Animal Crossing: The game that took over 2020

Joshua Bodenstein

I’ve been playing video games all my life, and I can say with 100% certainty that Animal Crossing New Horizons (ACNH) is the best thing that’s happened in 2020. With a worldwide release in March 2020, Animal Crossing came out at the perfect time. Right at the beginning of the Pandemic. Animal Crossing dominated all of the gaming charts — but it wasn’t just gamers who were playing.  People who had never even touched a video game before all of a sudden started buying switches because they heard the game was fun, and they needed something to do. And just like that, amid a pandemic, the game truly went viral.

This cutesy game is a life simulator that isn’t meant to be taken too seriously. In the game you move to a deserted island “Paradise” along with 2 other animals which are your villagers and the head honcho of Animal Crossing a capitalist tanuki named Tom Nook,  Now you have to make the island better so that more villagers can move in. While also fishing and catching bugs to earn money, to make your house better, to make the island better, and so on. When shopping for items you meet this amazing duo of less capitalist tanukis Timmy and Tommy, they own the shop on the island and make sure you are getting everything you need in the early stages of the game. “It’s very calming, it’s in a world that is very simple and comforting” 8th-grade student Maysie Bedsole says.

With constant updates and culturally sensitive holidays (Turkey Day, Bunny day, Pumpkin Fest, Toy Day, Festivale) this game can never get old. Even if you have completely paid off your house loan and gotten all villagers you still have so much to do, which is what makes this game great. If you finish your house you can catch fish and bugs to fill out your museum. The main curator blathers the owl is always happy (except if you give him a bug.) Blathers is a very lovable character and 8th grader Maysie Bedsole really likes him. With frequent updates to this game adding holidays, such as the VERY recent update adding the Mardi Gras celebration called Festivale the game will continuously get support, and will not get boring for a long time.

With this amazing game, it’s a no-brainer that it’s top of the charts on the Nintendo online store (Along with recently published for Nintendo Switch; Among Us) yet some people have never even heard of it. For example, 8th-grade math teacher Jenifer Smith had never heard of the game before. “I have heard it in name, but I don’t really know what it is,” said 8th-Grade World Geo teacher Jesse Klink. But even with that, MANY adults play the game. According to Nintendo, over 50% of the players are over the age of 18. Journalism teacher Mr. Schonfeld bought his wife a switch, just so she can play the game. It’s not just Mr. Schonfeld who does this, many people have bought multiple switches for their families. Making the Nintendo Switch in HIGH demand with not much supply. The game has sold 24 MILLION copies, the most of any Animal Crossing to date. With a long time between releases, 7 years to be exact. Hardcore Animal Crossing players were also frothing at the mouth to play this game, as it’s been so long.

Some people who play it have some peeves with it, like me. Something that is quite annoying is the Villager dialogue. In old games, your Villagers would destroy you “Do you like the rain, Josh? I want to know your opinion because I hate it” asked one of my Villagers in Animal Crossing Wild World for the Nintendo DS, I answered “I love the rain” she just went WILD “Oh really? then get out of my house and stand in the rain, and I hope you catch a cold!” which is over the top, but it’s way better than the dialogue in Animal Crossing: New Horizons which is just like “Hi Josh, I got tired and decided I wanted to take a seat.” 

Even with all those negatives, this game is just the best game in the series so far, and in my opinion one of the best games of 2020. What do you think about this game? Have you played it?  Well, as former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé said, “I gotta get back to playing Animal Crossing on my Nintendo Switch.”