After seeing what feels like less than two minutes of footage in the last few months, we are finally getting treated to 25ish beautiful minutes of new footage today via an Animal Crossing: New Horizons dedicated Nintendo Direct. Here are the highlights from the Direct that showed us so much:
Part 1 – A recap of the basic deserted island package (with a lot of new stuff):
- You can choose from multiple maps and in which hemisphere. When you move to the island there is an orientation session where you place your tent and the other resident’s tents straight from the get go.
- You can craft at the workbench in Resident Services or at your own workbench. You can do workshops to learn new skills. You can fully customise all furniture with patterns and paint them different colours. The Resident Services tent will be open 24hrs a day.
- Orville and Wilbur the Dodos work at the Airport. There is a postcard service within the Airport to send messages to other residents.
- Tom Nook will give Island-wide broadcasts at the start of each day on important information and tips.
- The Nook Milage Program awards you points for daily tasks. They can be exchanged for clothing, helpful items (like a tool ring where you can quick select tools, hairstyles, better tool recipes and more) and can be used to pay off the cost of the Getaway Package (5000 miles).
- Wisp and Gulliver return (as a castaway as opposed to an alien).
- If you’re feeling lost or stuck you can use the Rescue Service which is run by Mr. Resetti (at least based on the music) and it teleports you back to your house.
- You can get stung and knocked out by bees similar to what tarantulas and scorpions did in the past.
- A proper house if you pay off your loan. A house has its own storage space to store everything. You can put items in storage straight from the inventory. The customisation and decoration of the inside of your house has been massively streamlined and has a completely free camera. Additional house expansions also return.
- 2000 Nook Miles can be exchanged for a ticket to take mystery island tours! Instead of visiting the same island every time as in New Leaf you go to a different one each time. You can meet villagers and take any items you find with you (e.g. flowers, DIY materials, and fish/bugs).
- Nintendo Switch Online App: A specialised app called Nook Link will be out soon after release. You can Scan QR codes for designs (including ones from New Leaf and Happy Home Designer) and use a Chat Keyboard/Voice Chat function.
- Items found by followers in local play get put in the yellow bin in Resident Services.
Part 2 – Deserted Island Developments
- Tom Nook lets you know when additional Residents are wanted and can secure land in advance.
- You can build all the familiar buildings including the Museum (which looks amazing!), the Nooks Cranny shop, Camp Site and the Abel Sisters tailor shop.
- Resident Services can be upgraded. You can move shops and houses! Isabelle will appear when you upgrade Resident Services. She evaluates your island and allows you to change the island tune and flag.
- Temporary island visitors return. We get to see a lot of familiar faces such as Label, Harvey, Celeste (gives you a magic wand tool – transforms your clothes), Kicks (has bags!) and Sahara, plus new faces Daisy Mae the boar (Joan’s daughter?) C.J. the beaver (Fishing tourneys) and Flick the chameleon (Bug Offs).
- Seasonal Events are now in the form of free updates with seasonal guests and more.
- Create a one of a kind island by land and water-scaping (you can add and remove water and add and remove cliffs!). To do this your town has to be ‘fully decked out’ and get an Island Designer Construction Permit. You can also make paths and slopes in the upgraded Resident Services. It is shown that you can hop over water that is one tile wide without a vaulting pole.
Part 3 – FAQ
- You can play locally on one Switch with four players of eight online with multiple Switches. You can have eight residents on an island.
- The game supports Amiibo figures and cards (you can invite villagers to the campground once it’s built). There is a new feature related to Harvey called Photopia where you can set up scenes with villagers and furniture and take photos.
- The game will not support cloud saves but you will be able to recover your game from a server (once) should your console be lost or damaged.
- You can limit the usage of certain tools unless you are ‘Best Friends’ such as axes and shovels. You can invite all friends or use a code.
- There will be free updates after release.
- The first free update will be on launch day, where you can celebrate Bunny Day in April. There will be special items in Pocket Camp to celebrate the release as well.
You can check out the Direct for yourself below if you missed it, there are so many details to see. The official website is also live.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is less than a month away, releasing exclusively on Nintendo Switch on March 20.