of raising bells. You will start off with one type of fruit on your island, but in total there are actually 6 types of fruit in the game for starting islands:

  • Apple
  • Peach
  • Orange
  • Cherry
  • Persimmon
  • Pear

If you can find an island that doesn’t have the same starting fruit as you do, take loads with you and sell it on their island.

But even better, bring some of their fruit back and plant tree’s on your island, you will then have a permanent source of higher income. The little tricks like this, really do make Animal Crossing a unique and fun game to play.

The very fact that every island you visit will be so different to yours also makes me constantly wanting to travel and see other peoples creations, I often find it gives me the inspiration to keep updating and improving my own island.

The Villagers:

It’s hard to believe that you would actually have different emotions and feeling about animals based villagers on a video game, yet somehow I have found myself wanting to replace villagers as I’ve not liked them, but also talking to others every day.

Each villager has their own unique personality which makes them very individual, meaning each player will find themselves having animal buddies that they prefer, which others might not.

Some of the animals are simply plain weird, yet I’ve ended up loving them for it. One of my village buddies, Lucky, is a dog plastered in bandages which makes him look like a mummy – odd, yet somehow a charm I came to love.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Review


The game changes seasons in real-time and actually makes a difference if you are based in the northern or southern hemisphere.

Each season has it’s own unique set of animals, insects, items and buildable items to collect, which makes things very interesting. Take a break from the game for too long and it may not be possible to collect everything to complete the museum for example, or at least not until next year.

There are certain plants that grow on the island during different seasons too, which are needed to make seasonal crafting items, so make sure that you gather as many of these as you can to ensure that you are able to build more once the season is over.

There are also items such as Bamboo, which require you to keep visiting mystery islands until you find it. As soon as you do, eat some food, dig some up and take it home with you to plant. It will save you Nook Miles in the long run.


Whilst I have mentioned in my Animal Crossing review that it has quite a dull start, once you have passed roughly the first 30 in-game days (30 real days if you don’t time travel) the game really does change format and give you the type of creative freedom I love to see in games.

The amount of attention to detail on the customization is incredible, almost everything and everyone can be changed to your liking.

The game is also getting free content updates, which most recently included the ability to swim and add sea creatures to your museum makes it constantly refreshing, especially with the seasonal content being updated each season too.

I bought Animal Crossing as someone who had actually never played any of the previous titles and thought it may have been a bit childish. Now I want to try the old titles because I absolutely love spending my evenings with my Nintendo Switch working on my island, more so than some of the more story-driven games I have played this year.

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