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With everything happening recently, I’ve felt stressed almost constantly the past few weeks. When I’m browsing social media, when I check my inbox flooded with Professor’s emails, when I have to do quick runs outside of my apartment for the essentials, I’m stressed. 

But, in the midst of all this stress, one thing on the horizon has kept me sane: “Animal Crossing: New Horizon” was released on March 20. 

Ever since I watched the Nintendo release video for the new game weeks ago, I’ve been gushing about the new exciting features (you can make toast!). This excitement has led to confusion from friends and family who all ask the same thing: “But what is the game about?” 

To put it shortly: you live on an island with an assortment of animal neighbors, you decorate your island, and you live in complete peace. You can garden, fish, catch butterflies, and escape reality in general. The perfect game for the weird time we’re in. 

I mean, haven’t we all dreamed about living on a deserted island with only friendly, colorful animals to keep us company? To fish and tend to our garden at our leisure? I have, and with “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” I can fulfill all my dreams while being holed up in my apartment. My avatar has teal hair and absolutely no worries in the world; something to aspire toward, surely. 

“Nook Miles” is my favorite new thing about “New Horizon.” You earn them easily just by playing the game and meeting some general requirements but you can use them to buy some of the best rewards in the game, such as exclusive clothes or the ability to expand your inventory.

I adore the design feature that allows users to design their own art and clothes. I haven’t tried the QR code service yet--where you can upload someone else’s design as a code and use it in-game--but I’ve read good things on Twitter. 

“Animal Crossing” fans have been waiting since 2012’s release of “New Leaf” on the 3DS for new game content (not counting the smartphone “Pocket Camp” app) so this release had a lot to live up to in terms of fan expectations--and, of course, the game exceeded my own. I’ve been having so much genuine fun playing this game and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s an easy-going, stress-relieving distraction that’s simple enough to pick up or put down whenever. 

Some tips for playing: 

  • When hitting a boulder looking for iron, clay, etc. try digging a hole directly behind yourself so you don’t get pushed back 

  • Talk to your neighbors often--they might give you some items for whatever objective you’re working toward. 

  • Check the beach for Gulliver and keep talking to him until he wakes up. He sends the best gifts as a thank you.

  • Use your Nook Miles to travel to other islands to get different fruit or materials then on your own island. While you’re there, invite whatever animal friend is there back to your island to grow your community. 

  • Plant whatever new fruit you get to grow your own trees.  

  • The game resets at 5 a.m. for the new day, so keep that in mind when planning long term projects. 

While I could write about this game for hours, I have to go--after all, I’m deeply in debt to Tim Nook and these bells aren’t going to earn themselves. 

The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch.

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