Animal Crossing

Social Distancing with ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’

I know we are in the apocalypse, but I’m making regular Bell payments to Tom Nook, so clearly I’m doing alright.

Okay, maybe I’m being dramatic, but it really feels like the end of the world right now. I’m exhausted all the time, going completely insane with my roommate and dog (here, have a pre-apocalypse selfie of us, because we all need more dogs right now). So you know what I’ve been doing?

Like everyone else, I’ve been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Let’s take it back for a moment: I’ve been saying that I will not play this game since the hype started. I have nothing against getting excited about nerd shit; hello, look at where you’re reading this. But when I first bought my 3DS, I also bought the Animal Crossing game of the time. I played it one day, took a break (you know, busy college girl life), and came back to them having counted the days I had been away. Y’all, that is too much pressure for this anxious gal. So, I sold my game and moved on with life, saying there was too much stress for me personally with these games.

On Friday, March 20th, Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out. I was still sure I was never going to play it.

But my roommate played it on our television (we each have a switch) when I got home from work. After he played for a couple hours, we both went to bed. I loved watching the game, and considered borrowing his cartridge (can’t sleep, too stressed). But I didn’t, because it’s rude to take things without asking.

But as soon as he took a pause from playing the next day, I immediately asked if I could try. He was down, as long as I was on his game, and he could backseat game. Of course that’s fine, it’s his game.

My roommate playing tambourine while I show off my tadpole.

I played for literally 10 minutes and told him that I loved this game, registered for a Nintendo online account, and started my download of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

I can’t stop playing.

This game is so dang perfect. It’s chill and relaxing (especially since you KNOW I’m not leaving my apartment for anything), and I love it. Let me break this game down for you a bit. I’m sure you’ve seen memes literally everywhere, but we’re gonna take a minute to go through how I’ve been playing.

You start the game learning that you’re going to a deserted island and you’ll be chillin on the beach. It’s going to be sick, but not in a COVID-19 way, in a cool way. You name and design your character (mine is named Emily; it’s how I’ve played all games where you can create a character, it’s not changing now), and get your booty to the island! Once you land, you find out you have a couple neighbors, name your island, and hang out. You go to bed, and wake up at the actual time that it is in the real world (according to your switch).

And then, it’s task time! Tom Nook kind of breaks down island life, tells you he’ll make you a house, and also lets you know that you owe him money. It’s pretty focused on resources (specifically Bells, the in-game currency), but there are so many ways to earn them, you’re gonna be just fine. I am personally a big fan of pulling weeds and crafting them into leaf umbrellas, the umbrellas are worth double the cost of the resources, so I think it’s worth the extra bit of work.

The game goes on; you get an airport, a museum, and a full shop. Soon, you’re able to travel to other islands, both random ones and those of your friends.

This is where things get good.

I like to open my gates to people on my friends list, and let them just show up while I chill. I have a lot to do on my island at all times (I’m trying to keep my fruit trees in a separate area from my wood trees, I’m very busy), so they can wander and do whatever they want while here. Also, friends can leave messages and gifts, and once they’ve visited, you can send each other letters! Also, this is in real-time. So I can text my friend and say “my island is open, come over,” and they can come hang out! Here’s a great screenshot of hang out time the other day:

As much as the world is freaking out right now, Animal Crossing came to help us all chill. I played the other night while facetiming my friends. We were at my island, running around, checking out the museum, and talking face-to-face.

I’m really glad that I have grown to love Animal Crossing, and I hope that if you have a Switch, you join me in playing. My friend-code is SW-4854-7898-0770, come hang out at my island, Wonder! I am hopeful for the future; that we make it through this, that small businesses are okay, and we all learn to take care of ourselves and friends, even at a distance.

Why yes, we were playing and facetiming!

Wash your hands, play Animal Crossing, and follow me on Twitter to see all of the inappropriate things I make for my character.

Not into video games? That’s okay! We’ve got a whole dang section on stuff we stream here, and I’ve got another article about staying friends in isolation over on Sartorial Geek. Drop how you’re coping below!

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