I have been playing Animal Crossing for almost a week now. Blathers has just set up is museum and Nook’s Cranny is now operational. Like most gamers who pre-ordered the game in the Australia region, I started quite earlier than usual and have been seeing how this game has been taking a lot of time.
While this may be perceived as “slacking”, I perfectly see this as my temporary escape from the current situation we are all in. After a full day of work from home, taking some time to take some weed out and to “shovel” some stones to possibly get bags of bells give me a different kind of satisfaction. Everything shifts to a different kind of gameplay when friends or best friends are around to play with me.
The perfect social distancing game
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the perfect social distancing game released at the time when people are literally required by the situation to distance themselves from one another.
It’s the game that literally helps people to stay at home without preventing them to socialize with friends. If you have multiple accounts in a single Switch device, you can set up two residents in a single deserted island and play together with 2 controllers or joycons while applying 3-feet social distancing measures.
Like a totally new game
If you pay attention to details, the game is very atmospheric in a lot of ways. The first Animal Crossing title I played was New Leaf, and coming from that version, it just really feels like New Horizons is like a totally different game.
The new Nook+ Mileage program makes me accomplish big things in small increments and get rewarded in the process. Whether you call this reward snacking or micro-achievements, this is a genius way for the game to reward players for actually playing a game that you have already fully paid.
The overall mechanics of the game did not change at all. You still tend to your flowers, do chores and sell stuff. It’s the Animal Crossing we love to play, but New Horizons’ new features make it different in many ways. It’s something to look forward too for both new and seasoned Animal Crossing players!
Walk the Stalk Market
The Stalk Market is back!
Daisy Mae, the turnip seller comes every Sundays to sell at fluctuating prices. The price is not the same for all players in the game. I bought mine at 90 bells/turnip. You can then sell it to Nook’s Cranny within the week at varying price as well. At the time of this writing, the buying price is 130 bells/turnip. This will give me a profit of 40 bells a pop! This unapologetic pun of stock market make this game just the best for traders.
Communication is key
If there’s one thing I hate about this game is how difficult it is to communicate with other people. Yes, there’s Nintendo Switch Online app that you can sideload to your Android device (because it’s not yet available in the Philippines), but it isn’t as seamless as playing games on PC or PS4. The Switch app on Android has a neat implementation of voice chatting, but I prefer something similar to drop-in and drop-out voice chat.
Our solution? Discord. We put up a voice channel on our official discord channel and use it to communicate while we’re on one island together.
Looking forward to waking up every morning!
The game is synced to the actual time of the day. This means that there’s a lot of things too look forward to each time you wake up every morning. From new house upgrade to new island visitors, the game offers a ton of dynamic features that make it very enjoyable to play any time of the day.
However, while there’s so much to do, the game “tells” you to stop and live… in the real world. Trees need to grow, stones won’t yield new stones or bells when poked and your friends won’t be online the whole time. While it’s a game where you can really do a lot of things, it does not totally let you escape from reality. At this time we’re all in, doing chores, extending help to other people are tuning in current events are real-life tasks we are bound to do.
Playing the game to save others
There’s so much to do in and out of the game. I have been playing this game with Jamie of UnboxPH, Jam of JamOnline, Vincent of DAGeeks, Luie of OMGLuie and a lot of tech bloggers.
Tonight, March 23, we are going to play and stream the game and encourage everyone to directly donate to your choice of a charitable institution using PayMaya. We, tech bloggers in the Philippines, are #OneAgainstCOVID19!