Animal Crossing hasn’t had a mainline entry since 2012’s New Leaf on the 3DS. The move to the Switch meant that not only would we see a return to the series on portables, where it has done quite well, but also to a home console where its art style can truly shine. The September 4 Nintendo Direct showcased the largest variety of footage we’ve seen yet – including a variety of new in-game apps to make the experience more robust. A camera lets you enjoy the world forever with a photo album.
Shifting things from a regular cityscape to an island changes up the tone of the game – bringing in brighter colors. Item crafting has been brought into the mix as well, enabling you to build things like an axe instead of always having to buy them. Of course, Tom Nook will have a wide variety of things to sell you – including furniture. There’s definitely some fine-tuning that needs to be done as the player character was shown moving things about six inches away from his hands – but that can be fixed with time. In-game accomplishments can be earned in the form of Nook Miles, which will get you things – but seemingly, no discounts at Tom Nook’s story because he isn’t about that life.
The in-game phone also allows you to set up online and offline playback, and you can play with up to eight people total at once. This is going to be the biggest AC adventure yet, and the island concept looks to freshen things up perfectly. The Switch’s hardware also results in the best-looking entry by far, with stunning-looking water and a high amount of detail on in-game environments. We’ll know a lot more about the game as its March 20, 2020 release date draws ever-closer.