The Best Things About Animal Crossing: New Horizons (So Far)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been a part of our lives for a week now. And in what is a very dark time for most of humanity, it’s the light and breezy island escape we all need.

Becca’s previously played – and been duly addicted to – Animal Crossing games in the past. So she knew exactly what she was letting herself in for. For Kim, however, she’s new to the franchise. An Animal Crossing virgin if you will. While she’s always thought it looked pretty cute and twee, she wasn’t sure it’d be the game for her. She fully expected she’d get bored very quickly.

Readers, she was wrong. Okay, so it might have only been a week, but very little else is getting done in our respective IRL homes and lives while we obsess over our islands, catching those bugs, expanding our homes and making our villagers look as pretty as can be. Here are our favourite things about Animal Crossing: New Horizons so far.

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My neighbours

Kim: I’ll admit, I didn’t like my fellow villagers when I first moved into my island. One insists on referring to me as “chicky-poo”, and the other walks around wearing some kind of Wrestling-slash-Gimp mask and generally makes me feel uncomfortable by shouting “GAAHHH” every time we talk. They’re both a bit weird. But I’ve grown to love them over the past few days. Now if I don’t see them while I’m out and about, I miss their strange little faces. As more friendly folk move in, too, it’s nice to build a sense of community.

Donating items to the museum (especially bugs)

Becca: Not going to lie, my first goal when loading up Animal Crossing: New Horizons was to get Blathers on my island. Well, technically, it’s everyone’s first goal, but I was extra excited to do so. I love that silly old owl who I’m pretty sure is British because he says things like “jolly good” and “my heart is all aflutter.” You don’t catch Americans saying stuff like that. I love donating items to the museum and letting him tell me exciting facts about each item.

I especially love donating bugs to the museum and watching him squirm and come up with funny names for all of the creatures. That owl hates bugs as much as I do in real life and that, my friends, makes us soul mates.

The blue, blue ocean

Kim: Sometimes I’ll just go stare at the sea. Just because I can. It’s so pretty, so blue, and the waves lapping against the sand are so calming. Just what I need to soothe the internal screaming in my head right now.

Chasing down villagers with an axe

Becca: There are many things to love about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but nothing has brought me more joy than being able to fully sprint around my island carrying an axe. Have I made the “Here’s Johnny!” joke? About 12 times, yes. What can I say? Classic movie.

The best part about it, though, is that no one is phased at all. They don’t care. Mommy might have told you not to run with scissors, but in this world no one is going to tell you not to run around with an axe. It’s your world baby, they’re just living in it.

Finally catching that f*cking tarantula

Kim: Every night, at least one giant, hairy tarantula appears on my island. I’ll be running around under the light of the stars, not a care in the world, then out of nowhere this eight-legged beast charges at me. I wake up, dazed, on my own doorstep, with no idea where that octo-footed beast has gone to. I’ve waved my net around in vain so many times, catching nothing but a spider bite. Finally I got one of them. Who’s your bitch now, Spidey? Eh? Hope you like your new life as an exhibit in my museum.

Sending letters

Becca: While typing in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is particularly painful and slow, I still enjoy being able to send letters to my friends. Just as I enjoy having mail when I first turn on Animal Crossing and get up in the morning, I know my friends do too.

I like sending gifts, money if they need it as well as fruit if they’re still struggling to get all of the fruit trees on their islands. It’s a great way to show them that you care about them, and encourages them to send you to stuff too. *wink, wink*

Kim: Okay, hint taken. I’ll send you more letters.

Visiting friends

Becca: I truly love visiting my friend’s islands. Every person that I’ve seen visit their friend’s islands or have had their friends visit them, gets into an uncontrollable giggle fit. It’s just so much fun to be able to show off your house, your clothes, and your island in general to your friends.

I like visiting my friend’s islands and letting them show me around the place, introducing me to their villagers and just generally having a lovely time. It gives us the closeness that we’re craving right about now.

Making my dream garden

Becca: I’ve always gone a little overboard in Animal Crossing when it comes to my garden and Animal Crossing: New Horizons is no different. In Animal Crossing: New Leaf I had a garden a little way away from my house that I would walk over to and water each morning. I took good care of it, and it calmed me during my restless teenage years.

Now, in my anxiety-ridden adulthood I have surrounded the back of my house in flowers which I water every day even though I’ve been told I don’t need to. I’ve got a bench back there as well for me to sit on, and a river close by to fish at. The beach is only a few steps away making my home the best location on the whole island.

Decorating my house

Kim: My Animal Crossing house may be tiny, but oh, I love it so! At the minute it’s like a studio apartment. But not the sort in a big city that’s astronomically overpriced. I’m paying my debt to Tom Nook and, until I want to expand it, it’s manageable. I have enough space, and the freedom to decorate however I want. I can customise my furniture, change up my wallpaper and flooring, hang whatever I like on my walls, and put things wherever I want. It’s a dream. I just want more rooms to decorate, but that means even more debt from Mr. Nook himself.

Becca: Me too! I’ve just added on a second room that doubles as both my kitchen and my office. Although the only thing I eat is fruit, so why do I need that rice cooker? No idea.

The fact it’s providing a distraction for so many people right now

Kim: You can’t scroll through Twitter without seeing an abundance of Animal Crossing content right now. And honestly, it’s refreshing. It’s a break from the doom and gloom of the real world. We all need some joy in our lives, and this is it. It’s so heartening seeing the clever ways people are playing and collaborating with the game. I’ve seen swap shops pop up, people starting their own shops on their islands for visitors to come and use, people opening up their islands to visitors, or just sharing the creations they’ve made. It’s wholesome. It’s keeping us going right now.