On 20th March 2020, the Internet and world was taken by storm by the release of Nintendo’s latest game Animal Crossing: New Horizons. To someone who has been avoiding the hype, it may seem like a normal life simulation game. Frankly, that’s what it is (with an additional spin), but also, that is just what everyone needs at this moment. Maisie, 16, states that “This game came out at the perfect time, making it the perfect distraction from all of the horrors happening.” Tanya, 22, states that “it makes quarantine feel a lot less lonely and boring, since it can easily just be played for hours. This has overall improved my mental wellbeing, in a time in which it is so fragile, and I am very grateful.” The basic premise is that your character is on a deserted island, and can gather resources to craft and customise their island into their own little paradise, while also collecting bugs, fish and fossils. It takes place in real-time, meaning that when it’s April in real life, it’s April in the game and the weather and creatures available will change accordingly. Part of the reason millions have been indulging themselves in this game for hundreds of hours is because of the connection to nature it encourages, in a time in which going outside is incredibly dangerous. Abigail, 17, states “I always look forward to spring and spending time with friends in parks, but now, I can’t. Luckily, my friends and I can visit each other’s islands and hang out with nature. It’s not the same, but it is still super fun and I’m thankful that this game came out when it did.” Due to all these reasons, it is no wonder the game has been performing so well and thousands have already spent 100+ hours in the game. It has also been selling incredibly well. In Japan alone, it sold 1.88 million copies in three days. In the UK, it is the fastest-selling Nintendo Switch game so far, without accounting for digital downloads. Despite very few people venturing outside to purchase the game, physical copies are still sold out in most game shops like CEX, due to online deliveries. Since the game is so new, there are no concrete sales figures. However, there is no doubt that it will be selling over 10 million copies.

The question is, should you purchase it? In these troubling times, it helps to have an escape like this, which simulates many things one can’t do in quarantine. The online capabilities, large amount of customising and no real end make it a great game to spend time with during quarantine. All of the little achievements, from catching a new fish, to recruiting a new cute animal villager, build up towards a greater goal, making one feel accomplished. That is why, now more than ever, I recommend this game if you have the spare funds. Especially if you have been feeling lonely or cramped while indoors.


Sources: gameindustry.biz, interviews with Animal Crossing fans, Nintendo.com (picture)