It’s no surprise that Animal Crossing: New Horizons is one of the most anticipated games of 2020, and Nintendo knows it. Despite the impending release date, which is only a month away, the company hasn’t really delved too much into how the game will function. Thankfully, they announced a special Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct that took place today, and to say they unveiled some information is an understatement. We’ll go through a brief overview of what was announced for the game here.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) February 20, 2020
The first, and maybe most important thing they revealed, is that you can pick which type of island layout you want to inhabit, as well as which hemisphere on the planet you wish to be part of. This affects the island as a whole as seasons differ during the year for each hemisphere. Where one island on the western hemisphere it could be Summer, and an island on the southern hemisphere at the same time will be Winter instead.
When you get to your island, all you’ll have to your name is a tent, and that’s it. No need to fret though, the game gives you a plethora of chances to begin earning those bells, and crafting your way to ensuring that the island is one that everyone will want to visit. This is done through a new feature shown in the Direct where you can literally modify the actual landscape of the your island. We’re not just talking about setting decorations up, but terafforming the island to your own specifications. This includes altering the paths of rivers, digging into the mountainsides, putting down new paths for people to walk on, and setting up bridges to go over moats.
Speaking of people visiting the island, up to eight players will be able to live on a single island at the same time. This allows friend who share the land to take part in Party Play, where two teams of four people can roam around the island and explore new findings. One player will be designated as the leader of the group, with the others following them. This can be changed instantly at any time, giving others a chance to take charge.
When we said that eight players can live on a single island a time, this also means that eight family members can share an island on one Nintendo Switch. This means that up to eight user accounts on a single console can access and inhabit the designated island. This also allows them the ability to build their own homes, craft items, and take part in other activities. In addition, families that have more than one Switch can play together through the local multiplayer.
However, one of the coolest new things to come out of the Direct is the Nook Link. This is an actual app for phones that functions alongside the Nintendo Switch Online app, and allows players to scan QR codes from previous Animal Crossing titles, such as New Leaf and Pocket Camp, and import them straight into New Horizons to use right away. You’ll also be able to chat with friends with the app via text message or voice chat. The Nook Link is scheduled to launch around the same time as the release of New Horizons.
You can check out the entire Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct here:
Another familiar mechanic that Nintendo will be bringing into the game is the Amiibo’s. Yes, the company is still going back to the Amiibo well for game utilization, but since there are so many at this point, why not take advantage of it? You’ll be able to use any of the previous Animal Crossing Amiibo’s as well as the Amiibo Cards made specifically for the ill-fated Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival to get items in game. You can also go to a special island called Photopia where Amiibo’s can take cool photos.
The last major thing we learned was that Animal Crossing: New Horizons will not support cloud saves, which is rather unfortunate as the service has become something of a necessity for gamers around the world. However, Nintendo did state in the Direct that they are planning to service which will apparently restore lost data either from console damage or the console being lost completely. In the fine print of both the Direct and the Press Release, it states that “Nintendo Switch Online Members can only have save data recovered one time due to loss or damage of system.”
This essentially means that the company will only assist those with the issue once, and then never again. Keep in mind that this may change over time, but for now, Nintendo is keeping the save data access a little close to the chest. The service is planned to launch around the same time as Animal Crossing: New Horizons launch time. The rest of the Direct was aimed at the games free updates, as well as free Seasonal events, which can change drastically depending on what hemisphere your island is on. The first major update will be on the games launch day, March 20, beginning with a Seasonal event right off the bat in Bunny Day for Spring and Easter.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons will launch on March 20, 2020 for the Nintendo Switch.