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Animal Crossing (SWITCH) – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW!

Animal Crossing: New Horizon has been making waves in the news for record breaking sales. There’s no doubt that the release of Animal Crossing couldn’t have come at a better time. With many people social distancing and remaining home, Animal Crossing has been a savior in many ways. 

Many grownups and parents like myself have found it really fun to play with kids and there are many reasons why the hype is real. 

As many of us are still going through challenges adjusting to the new norm, people are savoring for anything just to past time and have fun. 

Hopefully once you’ve finish reading this article, you will have a better understanding of what Animal Crossing is and maybe you’ll be interested in joining the fun too!

Note: This will be updated frequently, stay tuned for the YouTube Animal Crossing New Horizon Series! Come back for more!

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What is Animal Crossing (the new Horizon)?

It is the hottest video game available on the Nintendo Switch right now. Animal Crossing: New Horizon can be described as a “friendly” social simulation game between humans and human-like animal characters. Yes, it’s almost almost like the very popular “The SIMS” video game by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts.  There are obviously various differences, which makes Animal Crossing New Horizon unique.

Since this is not a comparison article between Animal Crossing New Horizon and The Sims, we’ll focus on what Animal Crossing is really about in a short few sentences.

Animal Crossing New Horizon is the latest edition released by Nintendo on the Switch platform. You are able to live as a character you create on your own personal island. 

Once you’re settled, you start with a tent and you’re able to accumulate enough “Bells” or “Nook miles”, to upgrade your home all the way up to a mansion.

Nook Miles and Bells 

If you haven’t figured it out yet, “Bells” and “Nook miles” are form of currency which can be used to buy things on your island. Nook Miles is a reward program which you can earn miles through completing challenges through the Nook miles app. Nook miles can be exchanges for items and activities. There are plenty of things to get such as new apparel, home decor items, and Nook Mile tickets, which allows you to travel to other deserted islands or even your friend’s island.  

Bells are the main form of currency which you can use to buy things on the island. Bells can be gained by shaking trees (bells fall out), hitting money rocks and digging at shiny spots. There are other strategies to earn more bells such as compounding interests in the bank and selling your items. 

NOOK? What is Nook?

OK, before we move further along, you have heard the term or word “Nook” several times now and are probably wondering what that is.  In short, NOOK originates from the fictional character in the game called “Tom Nook”. He is a raccoon in the US or tanuki in Japan , who acts as the manager who operates the town store in all of the Animal Crossing series.

Depending on the game, Tom has different roles but ultimately he’s the one you’re having to pay debts to for your home, and controls the ins and outs on the island. He seemingly owns and manages everything that is not owned by you. 

In Animal Crossing New Horizon, Tom is a travel agent and is the founder and owner of NOOK, Inc. Hence, NOOK is referring to Tom’s company.  

Timmy and Tommy are Tom’s nephew who you will see walking around the island and can also be found in the Resident Tents or stores. They are his assistant and can provide useful tips. You’ll be going to them to sell and buy things throughout the game.

There are many other characters in the game, and they all play an interesting role.

Timmy & Tommy

10 Fun Things You Can Do in Animal Crossing New Horizon

There are much more than 10 things, but just to get you acquainted with Animal Crossing New Horizon, here are some of the fun things you can do while playing. Earn extra bells and miles by performing all of the activities. You can buy and sell anything you find for different price rewards.

  1. Travel to other islands and explore. With the purchase of a Nook Ticket, you are able to visit other islands, or even open the gates for your friends to visit you.
  2. Catching and learning all sorts of bugs and insects. There are a total of 80 different kinds. Eventually you’ll be able to build museums with a big enough collection for the island.
  3. Catching all 80 types of fish, from small seahorses all the up to large blue marlin and sharks. You can learn how to creep and use other tactics (fish bait) to catch the most unique fish in the game. You can even put them in your own fish tank!
  4. Explore islands for different types of fruits. You can plant, eat or sell the different fruits. There are a total of six different types (apples, cherries, oranges, pears, peaches and coconuts).
  5. Increasing game play time to unlock many new things such as new gifts in the mail, floating balloons, new craftable items, boating and meeting new characters who may visit the island to sell you new things or give you a chance to gain new things in exchange for a favor. There are store upgrades and your town can grow overtime into a more develop fun island.
  6. Meet New Characters is one of the highlights of the game. They each have their own unique personalities and have different offerings. For example, you can get a boat from Redds (Art boat) or the ghost who would grant you new & expensive items if you help him find his lost spirit. Currently, there are over 400 animal characters which you can meet by visiting their island, or them visiting yours. 
  7. Craft your hearts away. There are many DIY recipes for your character to learn. All items can be crafted with materials you find on the island like weeds, clams and tree branches to name a few. Your character can craft things that are useful such as fishing pole, nets, bridges and even tools such as axes for you to do other interesting things on the island.
  8. Upgrade your home from a tent to a mansion. Once you’ve paid of your mortgage, Tom Nook will give you options to upgrade your home (color and size). You will start with expansions to the size of the first floor and eventually have an upstairs and basement. This means you’ll have more fun decorating!
  9. Decorate your home when earning enough bells and miles to make your home comfortable. From the inside to the outside. There are different types of flowers, trees, bushes and fences to add.
  10. Dress to Impress! There is plenty of clothes you can buy or design in Animal Crossing New Horizon. Feel free to change your hairstyle and facial features.

Is Animal Crossing Just for Kids?

Animal Crossing New Horizon is rated PEGI 3, which is for ages 3 and older. Now some may ask, are kids that young really playing video games? You’d be surprise. Animal Crossing New Horizon game play is very easy and even my three year old has been able to navigate through three days of game play without too much trouble. 

Obviously, the bigger challenge is keeping them engaged once they stumble across something they aren’t able to do.  Hopefully, at that age, they are able to use the toilet in the game. 🙂

There are so many different real life concepts that keeps even adults interesting and education for kids. Just to give a few examples, kids are able to understand how to pay mortgages, how banking interests works; using ATM machines; hone their creativity skills from building things; how to save money to get what they want in life and other useful real life lessons. Especially, not to shake a tree with a bee hive or else you’ll get swarmed and stung!

Multi-player Feature

Animal Crossing New Horizon does offer multi-player feature, allowing up to 8 players who can live on the same island together For co-operative play, up to 4 players can be on the same screen together. A player can use their NookPhone and open the Call Resident app, they can call them for a Party Play. This will require a Nintendo Online Membership.

Animal Crossing New Horizon is a single screen game play style.  This basically means there will be a leader, and the other players would have to follow him/her. This is a bit restrictive compared to a split screen mode where each player can go as they please on the island. 

There are other limitations to be aware of, such as if you’re not the leader. If you mark your friend as a “best friend”, they will have a bit more leeway on what they can do while cooperative playing on your island.

Lastly, you can invite or travel to your friends island online. Instead of local play, on a single Nintendo Switch console, you can play with others online.

Is Animal Crossing only available for Nintendo Switch?

The Animal Crossing New Horizon is currently exclusive to just the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite platform.

However, there were many versions prior to the latest New Horizon.

To name a few:

All primarily on a Nintendo gaming platform such as Nintendo N64, Nintendo NDS, GameCube, Wii and was available on mobile for IOS and Android.

The latest version is the Animal Crossing New Horizon, which was released on March 20, 2020.

Where you can Buy Animal Crossing Horizon

You can purchase the digital copy at Nintendo Store online or Amazon

There are pros and cons with each option, but choose whatever works best for your situation.

For example, the cartridge version can be paid on multiple Switch console, and uninstall any updates (if you’re trying to employ some cheats that were fixed) etc., You can also resell the game later on at GameStop for example and pick up another game of your choice!

The digital copy will eliminate the hassel of carrying a cartridge around and you won’t have to worry about losing it. It’s easily accessible and wouldn’t matter much if you only have one Nintendo Switch.

Watch Animal Crossing On TGR/YouTube!

Check back for regular updates for new tips and tricks!

Final Thoughts

In a non-biased opinion, I have found Animal Crossing New Horizon to be a refresher. There have been few video games in the market that offers education and targets all ages. 

The game does start off a bit slow, you will have to at least finish one day which is equivalent to real-time. It will require patience and dedication to start having fun. I was not impressed the first day until I casually noticed all the new things the kids were doing. That prompted to spend some time getting more bells and NOOK miles through various activities. This became very addicting and is definitely worth trying. 

To give you an idea, I’m the type of gamer that enjoys NBA2k20, and GTA more so than anything else. I am surprised to find Animal Crossing New Horizon to be pleasantly enjoyable once you get the hang of it. 

I would highly recommend it for those reasons mentioned above. With interesting and cute characters, it’s hard to not to give it a trial run.

I hope you find this article informative and am always open to comments and suggestions below!

Note: This will be updated frequently, stay tuned for the YouTube Animal Crossing New Horizon Series! Come back for more!

Things To Consider For Animal Crossing

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