Nintendo Animal Crossing Direct 2/20 Recap

The internet’s been waiting not-so-patiently for a new Nintendo Direct. Seriously, if you took a few scrolls on Twitter through the Animal Crossing topic, you’d think Nintendo has been completely radio silent for the last 10 years and that the future of the franchise was in jeopardy.

Well, friends, the wait is now over – and Nintendo has given the people what they wanted. Here’s today’s Direct in full:

So, was it worth the wait? Here are some standout reveals from the Direct:

  • Life on the Island: The deserted island Nook Inc. sets you up on is peaceful and relaxing, but also starts off empty! Players can be their own pioneers, and build the island from the ground up the way they want it. Time flows naturally, and you can select from two hemispheres in case you want to experience how the other half of the world does their seasons.
  • DIY: Players can gather specific materials around the island and craft tons of items, including tools and furniture in the game’s new DIY workshops.
  • NookPhone: It looks like we’re getting an in-game hub for various services, via Nook Inc.’s NookPhone. This is where your camera and map live, and future “apps” will be added as you progress through the game with new tools. Nintendo also says you can edit and add filters to your in-game photos now, so if you need me I’ll be setting up my Instagram account just for AC:NH selfies.
  • Nook Miles: This is New Horizons’ achievement currency, so to speak. The Nook Mileage program rewards players for fulfilling challenges, and can be used to pay off the cost of the getaway package, visit new islands, and gain additional rewards.
  • Island Tours: New “mystery island tours” are being added, and I’m curious to see how many possibilities there are for this. You go to an island “at the whim of the pilot”, and each island has unique DIY materials, bugs, and fish which you can take back to your island.
  • Party Play: Up to eight people can live on one island, and four at once can play together using Party Play. This feature uses a “Leader and Follower” system, so one player remains in control. I assume this is so every player stays in the same general area, and eliminates the need for split-screen.
  • Land Development: Pole-vaulting over rivers and climbing ladders is fine, but why not change the entire landscape of your island to your whim? New Horizons will allow you to build bridges and slopes, and you’ll eventually earn a “permit” pave your own paths, change the paths of rivers, and even building and demolishing cliffs. This is a huge first for the series!
  • NookLink: NookLink is the latest addition to the Nintendo Switch Online app, which currently just works with Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon 2. Using this new feature, players can scan Custom Design QR Code patterns from Animal Crossing: New Leaf or Happy Home Designer. You can also use the app to chat with friends who you’re playing with online.

All in all, there’s a boatload of new stuff coming to Animal Crossing, and I can’t wait to test everything out. Let’s go!!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons launches on March 20th, 2020.

Papa Dom

Co-founder, lead blogger, graphic designer, and manager of WGG's writing team - Dom has been writing about video games for over ten years. Dom's work has been featured on some of the world's biggest gaming news outlets - including Dexerto, GameInformer, and IGN.

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