Hello boys and girls.
As you may have noticed, the world is a bit of a mess right now. Aside from the usual troubles that effect our lives on a daily basis, we’ve been hit by a new fright, this time in the form of COVID-19. So with all the doom and gloom around at the moment; in both our real and internet lives, I just wanted to take a moment to highlight something good. And that something good comes in the form of Animal Crossing: New Horizons
I’ve always been a bit hit-and-miss with Animal Crossing as a franchise. I’ve enjoyed it greatly, but the joy never sticks around for a very long time. Eventually I grow bored of the routine, tired of the constant grind to upgrade my home or somewhat distracted by other, newer games hitting stores. All of that may prove to be true once again, but right now I think I need Animal Crossing in a way I’ve needed few games in the past. The world is on fire in a way that the vast majority of people have never seen before. Everywhere we look we’re bombarded with graphs, tweets and news conferences telling us how bad the world is, or how its going to get much worse. It’s important, but frightening and fucking exhausting too.
Animal Crossing New Horizons is an escape route. It’s brightly coloured world oozes cuteness, it’s characters are all unique and yet all equally vibrant and cooky and friendly and just, you know, nice. And I think we all could use a bit of Niceness right now.
It’s not a game that wants you to worry about it too much. I mean, if you’re really into it you can absolutely do that, but if you’d rather just spend an hour or two walking around the island, catching some bugs, pulling some weeds or I dunno, gazing out over the horizon, that’s absolutely okay too.
That’s not to say it doesn’t reward players for coming back and really committing themselves to the work to be done. Since release I’ve put upwards of ten hours into the game. Collecting, digging, gardening and fishing my way to a nice little home with just enough inside to make life comfortable. I’ve got to know my neighbours, sent them some postcards. I even spent a little time over on a friends island, gathering resources and leaving little notes. Again, the game is just nice.
So I’m not saying that everyone will enjoy Animal Crossing, or that it’ll give others the same sense of calm that it does me, but I think if you’re in the right place for this unique form of escapism, Animal Crossing has definitely got your back.