New Nintendo Switch game ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ is a perfect way to weather self-isolation

It's the wholesomeness we need to get through

The world is a weird and scary place at the moment. If you’re anything like us, you’ll find yourself constantly refreshing your Twitter feed to get the latest, anxiety inducing announcement or statistic about coronavirus. But new game Animal Crossing: New Horizons has arrived at the perfect time, as it’s the wholesome distraction you may be craving.

The adorable life simulation game has achieved the biggest ever UK launch of a Nintendo Switch Game (only beaten by Pokémon Sword and Shield combined – but they’re tracked separately in the UK charts), with millions of gamers worldwide plugging in.

Animal Crossing is a series of life simulation game – think The Sims, but weirder – and in New Horizons, you create a cutesy character who moves to a deserted island run by a racoon tycoon (try saying that twice) named Tom Nook. As days pass, you’ll learn to craft tools and furniture; seeds you planted will grow; and you’ll be able to explore more of your island, will gradually grow into a town of anthropomorphic animals.

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Basically, it’s the perfect distraction for these bizarre times. Because…

You can take it at your own pace

The gameplay is open-ended, meaning there is no set storyline to follow. You can explore the island at your own pace – with no rush to complete anything, you can leisurely enjoy your paradise island. There are no deadlines and no pressure to get things done ASAP, as sometimes you’ll just have to wait several days for your new fruit trees to grow, or for a building to finish being built.

It’s a great way to socialise with pals

Apps like Zoom and Houseparty have made it easy for large video calls with your pals.  Understandably, though, coronavirus can dominate the conversation. So why not communicate virtually as adorable humans living on animated deserted islands? Through Animal Crossing you can take a flight your mate’s islands and hang out there. While visiting, you can have a chat, harvest their native fruit, meet their villagers and have a nosy around their home. You can also send your friends letters – which seems like a much more wholesome way to communicate than via a WhatsApp message.

Credit: Nintendo

There isn’t a big bad boss

There’s literally no peril to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. You’re not fighting to find food or battling a final boss; instead the most stress you’ll endure is big ol’ decision of what colour you’re going to pick for your roof. It’s basically the antithesis of the current panic.

You can get creative

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You get to name your island, design your house and plant trees and flowers wherever you wish. You’re the architect of the island. We might be restricted to one walk outside day here in the UK, but at least you can let your imagination run wild.

It is categorically adorable

Animal Crossing: New Horizons looks gorgeous. The graphics are brilliant, and a lot of love has been put into the charming design work. Every characters is categorically adorable. You spend your days catching butterflies or fish to display in the museum, designing your new crib and gardening. In short: this is the wholesome content that’ll pull you through self-isolation.

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