‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ review: Fish, farm, and find the perfect villager neighbours on the Nintendo Switch

  • Design your own dream island paradise and build to your heart’s content

  • Invite your friends over via Switch Online to share fruit, furniture and custom designs

Jamie Lam |

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'Animal Crossing: New Horizons' for the Nintendo Switch is charming and fun for everyone.

Nintendo has done it again with another beautiful and addictive entry into the Animal Crossing series.

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you will catch insects, grow fruit, chop wood and reel in fish to earn enough cash to buy everything you could ever dream of (but couldn’t afford in real life).

You head to an island paradise with the series’ favourite raccoon tycoon Tom Nook, and, as in other games in the series, you will need to borrow increasingly ridiculous sums of money to buy a beautiful house, fancy furniture and cute outfits.

You can make money in the classic Animal Crossing manner, such as by harvesting fruit and flowers, catching rare fish and insects, and mining rocks.

As you build up your facilities and infrastructure, others will want to move onto your kick-butt island and become your neighbours and friends. There are almost 400 unique animal villagers in the game – each with their own quirky personality – but only 10 can live on your island at a time.

The game can be played in short bouts of relaxing, mindless fun, but for hardcore competitors out there, this edition offers plenty of new features. Early on, you are introduced to Blathers, an owl who is (ironically) the curator of a museum showcasing insects, fish and fossils. He will task you with collecting one of every specimen – but some species of fish and insect only appear at certain times of the day or under certain conditions. Suffice it to say it will take months of gameplay to complete this incredible task.

If you’re not into catching and imprisoning fauna, you can dive into the new DIY crafting system.

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First, you will need to learn the correct “recipe” (either from your villagers, bottles that wash up from the ocean, or random balloons that you pop with your trusty slingshot) and then gather the necessary ingredients. Then you will need to go to a workbench to build your furniture before proudly displaying it or giving it away as a gift.

Animal Crossing has always been about getting into a comfortable routine and slowly building up your virtual life with diligent grinding.

New Horizons ups the fun factor by adding just the right amount of new gameplay features without upsetting the familiar charm of the Sims-lite formula.