Just recently an Animal Crossing Direct aired detailing new and future features to the upcoming game. You can watch it here.
I’ll be focusing on features that weren’t confirmed before and ones that are entirely new.
Island Facilities and Tourism
Some of the usual buildings and shops have been confirmed. So far Able Sisters, Nook’s Cranny, The Museum and Town Hall (which might be what the resident services center becomes) have been shown. Here we’ve learned that not all items will be craft-able. Due to change ups it seems some other stores might not make it at all. However there is tourism on your island, where special NPCs may show up from time to time. Including the traveling merchants like Saharah and the new turnip trader Daisy Mae.
The Dodo Airport is used to travel between yours and your friends islands. Up to eight people can be on one island at a time. You can visit people via your friends list or with passwords. This time they’ve restricted some things, if you aren’t listed as a best friend you can’t use axes or shovels on other’s islands. Obviously to prevent griefing and with the new way flowers work you shouldn’t have to worry about those being stolen either. The airport is where you can buy postcards, the replacement for letters that you can send to your animal neighbors.
With the Nook Miles you earn you can buy tickets. With these you can also travel to other islands, which are mystery destinations. On them you can catch different bugs, fish, find fruit and collect other materials. Sometimes other animals may be on the same tour.
At resident services is where much of the action takes place. Nook Miles are earned by doing various activities and can be tracked on the app. With those you can pay off your getaway package, buy exclusive items and tickets. Tom Nook will also make daily island announcements. After all, he is your host trying to run the getaway holiday village! He’s gonna give you tips and share the news there is on your island.
With island development Tom Nook will try to entice more villagers to move to your island. However you may be able to choose between prospects. At least you can reserve land space for new homes. No more flower or pathway trampling! You may be able to convince different islanders or campers to move to your island as well.
Quality of Life
It also seems that there’s some quality of life changes. There is home storage that doesn’t seem to need a wardrobe. Tools can be selected from a tool wheel although they still look to take up pocket space. Interior designing also takes the benefits first introduced in Happy Home Designer like wall placement, but now you can choose what direction flooring and wallpaper faces too! Later on, homes and facilities can be moved around the island! There is a now a fast travel system (possibly organized by Resetti) in case you get lost on the island.
When first arriving at your island you can choose where to place your tent and may help other residents decide where to place theirs. It appears that the villagers will have different outside animations by their personality type. As seen by a Jock villager lifting a dumbbell, and a Normal type sweeping outside. These cute animations even go so far as sitting on the ground and eat ice cream.
Crafting and Landscaping
New details on crafting were shown, you’ll need to learn a recipe before you can craft a specific item. You’ll also be able to customize various types of furniture. Custom designs can now be applied to furniture such as cushion patterns on a couch.
You’ll be able to construct bridges and ramps so that you can eventually rid yourself of movement tools.
Eventually as you fully develop the town (perhaps having all buildings) you can get a builders permit. This will allow you to add various path types including custom ones.
Eventually you can transform land, cliffs and water to completely customize your island. Want an extra cliff face? Or add a waterfall? You can make the island the way you want it.
As show and E3 there is local play. On your island you have eight residents on one Switch system (one for each profile). If theres’s multiple residents you can play together at the same time. One person will act at the leader and four total can be playing on the one system at once. However the leader can be changed around at any time. Items collected by followers can be stored in a recycle box at resident services for later collection.
Switch Online App and Pocket Camp
The Switch Online App (available for Switch Online Members) will have a new addition called Nook Link. This will launch shortly after New Horizons. It features a QR Code Scanner that lets you copy patterns from your New Leaf or Happy Home Designer games. It’ll also give you a chat keyboard for when you’re playing with friends online.
Pocket Camp will have special cross over promotions allowing you to earn exclusive items in both. This will be announced from the Pocket Camp twitter at a later time. I suppose I’d better re-download it!
All previous Animal Crossing amiibo and cards will be compatible. Some of these will invite specific villagers to the campground (but not all are supported yet). There’s also no word if other game ones will work. Such as how the Zelda or Splatoon ones did in New Leaf. On the special Photopia island you can create photoshoots using villagers summoned with amiibo cards.
Seasonal Events + Save Issues
The usual seasonal events aren’t in the game itself and instead will arrive as free updates. Something I think is pretty ridiculous, since anyone without much internet won’t have the full game. The first of these updates will arrive on launch day to prepare for Bunny Day in April. No news yet on how seasonal events will be affected by the chosen hemisphere.
There is no cloud save support or physical transfer (just like Splatoon 2), they do plan after launch to allow for save collection under special circumstances. Which seems like such a hassle when they clearly do save the data for other games.
After All That
I’m very excited for the terraforming even though I’m quite lazy when it comes to customization even in New Leaf. The museum also looks gorgeous, but mostly I’m looking forward to sharing the Animal Crossing experience with first timers. What are you most excited about for New Horizons?
Animal Crossing: New Horizons comes to the Nintendo Switch on March 20th.