A new horizon for the Nintendo Switch!
Initiated at the very beginning of the 2000s on a certain (and still as vague) Nintendo 64, the Animal Crossing saga has known various sequels, on GameCube, 3DS and Wii, without forgetting some spin-offs, and even a mobile episode, Pocket Camp . Also, since its formalization in late 2018, fans of the saga were impatient with this New Horizons exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. Especially since the last "real" opus to date (on Nintendo 3DS), dates back to 2013 …
Nintendo Switch Animal Crossing at the best price Base price: 379 €
To give a little context, Animal Crossing is a "game" in which we play a little character to personalize at the start of the game, and who will have to settle in a whole new environment, taking care to optimize his own quality of life, but also that of the other characters. Catch butterflies, fish in local rivers, furnish your home, make objects, water flowers in the garden, collect Bells (the currency of the game), make friends with the neighborhood… so many activities that make 'Animal Crossing a game' feel good " ultimate.
The Desert Island Escape formula!
For this New Horizons episode, Nintendo invites players to go to an (almost) deserted island, with the responsibility, as Island Delegate, to breathe life into this little corner of nature. At first, you have access to a small part of the island, and you will have to decide to pitch your tent at this or that place, but you can also help other adventurers to settle down if you wish. The whole is obviously guided by the timeless Tom Nook, who will give invaluable advice, and will also allow to shape new tools, to buy objects …
As always, the game takes place in real time. Understand that the seasons, months, days and hours are synchronized with the console clock. Turn on your console at 10 p.m., it will be dark on your island, and you can then discover some nocturnal species. Relaunch the game at 6 am, and you can watch the sun rise over your home. Obviously, when the game asks you to " come back tomorrow ", For a new construction for example, this is not an image, and we will have to wait until the next day (in real life therefore) to access the new content.
A life simulator?
Thus, like a real little life simulator, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will first ask the player to perform very basic tasks, such as picking up branches, fishing, cutting wood, digging up fossils … As and when measure, we unlock new missions, new objects, but we can also see new characters land, improve their living environment…
There is not really a "mission" per se in Animal Crossing, each player is free to evolve as he pleases, although it will be imperative to go through certain key stages to advance the "plot". Note that the resources of the island are renewed daily, an additional element that forces the player to start a small game (even a few minutes only) every day.
In addition to the resources available on the player’s island, it is also possible to call on Dodo Airlines’s air services (yes, everything is a pretext for a choupinou name in Animal Crossing) to go visit another randomly generated island. We can find new resources, new creatures … in short, something to always improve a little more the quality of life of his island.
Technique, interface, customization
On the technical side, this Animal Crossing: New Horizons does not tear the retina, but the set is still very nicely detailed, with a multitude of small animations on the screen, and various details which provide a real feeling of life to the together. In addition, despite the relative narrowness of the island, the game takes pleasure in offering many interactions, sometimes with a fish to fish, a butterfly to catch, weeds to harvest (and to resell), stranded bottles at the edge of the beach (often containing a gift), bonuses offered by the locals, gifts attached to a balloon which must be recovered via the slingshot …
Offering many possibilities (which open to the player gradually), one might have feared for the interface of this Animal Crossing. However, the latter is also a pure success with a very easy to use inventory, but also a particularly practical Nook Phone, and also perfectly mastered.
Certainly, we plague a little (at the beginning) in front of this rudimentary ax or this fishing rod which breaks after a certain time, but this allows the player to evolve his objects, and assimilate all the construction mechanics and personalization (ultra-push) of this game yet so basic at first glance.
If it offers a multitude of customization options, Animal Crossing: New Horizons can however cause some frustration sometimes, the fault in the real-time sequence explained above. Indeed, it will sometimes be necessary to know how to turn off your console, and wait until the next day to be able to continue your game, and then discover new objectives or the arrival of new companions. This is probably the only (small) frustration of the game, as the rest seem perfectly under control.
In this regard, nothing is imposed in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and even if the game offers bonuses to the most active, nothing prevents to keep a simple lifestyle, and to enjoy basic activities.
This desire to relaunch the game every day …
The great strength of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is that the more you play, the more new tasks you will have to do … and the more you will want to play. Nintendo has understood this, and this Opus Switch offers some small bonuses on this subject, such as the Nook Miles, which allow you to earn " Loyalty points In a way, to exchange for new objects in particular. We get bonuses by logging in every day, being polite with the locals, collecting weeds, catching fish, buying products … In short, everything is done to encourage you to play (more or less high dose) daily.
To tell the truth, the list of possibilities offered by this Animal Crossing: New Horizons seems almost inexhaustible, and we imagine that in addition to very (very) substantial basic content, Nintendo will take pleasure in offering bonus content to the over the months. In addition, there is the possibility of inviting friends to your island, or being yourself invited to a friend's island, for quite extraordinary meetings. It is also an opportunity to discover the creativity and talent of some, and to chat with other players, via a very simple but (as with the rest) very well designed chat system.
Our verdict on Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is undoubtedly THE “feel good” game of the moment (and certainly of the year), with a very particular, but hugely catchy style, which allows it to be aimed as well at fans of the saga, as 'for neophytes, but also for older and younger alike. A beautifully produced title, which literally overflows with good humor, and which truly allows each player to shape their playing experience as they see fit, with benevolence, calm and tranquility. In short, a real bubble of happiness and escape, in these very complicated times …
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- A cute game (but really)!
- Content that seems inexhaustible
- The general interface
- Some very clever additions (the Nook Miles in particular)
- New features to come in the coming weeks, months to come …
We like less
- Sometimes a repetitive chouia despite everything
- The first game sessions
- One Island per Nintendo Switch