Playing Animal Crossing to pass the time

First I saw scene captures, then I saw the memes.

With nothing to do on weekends I decided to try it out.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is just a single bite of the Animal Crossing saga which is a social simulation video game series developed and published by Nintendo and created by Katsuya Eguchi.

In Animal Crossing, the player character is a human who lives in a village inhabited by various anthropomorphic animals, carrying out various activities such as fishing, bug catching, and fossil hunting. The series is notable for its open-ended gameplay and extensive use of the video game console’s internal clock and calendar to simulate real passage of time.

Since its initial release in 2001, five Animal Crossing games have been released worldwide, one each for the Nintendo 64/iQue Player (enhanced and reissued for the GameCube), Nintendo DS, Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch. The series has been both critically and commercially successful and has sold over 30 million units worldwide. Three spin-off games have also been released: Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer for Nintendo 3DS, Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival for Wii U, and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp for mobile devices.

Currently, my avatar looks like a child version of myself which is kind of cute and kind of daunting as a twenty three year old at the same time. But again, most of us have nothing to do on weekends, so here I am (shrugging emoji).

In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing.

I hadn’t even read a description of the game because I wanted to walk in without any prejudice or knowledge and try to wave my hands around it in the dark.

And so, I was taken to an island and told to settle the land, which gave me no ideas because I had never played before, but there was a lingering memory of a Game Cube version when I was younger. Once I got over the interesting mechanics of the Nintendo Switch, I began to explore.

This turned into maybe an hour of me running around my island and doing absolutely nothing.

The sun rose with the real sun outside and after another hour of nothing and asking the township mayor or whatever what to do, I realized that I could make money selling fish and bugs and the like once I learned how to make “flimsy” tools.

I spent a good day just doing that and made enough money to pay off my house. Thus, I went from tent life to home life in a matter of twenty four hours, which was exhausting in

In the mean time I also helped a stranded duck, a wisp, a museum curator and I even dug up relic fossils, which was a it more exciting than life right now so I can’t complain.

In reading the Wikipedia page, this will provide a better description than I can:

“Gameplay is open-ended: players have no defined objectives, but are instead encouraged to spend their time in the village performing any number of activities, which include collecting items, planting plants or other items, and socializing with the village’s residents. Animal Crossing games are played in real time, utilizing the video game console’s internal clock and calendar. Thus, passage of time in the game world reflects that in reality, as well as the current season and time of day. Some in-game events, such as holidays or the growth of a tree, occur at certain times or require some duration of time to have passed.

One notable feature of the Animal Crossing series is the high level of customization available, some of which affects the outcome of the game. The player character is both named and gendered by the real life player at the start of the game, and their appearance can be modified by buying or designing custom clothes and accessories or changing the hairstyle (introduced in Wild World). The player’s house can also be furnished, decorated, and later expanded: the player can purchase and collect furniture and place it anywhere in the house, as well as change both the wallpaper and floor designs. While its terrain, building locations, and initial residents are randomly generated when the game is first begun (except in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, in which the player decides between four given towns, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, in which the player similarly decides between four given islands), the village’s name and anthem, as well as some of the residents’ catchphrases, are also determined by the player.”

New Horizons is the newest instalment released this year and I knew none of this, but got to experience it firsthand.

So, I wish I could tell stories of how I created an entire colony of misfits or a horde of orc-like castles to populate my island, but I haven’t because the game forces you to put time into it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t appreciate what you create fully. In time I hope I can make something interesting.

Overall, the game really gave me Pokemon slash MineCraft vibes.

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