Animal Crossing: New Horizons makes endless hours of social isolation disappear

4.5/5 stars

By Matthew Shanbom, Managing Editor

The newest installment in the Animal Crossing franchise carries on its town-building formula in a new and exciting way.

The game starts the player on a deserted island where they only have a tent, two neighbors and a pesky racoon who is charging you with a home loan. Working to build your city from nothing to a village with full of decorations keeps you engaged for many hours to come.

Although this was my first Animal Crossing game, the game felt welcoming to a new player and easy to pick up and grasp. At the beginning, the game guides you through small missions with real-time barriers in between them to prevent players from rushing through the experience and not looking at the game for its true purpose, escapism.

The game is not made to be played all in a row. It is a game where you play a couple hours every day, slowly improving the scenery of your island.

The amount of detail that went into allowing you to pick where every building goes, what the layout of the island is and even changing the theme and flag of the island allows for a level of customization unprecedented in the series.

While the game is great single-player, the game thrives in its multiplayer.

The game supports up to eight players in local and online multiplayer with the former having some restrictions. While in local multiplayer, only one player is the designated resident representative, meaning story missions can only be started and ended by that player and only that player can pick up items.

While these restrictions may be annoying, they can ultimately be overcome if the group of people playing together can work together and switch the leader when necessary.

While I didn’t have time to go as far into detail about every feature such as custom designs as I would have liked, the game even at the simplest level is a great experience for the whole family. With only slight issues with multiplayer, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a great game for the whole family.

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