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Five Things Animal Crossing: New Horizons Needs to Make the Game Fresh Again

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By Sam Woods

May 7, 2021

Nintendo revealed in its recent investor relations information, that Animal Crossing: New Horizons had further cemented itself as the second best selling title on the Switch.

Sitting a couple of million units behind Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, New Horizons has shifted a whopping 32.5 million units. This makes it not only a Nintendo Switch powerhouse but an overall video game behemoth, now sitting 16th in the all-time best selling games list.

However, while the game came out firing on all cylinders, building a rabid fanbase and adding frequent events, it has now all but ground to a weird, disappointing halt with Nintendo’s apparent roadmap just repeating last years events. This has meant some serious fatigue has set in.

With that in mind, here are five easy changes Nintendo could implement to make Animal Crossing: New Horizons feel fresh again.

Will New Pokémon Snap Become the Next Animal Crossing?

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New, Meaningful Events

As stated, it’s been a while since we had a new event in Animal Crossing.

Yes, we got the Mario items in March, but that was hardly an event. We’ve also had the repeated May Day Maze, in which you can earn a photo of Rover (yay) and the dreaded Bunny Day.

Other than that, you have to go back to February and Festivale for the most recent new event. That doesn’t seem like changing soon either, with June once again being dedicated as Wedding Season.

It’s incredibly disappointing for me and the millions of other players that Nintendo has taken this approach and an obvious solution to pull the game through this rut is new, slightly longer events.

New and Returning Shops/Locations

One of the biggest, most noticeable differences between New Horizons and its predecessors is the lack of shops and other interesting buildings.

Of course, New Horizons is set on a “deserted island”, but that’s not stopped some characters from setting up a business there, so why not more.

We’re missing the likes of:

  • The Roost
  • Club LOL
  • Shampoodle
  • Kicks
  • Gardening Store
  • GracieGrace
  • And so many more

Adding these, plus potentially some new ones would really shake up the game.

It would also likely force players to reshuffle their islands, presenting some more welcome and meaningful gameplay.

New Villagers

New Horizons is over a year old now. We’ve all likely had the bulk of our villagers for quite a while and I can’t help but feel it’s time for some new ones.

The new villagers in this entry of the game have been some of the best yet and it would be more than welcome if Nintendo gave us the opportunity to meet even more brand new ones.

We’ve recently had the Sanrio crossover and more like this would be incredibly welcome. Bring back the Zelda themed villagers for the series’ 25th anniversary!

The new arrivals could also be tied into some kind of camping season event, where the campsite is taken up by a new villager every day, giving players a reason to keep checking back and a nice, easy opportunity to meet somebody new.

New House Upgrades/Island Items and Upgrades

It’s likely that most players have upgraded their house to the max and shaped their island just the way they like it, meaning bells are all but useless now.

Why not offer us some more house extensions. An extra story, attic, some more rooms, anything to give us a reason to make more bells.

On top of this, throw in some more island items. New bridges, steps and anything else creative that Nintendo can come up with that would make our Animal Crossing islands fresh.

New Fish/Bugs/Fossils/Collectables

If you’re anything like me, one of the big draws to Animal Crossing titles is the collection aspect. I love filling up my museum with fish, bugs, fossils and everything in between.

But I’m done now and have nothing left to collect. No new fish or bugs that make me check in on the game on at least a monthly basis and that’s disappointing.

With the amount of weird and wonderful fish, creepy crawlies and dinosaurs that have existed through time, it wouldn’t theoretically be too hard for Nintendo to add more.

Don’t even get me started on Gyroids.

Conclusion

Now, I’m not saying this stuff should be free but I’m just saying this game needs something.

With almost 33 million copies of the game out in the wild, I’m sure there would be no shortage of players willing to buy some kind of “expansion pass” that included new buildings, collectables, items and the option to upgrade your house.

I don’t think locking events behind a paywall would be fair, but the rest of the stuff, I’m sure people would be all over, providing it made Animal Crossing fresh again.

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Sam Woods
@CaptainWoodsy

Sam is the Managing Editor at DualShockers. He's been playing video games for as long as he can remember and you can regularly find him on his Nintendo Switch. When he's not playing games, he'll no doubt be suffering watching his beloved Ipswich Town.

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