Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Review Thread


Well-known member
Dec 11, 2018


Metacritic (91) | OpenCritic (92)


Eurogamer (essential):
Even some 90 hours in, Animal Crossing: New Horizons maintains its ability to surprise. It's how each day presents a new mystery to unravel, or a new visitor to hang out with - though often it's satisfying enough just to check in to see how your flowers are doing. I just went for another morning stroll, and spotted Billy the trouble-making goat running arms out through a copse of trees, a look of glee fixed on his face. I can't bring myself to make him leave; indeed, I think I properly like him now, for all his faults.

He's a keeper, and so too is Animal Crossing: New Horizons, probably the best this series has ever had to offer and therefore one of Nintendo's very best games to date. It presents a world absurd in its mundanity yet shot through with magic, offering an escapism that's reassuringly dependable. I just hope you weren't planning on playing anything else this year.

Polygon (no score):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a respite from the current state of the world. I find my general anxiety slowly subside as I run through my town, water my plants, and build furniture for the sassy chicken gentleman living down by the beach. It’s exactly what I need right now.

There are moments when I look up from a long session and realize that I’ve been ignoring everything around me. Then I take a look around at what actually is going on around me, and realize that maybe I’d better stay in my island paradise for a little while longer.

Kotaku (no score, video):
I found community here. Not a community shackled together by economy or industry, but one connected by mutual compassion. That doesn’t mean everyone is blithely ignorant of reality or brainwashed into mind-numbing positivity, but there’s an undercurrent of tenderness for your fellow animal that inspires each and every action we take. I know life is waiting for me back on the mainland. I know this can’t last forever. But in the meantime, I’m going to absorb as much from my time here as possible in the hopes of taking at least a little bit of Aurora back with me.

Ars Technica (approved):
People will talk about this game as an ideal escape during uncertain current events, but I'd like to emphasize how much I enjoyed AC:NH even when I had other viable social and outdoor entertainment options. Animal Crossing games have always delivered a compelling version of self-quarantine, and this one overflows with quantity, without sacrificing quality, to do so at a scale series fans have never seen. Consider this a very high recommendation for anyone who thinks shooting the breeze with neon-colored, gym-loving ponies and hot-pink, coffee-chugging kangaroos is a great idea for a video game.

EGM (no score, review in progress):
For now, Animal Crossing: New Horizons feels like a no-brainer for fans of the franchise, and a perfect place to start for newcomers—with the exception of ruining every other previous Animal Crossing game, should you ever want to go back to them.

Guardian (no score, review in progress):
Animal Crossing is everything I have been craving: it is gentle, soothing, social and creative, and my group chats are already buzzing with hype about beetles and villager fashions. If there was ever a perfect time for a game such as this, that time is now.

Mashable (no score):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons isn't a game that dazzles or gets the heart racing, that's for sure. The most exciting moments are when you manage to catch a tarantula or rare fish. But it doesn't need to elicit those kinds of emotions to be great.

The game is relaxing and soothing. That's it's strong suit and it nails it completely, making it easy to sink hours and hours into in a single day.

It is without a doubt the best entry in the series yet.

The Verge (no score):
It’s impossible to fully judge an Animal Crossing in such a short time. I’ve spent two weeks with the game, playing multiple times a day, and it feels like I’ve only scratched the surface. I wasn’t even able to test the online features in my prerelease copy of the game. Even still, the refinements that New Horizons makes to the formula are clear. It’s not a game that drastically changes how Animal Crossing works. If you found past entries boring or directionless, it’s unlikely the latest will change your mind. But if you already enjoy this kind of experience, if the idea of playing 20 minutes daily seems like an escape rather than a chore, this is the most refined iteration of that concept to date. And it’s one that promises to continue to change and group with regular events and updates.

It’s the video game equivalent of a relaxing getaway — and we could all use that kind of respite right now.

Waypoint (no score):
New Horizons is asking you to create a society from scratch, to build a community out of a deserted island, but making a community isn't dependent on how many trees you cut or weeds you pull. Community in New Horizons is built in the same ways it is built in the real world: by talking to your neighbors, and listening to them in return.

GameXplain (loved, video review)

Kinda Funny Games (podcast review)

Engadget (no score, video):
It may seem a bit frivolous, but all of the time I spent in the game was time spent avoiding political fights on Twitter, news about how we're ill-equipped to fight the coronavirus, and fretting about the fate of our civilization. Every moment spent in New Horizons is a moment I can breathe a bit easier, which feels like a miracle today.

Hollywood Reporter (no score):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the video game equivalent of lying in a hammock on a spring day, lemonade in one hand, a good book in the other. There are moments where the real world seeps in, particularly the chores that previous games haven’t presented before, but New Horizons does a good job of getting back to normal once that list is completed.

Tom Nook, you crazy tanooki, you’ve done it again. Now how much for this crucian carp? My loan’s not going to pay for itself.

Washington Post (no score):
I’m hooked on New Horizons, and I expect to be for a long time. It has a treasure trove of content that unfolds from day-to-day, month to month, and likely even year to year, since Nintendo announced seasonal events and post-launch content will come. I’m excited to see what else the game offers as I keep growing my town, one day at a time.

Gamepur (no score):
Let’s be realistic, this game isn’t for everyone, and a lot of people might feel tempted to get into the game from all the months of hype that has been circulating since this game was revealed last year, so if you’re on the fence, give yourself time to watch someone else play it before you invest the money into it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to tending to my island and making sure I am ready for the next big in-game event. I likely won’t be seeing any friends or family anytime soon with that museum of mine still left to fill up.

Los Angeles Times (no score):
For now, I just know I don’t want to turn off “New Horizons.” If I flip on NPR or even browse to this newspaper’s web page, I won’t be met by someone cheerfully saying, “There isn’t any news to report!”

So if social distance we must, then I found my happy place.

GeekDad (no score):
If you need a break from the real world, if you’re stuck inside and crave the wide-open spaces, if you are scared or sad or overwhelmed, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is there. It is exactly the game the world needs at this terrifying and tumultuous time, and it was well worth the wait.

MobileSyrup (no score):
When I take a step back and look at the title that Nintendo has shipped, I get excited not only when I think about what I’m going to do when I play tonight, but also what I’m going to be able to do in the future. I think that’s the best compliment I can give to a slow-paced life-simulation game like Animal Crossing.

WANT (no score, review in Dutch):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a game that will keep you going and is an absolute must-have for the Nintendo Switch!

The Enemy (no score, review in progress, review in Portuguese):
We will talk more about this in a few weeks in the full review, but it is worth mentioning, finally, how small technical and convenience improvements also help to the feeling that New Horizons is the best of the series. Things like the ability to donate several things at once to the museum, or to sell items (for 20% less) in a dropbox in front of the Nook store when the doors are closed. And also facts like that the game museum is an absolute delight, more stylish than many I have ever visited in the real world ...

Anyway: if you're a fan of Animal Crossing, you can dive without fear.

Vida Extra (no score):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a perfect game for a console like the Switch, without a doubt. I like to play it connected to the television to see everything very large, but also play in handheld mode which, due to its calm nature, is perfect to play a few games at night of "I'm going to see if I catch some fish and sell them."

Because in the end it's about that: working to earn money, in the form of berries, or in the form of miles, that allows you to continue growing. A bigger house, a better bed, a pot to make popcorn because who doesn't like that ...

Console Creatures (no score):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons launches at the perfect time and is the perfect game for the Nintendo Switch. In a world currently full of anxiety and uncertainty, what New Horizons offers is an excellent reprieve from our worldly stress. I find myself less worried about the issues around me and more invested in making Seaport the best place to live for its inhabitants. Aside from the slow start, once things fall into place and click, New Horizons shifts into the definitive experience for the series and easily one of the most engaging games the series has to offer. I can’t stop smiling and Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a ray of sunshine on a rainy day.

Time Magazine (no score):
New Horizons is chill. It lets you dip in and out without consequence. Every trip to your island is a delight, and every day you shape it a little bit more. Over the course of my days and weeks on my island, I had begun to change it into something I wanted. I could alter the flow of rivers, populate it with people I liked, and wander its forests at night looking for ghosts.

It was my choice. It was my island and, after two weeks of small gameplay sessions, I had come to feel responsible for it. I never again got gorked out on peaches and smashed all the island’s rocks. I built a sustainable land in a game built for sustainable, long-term play. It felt nice. It felt chill. It felt like island life.

British GQ (no score):
It’s weird to say that New Horizons doesn’t feel like a game at all. It’s more of a service – an essential. Yes, it’s fundamentally not that exciting when you think for more than a few moments about picking fruit or snagging bugs; yet it’s the kind of thing you just expect to have included with every Nintendo Switch. Because once you’ve played it you sort of can’t imagine not playing it. You’ll struggle to imagine a morning, or evening, or afternoon when you haven’t felt that persistent pull to escape to a better place. And a game like that has never come at a better time.

CGMagazine (10/10):
I love every second I’m playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I love its looks, I love its feel, and I’m genuinely excited for each new day and how my island will grow with it. It’s perfect for newcomers and fans, young and old alike. It was well worth the wait and well-deserving of the hype. Do not miss this one.

VGC (5/5):
New Horizons does more than enough to build on previous Animal Crossings and easily joins the list of software every Nintendo Switch owner should pick up. At a time when the world outside can often be quite scary, New Horizons is the comforting escape everyone needs.

God is a Geek (10/10, video):
I won’t apologise for sentimentality in a world that is ever increasingly moving towards anonymity and the cold. If you are looking forward to Animal Crossing: New Horizons as a long term fan, know that this is everything you could have hoped for, which is to say it’s more Animal Crossing with quality of life improvements on what might be the best console Nintendo’s ever put out. It’ll sell millions, earn new fans, and top play counts for years to come. Knowing my family will be playing this together for a long, long time, makes me feel like everything is going to be alright, and goodness, what more could you ask for?

Nintendo Life (10/10, video):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons takes Animal Crossing and not only drags it back onto home consoles, but improves upon every single facet imaginable. There's more to do, more to see, more to change, more to mould, and more to love; fans and first-time players are going to find themselves losing hours at a time gathering materials, creating new furniture, and making their island undeniably theirs. Every moment is unashamedly blissful, with excellently-written characters that truly feel alive and an island paradise that gives infinitely back more than you put in. Back when Animal Crossing: New Leaf hit the shelves all those years ago and created a whole new generation of fans, many people were wondering how Nintendo could possibly top it, but here we have our answer. This is a masterpiece that has been well worth waiting for.

Trusted Reviews (5/5):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the best game I’ve played this year, and immediately cements itself as one of the generation’s defining experiences. Fans will be playing it for years, watching as the seasons roll by and unveil the true potential of what has been created here.

Alongside the implementation of future updates and content created by players themselves, it’s only going to evolve into something greater, which is a triumphant achievement given the foundations are already that of a masterpiece. If you own a Switch, what are you waiting for?

Forbes (10/10):
I haven’t talked a lot about the game itself, really. There’s a bunch of stuff old and new here, like the ability to choose where people live, the way the island evolves, the DIY system that lets you make your own stuff, streamlined inventory management, the multiplayer system, the way you can now create and destroy land at a whim, etc. If you want to know more about that stuff, I’m sure there will be lots of other reviews that will go into them. But know that if you’re overwhelmed with the world, stuck inside, or adrift in a life that you know will look totally different next week — get Animal Crossing.

VG247 (5/5):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is everything I hoped it would be, and it’s yet another stellar release that showcases a confident Nintendo at its best. It is excellent, and is easily another must-own Switch title – at least, if you can understand and embrace Animal Crossing’s uniquely lazy pace.

Telegraph (5/5):
With a game this broad and lengthy, there’s more to discuss than I could fit in one review, but suffice it to say, this a game that Nintendo have clearly worked incredibly hard to get right. It shines at every moment, from the wind rustling through the trees, to the sunset glinting off the water to the jaunty tunes at the start of the day fading into more relaxing melodies in the evening. Add dozens of much needed quality of life features (hello player customisation, autosave, couch co-op, and eight-player online play) and it all adds up to the perfect DIY recipe for the most chilled out, relaxing, and engaging life simulator ever.

Daily Mirror (5/5):
Long time fans of Animal Crossing will have plenty to love with New Horizons and for younger players who may be unfamiliar with past entries, the appeal will become immediately apparent in its presentation. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a must play for any Nintendo Switch owner.

Daily Star (5/5):
Similar to how Breath of the Wild and Odyssey reimagined 3D Zelda and Mario, New Horizons represents an exciting new milestone for the Animal Crossing series.

By truly handing the player the reins, Nintendo has delivered a deeply customisable and effortlessly joyous experience which is, quite simply, an essential purchase for all Switch owners.

Nintendo Insider (10/10):
Above all else, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is an unbeatable feel-good experience and an essential purchase for anyone that owns a Nintendo Switch. As heartwarming as it is wholesome, Nintendo has delivered meaningful changes that help to structure your peaceful island existence. Every day has the potential to offer something new, and, thanks to that, it will be a game that many will enjoy investing countless hours (and Bells) in. Oh, and heroically leaping across rivers with the Vault Pole will never get old.

Gamereactor (10/10):
Is Animal Crossing: New Horizons the complete and definitive experience that fans of the franchise have been looking forward to? Absolutely. Beyond the excellent legacy that the series brings with it, the steps forward made by New Horizons are truly surprising, offering a very satisfying experience on every front. In the weeks that have gone by since we started playing, we have only scratched the surface of a game that aims to entertain its "villagers" with new features layered in a little at a time, drawing players in as the pace grows. There's so much to do and discover, and because of that, we think it's the best entry in the series to date. Animal Crossing: New Horizons gives both old and new players the chance to enjoy a unique and original experience, pulling them in with new activities and modes that manage to keep the experience feeling fresh throughout. When you step back and put it all together, Animal Crossing: New Horizons deserves nothing short of a perfect score.

Pocket Gamer UK (5/5):
Animal Crossing; New Horizons, much like its predecessors, operates outside of the boundaries of most games. While the most tension you'll ever feel is while sprinting away from wasps, there's a warmth and comfort in the code which you won't find almost anywhere else.

Pocket-lint (5/5):
Remarkably, for everything we've covered so far, we can't help feel we've only scratched the surface of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. We've only been playing the game for a couple weeks ourselves, albeit nonstop, so there is still much that even we need to do and experience.

But then, that's the fun of Animal Crossing. We were keen not to give away any significant spoilers, as the whole point of the series is surprise and discovery through exploration. However, we could have talked about so much more and still not given a whole lot away.

In many ways, we will be continuing our journey alongside yours, should you choose to take the plunge, and we're certain you'll be as enamoured by its delectable charms.

It must be said that, with its enhancements and extensions, Animal Crossing: New Horizons requires a fair amount of involvement to get the best from it. Indeed, it's so addictive it could end up taking over your real life. But boy does it reward you for your efforts.

Cubed3 (10/10):
As in the past games, this is rich with culture, community, humour, and charm. There's a reason why the series has such a dedicated fan base - and with such hype, there's always the worry that the expectations may not match reality. However, New Horizons exceeds expectations in every way. It proves to be the ideal gateway game for many people and, with added touches of magic, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is perfect for players old and new.

TheGamer (5/5):
Overall, playing New Horizons was well worth the wait. The game is relaxing, enjoyable, well thought out, and fantastic chilled out fun for all ages. Right now, we really need a distraction from the chaos around us, and this game has come at the perfect time. So relax, hop on that plane, and enjoy your new life on the beach, in the woods, or even by the river. The choice is yours.

But Why Tho? (10/10):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is an incredible experience and is, without a doubt, my favorite in the whole series. The formula is familiar for returning fans, yet still manages to feel like an enormous breath of fresh air. It truly is a distinctive, positive, and rewarding simulation that lets you become fully immersed in a fun, colorful, stress-free environment. While it still has its confusing moments, especially for new players, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was definitely worth the seven-year wait and is better than I could have ever hoped for.

Switch Player (5/5):
Time apart can be good for the soul and New Horizons is proof of just that. Seven years in the making, this is the definitive Animal Crossing experience. This is as close as it gets to Animal Crossing perfection.

GameSkinny (10/10):
The latest Animal Crossing is also the best, full of life, charm, and near-endless ways to make your very own island paradise.

We Got This Covered (5/5):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the perfect getaway from daily life, putting players in a serene world where the only thing that matters is catching fish and arranging furniture. Its crafting system creates a sense of ownership over the island while also doubling as a creative outlet. It's an absolutely delightful and refreshing experience.

Cheat Code Central (4.9/5):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons could end up being the most important game of 2020. It certainly will be one of its best. It will be the coping mechanism that helps people both recover from and overcome the dark things around them.

GamesBeat (95/100, video):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is fantastic. It is the best Animal Crossing game ever made. I’ve played for 60 hours, and I don’t want to stop. And those first 60 hours far surpass the enjoyment I got from the first 60 hours in New Leaf, Wild World, or the original.

Nintendo has found new ways to make Animal Crossing rewarding. It’s also found fun new styles of play that still feel like they belong.

The best thing I can say about New Horizons is that I think it’s going to win over some players who previously bounced off the franchise. And it will do so without losing any longtime fans in the process. Those players will find more to love than ever before.

Famitsu (9/9/10/10) (9.5/10, review in Italian):
New Horizons is the crown jewel in the beloved Animal Crossing franchise: Nintendo managed to surpass every expectations by refining the gameplay with a plethora of features which improve visuals, quality of life and customization.

Gamerheadquarters (9.5/10):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the sequel I’ve been waiting for, providing countless hours of gameplay and being a near perfect experience. It’s definitely been modernized, while retaining that classic style of play that has become so iconic. I’m not sure why it took them so long for this to release, as the series has been sparse releases wise but I’m so happy to be playing it once again. It’s something that anyone can easily enjoy, and just sink hours or days into.

JVL (19/20, review in French):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a breath of fresh air. With its cute design and its content which becomes more and more interesting and supplied every day as it progresses, addiction is undoubtedly at the rendezvous. Huge sandbox designed to last, Nintendo clearly has a must have on Switch here.

Pure Nintendo (9.5/10):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons hit every checkbox for me. It’s clear in their handling of New Horizons that Nintendo truly cares about this series and understands its value to its audience.

GamingTrend (95/100):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is easily the best Animal Crossing game to date. This life simulator is the most immersive, feature-filled, and customizable to date, having exponentially amplified all the charm and addicting qualities of New Leaf. A must have for any fan of the series, or anyone who simply needs a distraction from the current state of the real world.

Wccftech (94/100):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the biggest reinvention of the series' mechanics and core gameplay loop, and that also makes it the best entry yet. This is a completely new kind of Animal Crossing experience while retaining everything you loved about the previous games. You'll spend hours catching fish and bugs, making money to pay off your loan, and do it while having more power over how you customise your experience than ever before. I adore Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and this is quickly becoming one of my most-played games on Nintendo Switch. If you've ever had a love slow-paced social sims like Animal Crossing or The Sims, this game is essential.

The Games Machine (9.4/10, review in Italian):
If you've never played a game in the series, New Horizons is a great start. On the other hand, if you are already familiar with Animal Crossing, you will find a good amount of nostalgia but also pleasant little news, which will make this new adventure worthy of being lived day by day.

Areajugones (9.3/10, review in Spanish):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a video game that does not come to reinvent the wheel and that, luckily and despite the fact that the franchise could ask for it, it flees from the current concept of game as a service and remains faithful to a very strong design philosophy . Calm, 'good vibes' and a love of detail remain the foundation on which Nintendo builds a delightful experience capable of trapping and entertaining us for dozens and dozens of hours.

Nintendo has done it again, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons not only takes us to new horizons, it also takes new horizons for both the franchise and the genre. A punch on the table with an outstanding work that is placed right now among the best in the Nintendo Switch catalog.

Spaziogames (9.3/10, review in Italian, video):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons represents the perfect sum of what Animal Crossing has been up to now, proposing the good things done from previous episodes and enriching it with new contents and new mechanics. He does not reinvent anything, he does not revolutionize anything but, like New Leaf before him, he messes up the cards on the table to give us a fresh and different experience than the previous ones. For this, New Horizons manages to steal the title of best episode of the series from its predecessor, taking the series to new heights.

Now you just have to wait a few days: Tom Nook is waiting for you on the island, and with him thousands of new adventures.

LevelUp (9.3/10, review in Spanish):
Thanks to new customization possibilities, a lot of classic charm and many QOL improvements, Animal Crossing: New Horizons stands as the best of the franchise so far. This game builds a community sense in different levels, something that we need at present time.

COGconnected (92/100, video):
Like I said at the very start, it’s near impossible to stack this game against anything but itself. Other companies have tried to bite this style before, but no one’s really succeeded. To that end, how good of an Animal Crossing game is New Horizons? You build it all, from the houses to the essential infrastructure. You recruit the residents, build the stores, and stock the museum. You decide the look of your own home, right down to the wallpaper. You can fish, dig, harvest, and haul your way to independent wealth. You can do it all, in other words. I always knew Animal Crossing games as something you played for like, 30 minutes a day at most. Grab some fruit, chat to your neighbors, call it a day. This game will take over your whole dang life, but in a really fun way. If you’ve ever had even a whiff of interest in this franchise, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be an absolute slam dunk. Don’t sleep on this one for a second.

IGN Italy (9.2/10, review in Italian):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is pure mathematics: it gives as much love as it receives and becoming attached to it is a matter of moments. Or, for those who have already known the warmth of his embrace in the past, even less. This new version puts more responsibility than ever on the shoulders of the player, which also corresponds to a greater feeling of freedom and various methods to make each game session more interesting and fruitful, which is a big step forward. The desire for revolution twenty years after the debut remains unsatisfied, but put aside what is almost a whim, it remains a deep and inimitable game, moreover never more so elegant even for the eyes. In a world that seeks love, Animal Crossing: New Horizons can also be an answer. (9.2/10, review in Italian):
Animal Crossing New Horizons is a beautiful Zen garden and it is now more than ever: the possibilities are further, through new ways to earn little stars and the Nook miles that add goals that improve the sense of general progression. Do-it-yourself adds an additional participatory element, pushing collection and creation rather than mere economic accumulation. Everything works great, in a game of joints that finds its definitive form on Switch.

Atomix (92/100, review in Spanish):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is just the game we wanted and much more. This franchise demonstrates once more why it is so special.

Cerealkillerz (9.2/10, review in German):
Good things take time, a luxury that benefits Animal Crossing in particular! New Horizons extends the life simulation with an impressive island building simulator that is bursting with creativity and richness of detail. This makes the trip to your own oasis of wellbeing a fantastic gaming experience that knows how to inspire for many weeks and months.

Nintenderos (9.1/10, review in Spanish):
Start from scratch on a deserted island, collect resources to help its growth, form a small community, progress to get an idyllic place we dream of and, when we think that there is nothing else on the horizon, millions of players will share with us their own vision of our own story. A different and deep game, something that is undoubtedly a sensation that lovers of video games should experience.

IGN (9/10, video):
The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, and Super Mario each found new life on the Nintendo Switch, and following those games in kind is Animal Crossing: New Horizons: An expanded, polished, next-generation reboot of a classic Nintendo game. Perhaps most importantly, like Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is full of surprises. I cannot wait to see what's to come: Seeing cool custom islands from the community, special events, season changes. It took too long to get to the most exciting part of my island renovation (until I cheated), but now that all of New Horizons is spread before me, I have plenty to do, big plans for my island, and so much to look forward to. (9/10, review in French):
The fresh thrill of discovering an uninhabited atoll tends to fade once such wild life gets cosier with crafted items, buildings, shops and incoming residents, until it looks like a village from the previous iterations. But the larger size of this wholly reshapable island, the customization's vertiginous level and the improved community interactions create an even more fertile ecosystem, hence Animal Crossing can slowly though decidedly stare further, towards New Horizons, equipped with an ever updating NookPhone.

Game Informer (9/10):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is designed to be played over a long period of time, with certain items and events available at different times of the year. This review is based on playing the game daily over several weeks. That’s enough to evaluate the basic progression and mechanics, but questions remain about series staples like seasonal changes and special festivals around real holidays. To address the natural evolution of New Horizons throughout the year, we’re planning on updating this review several times, evaluating the new content and revisiting the score if appropriate.

USgamer (4.5/5):
Animal Crossing: New Leaf remains the pinnacle of the series, but New Horizons brings with it a bunch welcome quality of life changes, such as terraforming the island to your every whim. The addition of crafting isn't a burden as I worried it would be. In fact, it becomes a fun objective to work toward, effectively diversifying the usual chores of selling bugs and fish to pay your never-waning debts to that rascally raccoon. With real-world headlines more harrowing than ever, there's never been a better time to go on vacation within Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

My Nintendo News (9/10):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a beautifully relaxing title – exactly as it should be. With so much to offer in the coming months, such as seasonal events and new NPC characters we have yet to encounter, it’s a rewarding game that takes pride in its little moments of heart-warming joy. If you’re an Animal Crossing fan, you don’t want to miss this.

Screen Rant (4.5/5):
It may not be the most technically impressive or innovative game ever created, but Animal Crossing: New Horizons is one of the most enjoyable releases over the last couple years. While it's tough to say how well it will hold up over a span of months or years - and that is one of the selling points - it's not difficult to wholeheartedly recommend as yet another incredible Nintendo Switch exclusive.

XGN (9/10, review in Dutch):
Animal Crossing New Horizons delivers on all fronts. Even though you know what to expect, the game manages to surprise you in meaningful ways that'll keep you playing for hundreds of hours. The localisation could've been better, but that doesn't impact the fun that you're guaranteed to have.

TheSixthAxis (9/10, video):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the perfect island escape, drawing you in to play day after day. All of the charms of the series' previous games are here, but with gorgeous new graphics, DIY crafting and the eventual ability to remodel your island, you can really create the island settlement of your dreams.

Vandal (9/10, review in Spanish, video):
Animal Crossing is back with the most complete entry so far, full of options to make this virtual world truly yours. It makes the series feel fresh while keeping its essence intact.

Metro GameCentral (9/10):
Animal Crossing finally gets a sequel that moves the franchise forward, in a surprisingly timely release that is perfect for this year in terms of both its gameplay and its philosophy.

Eurogamer Italy (9/10, review in Italian):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is refined by the technological evolution of the last decade and the experience gathered with New Leaf and the various spin-off titles: the new game has a soul that has always been present in the franchise, but never fully expressed as today . All that remains is to wait for the launch and hope for a far-sighted management of the free updates and (not yet confirmed) microtransactions, crowning a title very close to conceptual and executive perfection.

GameMAG (9/10, review in Russian):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons significantly expands the functionality of New Leaf, but remains the same familiar game in the genre of contemplative life simulator. It is a very competent, detailed project of amazing, subtle beauty, which must be in the collection of every owner of the Nintendo Switch.

GamePro (90/100, review in German):
Animal Crossing New Horizons creates a versatile and deep life simulation despite peaceful island life.

Glitched Africa (9/10):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is not for everyone. Its snail-pace progression may turn you off and its tedious mechanics can be an issue to get through at times. However, it acts as an escape from the world for a few hours where you can build your dream island, run around in the rain in your undies and catch a whale shark with a flimsy fishing rod. There’s a lot to love about the game but there’s also a lot to hate. One thing is for sure, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is like adopting a pet, you will be stuck with it for months and years ahead as you nurture it and love it every single day. (9/10, review in Dutch):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons puts the nice, relaxed gameplay as we know it in a beautiful new jacket. The new quest and crafting systems are smart innovations for new players and veterans alike, and combined with a host of minor tweaks, Nintendo has managed to grow the series without losing its charm.

Meristation (9/10, review in Spanish):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the best entry of the series so far, but it is not the ultimate Animal Crossing yet. There are some minor flaws, but nothing really noticeable. Its quality of life details, the daily routine of grabbing some fruit, chatting to your neighbors or looking for surprises, plus the very new mechanics are so delightful that we can only say good things about one of the most rewarding Nintendo experiences yet.

GamesRadar (4.5/5, video):
This is an Animal Crossing game through and through, and although that comes with some time-based frustrations, that urge to just spend 'five more minutes' on your island deepens with every passing day. As your island evolves and starts to drip-feed fresh things to discover and see, you'll have the urge to check up on your toe bean-boasting critters on a daily basis more than ever before. Animal Crossing: New Horizons has perfected the gameplay loop the series is famed for, and somehow manages to keep its steady pace relevant in a world where there are plenty of genre rivals. Prepare yourself for spending many a year to come with Tom Nook and co.

TechRadar (4.5/5):
Like most life sims, Animal Crossing forms a highly symbiotic relationship with its players—basically you’ll get out of it what you put into it. New Horizons is in part so enjoyable because it feels like it’s offering and giving back even more than previous games in the series. If there's one thing that you need to know about Animal Crossing: New Horizons it's that it really wants you to have a nice time, whatever your idea of a nice time actually is.

Animal Crossing has always had a very distinct charm that other games can mimic well but never quite surpass; that charm has been retained, even enhanced, in New Horizons. All of the elements of the series that have appealed to fans in the past are here but with greater depth and more refinement—it's a genuine pole-vault forward that will appeal to veteran residents and newcomers alike.

VideoGamer (9/10):
It’s 2020. We are only three months into this year, and there’s a long (bumpy, lurching, and memeful) road to recovery ahead of us. If we were in a swirling blizzard, Animal Crossing: New Horizons would be a tiny tea light whose flame flickers but never extinguishes. It’s a source of light and warmth, despite it all, and it’s doing its best to comfort us. This island is a haven. We’ll share it all together.

Millenium (90/100):
With fully customizable gameplay and a game experience that changes daily, Animal Crossing New Horizons is the perfect companion for a dream life. Having kept the basics and the principles of the franchise, Nintendo has introduced some great new features that allow even more total immersion in this bubble of tranquility. Whether it's with the ability to shape your island as you wish, more customisation than ever before, or the addition of a crafting system, while keeping the basics of the franchise, this new game fully meets the expectations of fans and will even manage to convert even the most sceptical.

Gayming Magazine (4.5/5):
Animal Crossing has never been a game for the impatient – events come and go at their own pace, and having to wait for something to occur or become available is just an extention of the series’ zen-like sense of calm. What will be, will be, and what’s really important – in Animal Crossing as in life – is just being nice to the people you share the world with. New Horizons is a well-timed reminder of that.

PC Games (9/10, review in German, video):
The Nintendo life simulation is simply the perfect antithesis to "stressful" games, it doesn't want anything from me, it doesn't take my hand, it just spreads a good mood. Compared to New Leaf, I don't miss anything (so far), on Törtel-Insel (??) it was far too easy to make coal. I could have really done without the destructible tools in New Horizons, but that's my biggest criticism. Crafting is generally much more fun than I would have thought (even if it sometimes takes a little time). By the way, the absolute showpiece in my village is my museum. I loved the building in all its parts, and it has never looked as fantastic as in New Horizons. When I watch the tuna I have been fishing swimming through a shoal of sardines in the huge seawater pool, my heart opens. I'm excited to see how the game evolves. Animal Crossing is of course not the easiest game to test in this regard because you are so tied to the course of hours, days, weeks and months. But I'm guaranteed not to stop visiting and beautifying my island so quickly. And who knows, maybe one of you will visit me soon? I would be glad!

ActuGaming (9/10, review in French, video):
Animal Crossing New Horizons is the game that fans have been hoping for for years. And even more since with its more classic mechanisms, it should convince a lot of undecided who are interested in the universe while being a little afraid of boredom. It's still just as relaxing but it's even more addicting. Everything is not exactly perfect, especially not the single island per console, and in two weeks complicated to form an opinion on such a game. The rating you see here may seem high but what we have seen, and what that we have yet to see, proves that this is a very solid episode. However, we do not rule out updating this review or publishing an additional article in a few months to offer you a more complete assessment. (18/20, review in French):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the pinnacle of the formula. All player profiles can be found there, but it also allows you to fulfill old fan fantasies by giving them full control of their city. Thought to be played over long periods despite a short (but expandable) daily gameplay loop, it is up to the player to set their own goals. Feel good game par excellence, even old ergonomics linked to the series have been smoothed for an experience with little onions and satisfying as much as possible. With its gargantuan content diluted over time (and despite some questionable design decisions), I hardly see how the formula can still improve. Given the current context, this new Animal Crossing is surely the best that could have happened to the Switch, just to change the air.

JVFrance (9/10, review in French):
Like Proust enjoying his madeleine with pleasure, we play Animal Crossing: New Horizons with greed and with a lot of nostalgia. Especially since Nintendo adds some very interesting features that make the adventure even more lively and engaging: mainly crafting and terraforming. The original recipe also benefits from clear and very consistent improvements, thus offering an adventure that we devour with pleasure. The overall rendering on Nintendo Switch is really good and the experience in portable mode makes any gaming session a pure moment of relaxation. To discover and devour without moderation! (9/10, review in Polish):
In case of Animal Crossing, a dull slogan like “this game is addictive” becomes true. I have been, with utmost pleasure, fishing, and planting flowers; I have decorated my house and talked to the residents of the island, and it was all fun. And even though I've spend more than 50 hours with New Horizons, there are still lots I of things haven’t seen. If you own a Switch and like splendid grind, you simply have to play it.

Just Push Start (9/10):
There is no denying Animal Crossing: New Horizons won’t appeal to everyone. However, given how so many things have changed, it’s nice to have a routine and other mundane tasks that give your life a sense of normalcy. Not only is it relaxing in general, it’s the kind of escape that is perfect in a time when things are everything but. It might not be the best in terms of pacing, but anyone willing to invest in this adventure and give the simple charms a genuine try will likely be surprised by just how fun it can be.

Tech Advisor (4.5/5):
The hype for Animal Crossing: New Horizons wasn’t an exaggeration - it’s relaxing, heart-warming and an all-round beautiful game for the Switch that is likely to sit up with other legendary Nintendo games like Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey for years to come.

Carole Quintaine (18/20, review in French):
Animal Crossing New Horizons is simply adorable! Its world full of colors, its cute look and its multitude of possibilities make it an absolutely awesome and extremely generous game. The crafting allows a very satisfying experience, you can do just about anything on your island and transform it radically at your leisure. This exotic adventure is a real piece of paradise and the feeling of freedom is total. (9/10, review in Czech):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons will easily become your lovely new daily routine. Every day you’ll be coming back and discovering something new, you won’t be feeling alone even in sinlgeplayer and you’ll become a part of a community that will transform a tropical island into a paradise on Earth (just forget about the couch coop, though).

GamingBolt (9/10):
Minor annoyances aside, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is an absolute gem. It is a charming, adorable game that takes you away on a magical, peaceful getaway, where everything is calm and relaxed and, most importantly, fun. In the world that we live in right now, it’s exactly the sort of game all of us need. It’s the culmination of the series’ formula, the zenith of everything Animal Crossing is about, and one of the best games Nintendo have produced in years.

GameSpew (9/10):
There has never been a better time for a new Animal Crossing game to arrive. It cannot fix what’s going on in the world right now, but Animal Crossing: New Horizons gives us the joyful, meditative escape that so many of us desperately need right now. Whether you’re young or old, you’ll find something to like. What isn’t to love about customising your dream island and being able to sit on a bench by the beach, listening to the waves, just because you can? Nothing I can think of, that’s for sure.

Shacknews (9/10):
If your Switch has been sitting in the corner collecting dust since the last big Nintendo release, and you want something to sink your teeth into, I highly recommend picking up Animal Crossing: New Horizons and getting lost in the beautiful – if not sometimes menial – work that Tom Nook has waiting for you

Digitally Downloaded (4.5/5):
We all need games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and while I don't think it's perfect by any means, and some of the new elements this time around come at the expense of what made previous titles so wonderful, the winning charm is still there in full.

Worth Playing (9/10):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons offers players a plethora of things to do at a very measured pace. The slow build does well to lull players into a cadence and get them used to some of the basics before going full bore — while still managing to be a relaxing jaunt. Solo play is near-perfect with the new additions that make this feel different from previous outings, while multiplayer is a treat even if some of the methods can feel slightly archaic. Ultimately, this is the kind of long-term game you want to get addicted to because it has a wealth of things to discover and do.

EDGE Magazine (9/10):
To play New Horizons is to retreat to a fairer, kinder place, where even the supposed bad guy is a philanthropist who gives you interest-free loans you can pay off at your leisure. Animal Crossing has always been a pleasure; never has it felt quote so essential. (9/10, review in Norwegian):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons feels like an ideal continuation of a well-established game series, with all the right improvements, without sacrificing the good, home-made feeling of playing an Animal Crossing game. This is a perfect friend and family game that is safe for kids of all ages, while I think the game's humor hits players of all age groups.

In a strange and trying time, I've found tranquility and immense joy in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Whether I've been playing alone or visiting friends' islands, I've had many, many hours of fun with the game, and I'm looking forward to continuing the island life, building an ever-larger house, paying off a disturbingly large mortgage from Tom Nook, and get to know all the wonderfully funny and weird animals that come to my island.

Game Revolution (4.5/5):
Despite some of Animal Crossing: New Horizons‘ new features disappointing, in almost every other department this is much more of what series’ fans love. More customization, more freedom, and a greater sense of progression and purpose make this the definitive Animal Crossing game and a must-have Nintendo Switch exclusive. A perfect entry-point for series’ newcomers and a warm comfort blanket for veterans, this is what I wanted out of my favorite series’ Switch debut.

Two Beard Gaming (9/10):
I honestly love Animal Crossing: New Horizons, as it stands it was one of four must-buys for me this year and it’s definitely not let me down. I’ve played it everyday since release and I think I’m gradually unlocking bits of progress. Currently waiting on the visitor centre to be upgraded to see what new things Tom Nook has to offer. I’d 100% recommend it to anyone after a chilled gaming experience.

Checkpoint Gaming (9/10):
In these difficult times we’re in, I’m glad Animal Crossing: New Horizons is there to help me hang out with my friends and loved ones. It’s the perfect game to play if you’re going to be stuck inside for a few weeks. There’s always a reason to switch it on, whether that be shopping, crafting, or getting silly with some friends. Happy relaxing!

Hobby Consolas (88/100, review in Spanish):
A perfect evolution of the Animal Crossing formula; It is faithful to the structure of the saga, but it multiplies our customization possibilities to infinity, adds depth to all activities and promises an endless duration, in which new events throughout the year never cease to amaze us.

Power Unlimited (86/100, review in Dutch):
Under the illusion of a relaxed island existence, this Animal Crossing gives you more to do, experience and build than ever before, all in a thoughtful, pleasant, time-and-time seductive way, making it the ultimate AC. An enrichment of my existence where I hope to spend many days, months and years.

Destructoid (8.5/10, video):
Honestly, 18 days is far too little time to generate a comprehensive assessment of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. There is still much I don't know about this game, including how in-game purchases will ultimately be incorporated. But based on what I have been able to experience, it's what I've wanted Animal Crossing to be for many years. While it fumbles its camping-inspired opening, New Horizons makes a nice recovery with a strong focus on player accomplishment, creating a potent sense of achievement in this idyllic piece of escapism.

Critical Hit (8.5/10):
While other life sims often place things on a timeline, barring you from doing too much in a day because of limitations like energy meters, Animal Crossing just leaves you be to do whatever you want to do. Having the game take place in real-time makes everything you do feel like it was done on purpose and ensures that you’ll always be back to see what’s been happening in your little town the next day. New Horizons is an almost endless game that wants you to keep playing it for weeks and weeks but it doesn’t do that through cheap microtransactions and dumb paywalls. It does it by being utterly pleasant in almost every single facet of its design. You won’t come back to Animal Crossing: New Horizons because you feel like you have to. You’ll keep coming back because you want to. (8.5/10, review in Italian):
It's a special game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. An addictive diversion that allows you to escape from the daily routine to discover an alternative, made of flowers to plant, of strange talking animals, of a wandering disengagement between rivers and beaches.

3DJuegos (8.5/10, review in Spanish):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a right evolution in the series, based on customization, looting and crafting. Definitely, the biggest title in the AC franchise, but also a very conservative one.

IGN Benelux (8.5/10, review in Dutch):
In the end, that's what Animal Crossing is about: the endless loop of short, daily play sessions where you might be working on your debt, or see what has changed in your absence. The goals the game sets for you, such as paying off debts and building furniture for new residents, are just to unlock new systems and objects. As in real life, you will have to set your own goals to stay interested. This is not for everyone, of course, but the creative spirit who likes to build something will enjoy New Horizons for hours - if not years - of fun. Give it a shot and this virtual life will become a regular part of your real life. (17/20, review in French):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is timely to offer us a change of scenery by proxy. There is no doubt that this is a good investment to occupy the long weeks to come. The multitude of things to do (and still to discover!), The system of objectives and the possibility of modifying each corner of its island should enthuse the faithful and perhaps convince others sensitive to crafting. To summarize as briefly as possible, the series has managed to evolve without betraying the spirit of the previous parts: to spend peaceful days and do what we want, without pressure. Possibly, New Horizons is the breath of fresh air we needed.

Nintendo World Report (8.5/10, updated review):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a whole new approach to the series. While it has created some downsides, I can't understate how great this game has come together. The overall flow has been expanded with Nook Miles goals, DIY projects, and very lively animal friends. What I'm impressed by is how I was never left without something to do, and how I could see the world improve around me. There are a few things that New Horizons could have explained better, but they are also part of the more free flowing future that the franchise wants. Even after all these years, there is a daily routine that I hold dear and makes me adore the various elements that glue this game together. It has been sharply dialed up to eleven, without disagrading any newcomers.

IGN Spain (8.2/10, review in Spanish):
Animal Crossing: New Horizons change the game in a lot of subtle but meaningful ways, giving it more depth, freedom and a better flow.

Video Chums (8.1/10):
This latest Animal Crossing delivers the same charm and laidback fun that fans love. Plus, it provides more structure with its nifty Nook Miles system. In the end, this is a game that you'll be glad to pick up and play in short bursts for weeks, months, or even years.

GameSpot (8/10, review in progress, video):
New Horizons certainly has a slower pace than other Animal Crossing games, partially because you have to work to get things up and running on the island at the start. And while I'm impatient to discover what upgrades might be coming my way (and I need to mess around with Island Designer more), I still feel as though I've done a lot on my island. I've crafted tons of furniture, upgraded my house seven times, picked thousands of weeds, and done far too many drastic outfit changes. I'm as excited to see what random events await me each morning as I am to decorate my island and make it my own, and that's sure to keep me coming back for the foreseeable future. (80/100, review in German, video):
With Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Nintendo has achieved an incredibly charming island adventure from which it is difficult to break free. You explore, collect, build, communicate and determine the pace of the game yourself. The new museum is a real feast for the eyes, and the miles-based award program is surprisingly motivating. Here and there you can even get really creative. It's also New Horizons a game that can get bored in the long run due to its many reps. But monotony and routine are repeatedly broken up by special events and visitors. In addition, you will discover many loving details if you make the area unsafe with up to three friends. If you share a console, you also have to share the island, which you can criticize as well as the incomprehensible speech. In addition, I would have preferred a cloud save option, more touch support and a larger ring menu for tool selection. But the bottom line is that long-term entertainment is good on the island.

National Post (8/10):
The main takeaway here isn’t that Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a jumping off point for serious discussions about our culture. It’s actually kind of the opposite. It’s a blissfully lighthearted and colourful game filled with charm, humour — I giggled aloud the first time I caught a black bass, described in-game as “the most metal of all fish” — and a much needed sense of normalcy that comes at a time when we could all use a little pick-me-up.

And if our current social isolation should stretch from days into weeks and months, I’m pretty sure there’ll still be plenty to do each day on my little friend-filled island.

GAMINGbible (8/10, video):
While New Horizons doesn't do much - or anything at all, really - to win over anyone who didn't "get" Animal Crossing previously, veteran fans and interested newcomers alike will find 2020's sweetest, most wholesome game yet.

Digital Trends (4/5):
While Animal Crossing games are undoubtedly divisive in how “fun” they are, if you’re at all on the fence, you should absolutely pick up this game. Its one-of-a-kind playstyle, updated and expanded features, and ability to cater to fans of different elements, there’s a reason the franchise is so beloved.

Especially as countries cope with the coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, by social distancing and staying home, this is precisely the type of game that’s perfect for anyone looking to get away without leaving the house.

Tom's Guide (4/5):
There are few greater feelings than coming home from a long day of class, booting up Animal Crossing: New Horizons and seeing the adorable face of my character smiling at the screen. It often sends me to a different world, one in which is uninhabited by life’s greatest troubles. Collecting seashells, catching critters, and talking to animals is incredibly therapeutic, regardless of the game’s dull moments. If you're looking for a joyful, relaxing Nintendo Switch game filled with charm and plenty of activities to keep you busy, New Horizons will fit the bill and then some.

London Evening Standard (4/5):
New Horizons serves as a panacea to the evils of this world - so do yourself a favour and dim the lights, get comfortable and dive in without reserve and pretend the real world around you isn’t completely on fire.

Gamekult (8/10, review in French):
Lots to say about Animal Crossing: New Horizons. While it pushes the limits of the formula to the maximum, it's exactly what was expected. Over the years, its mechanisms are now well oiled and roll on their own. However, by a beautiful winter light when we pick up a seashell on the beach, or when we witness the sudden appearance of this last butterfly that is missing in the museum, it delights. We recommend individual adventure, even selfish, to better shape each piece of land on the island. But at the time of the self isolating, it would be wrong to refuse this bubble, so sweet, and much more time consuming than were its predecessors. It's good, Nook, you won, you deserved my hundreds of thousands of bells.

The Independent (4/5):
New Horizons is at its best when it is at its most ambitious. The slightly indulgent fixation on object-collecting and object-displaying that has long been a key strand of Animal Crossing’s appeal is in full force here; much more interesting are the ways in which you can customise the island itself. From choosing where buildings are located, to landscaping, to building bridges and paths, the game gives you plenty of ways to make it feel like the setting is truly your dominion.

New Horizons’ sugary innocence won’t be for everyone. But for those young enough, or young-spirited enough at least, to buy into its charms, there’s no warmer comfort blanket on offer.

JeuxActu (16/20, review in French):
Animal Crossing New Horizons is a good entry in the series with it's new features like terraforming and crafting, but overall it's not a revolution, and it surely won't convince gamers who dislike the IP.

GameCrate (8/10):
New Horizons is a great evolution for the Animal Crossing franchise. As always Nintendo has integrated some amazing innovations into the formula, but in the process made some really weird design decisions that detract from the fun.

Niche Gamer (8/10):
Lots small details and progress, that build up over time into something greater. If you’re looking for a challenge or an epic quest, you won’t find it here. If you want a way to chill out, and build something you can take pride in (albeit, once), then Tom Nook has the perfect package for you.


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