Giving Animal Crossing a Fresh Coat of Paint
I’ve been meaning to get this written up but playing this and other new games on top of the holidays had me a bit too distracted. Here I am though following up on version 2.0 of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. From what Nintendo says, this will be the final major update though. There have been a couple of bug fixes but that’s all we’re likely to see. There’s only so much you can do with a game like Animal Crossing and this update shows that. The update was split into 2 part, one free one and one that is available through paid DLC or by subscribing to Nintendo’s new higher tier online package.The free DLC is made up of a number of little parts. The part that I thought was going to be most interesting (and actually probably is though that’s a low bar) was the return of Kapp’n. The pier has existed since the start of the game but was nothing more than an extension from the beach to fish off of. Kapp’n is there with his boat as a way to visit new islands. Sadly, he still sings his annoying songs that you have to sit through to get to the islands. It costs 1000 bells to travel which is half that of a plane flight with no need to go buy a ticket first. Overall, the island is pretty boring. You can find a shard of a gyroid that you have to take home, plant, and water. The next day, if you dig it up, you’ll have a gyroid like the ones you dug up in the earlier games. Also on the island will be another bottle with a DYI recipe in it. You might get an island with vines that you can use to climb to a higher level without a ladder and that can be picked up and used as part of recipes. Sometimes you will find vegetables ready to pick and replant on your island. If you’re really lucky, you’ll find an island with shooting stars. You can wish on them just like you do on your island and then check the beach on your island the next day for pieces. The shooting star island will also have a few pieces on the beach as well and, most importantly, the rocks on the island will give you the constellation pieces instead of ore or bells. Since you can only travel once a day, you just have to try every day and hope you get lucky enough which I happened to do once so far. I find myself going to the island to dig up the gyroid piece, grab the recipe, and leave unless it’s the shooting star island. There’s nothing on the island that you can’t do on your own unless you want to get extra ore or wood and maybe grab a shrub to take back. The fruit is always the one from your island along with coconuts.
Back on your island, if you visit the museum, you’ll be asked to check an island for Brewster who will open his cafe, The Roost, there in the museum afterward. There, you can buy a coffee to drink but it does nothing for you other than be a scene. You can get a to-go drink which you can carry around but not drink. It’s just an object and can be placed somewhere like any other item. You can use amiibos to get villagers to come by the cafe but the interaction level was underwhelming. Supposedly, if you visit enough, Brewster will do stuff for you, but I never actually used it enough to get anything useful. Another place to check out is Harv’s island. Previously, you could go there to take pictures or to take part in some events like the wedding. This time around, the area behind his house is opened up and you can raise money to get shops to open up from character like Kicks, Sahara, and Redd that you see come by your island periodically. Their goods seem to rotate out weekly. Make sure you save some room if you want to do any of the food recipes. You can plan plants from the island or that you get from Leif to grow wheat, sugar cane, tomatoes (ok, technically a fruit), potatoes, and carrots. You will get 1-3 when ripe depending on how often you watered them. You can get a bunch of new recipes but other than using created items to display on the island, the food has the same effect as eating fruit.
Another place to go from the airport is the area of the new DLC. You get roped into a job at the Happy Home Paradise. You’ll have an option to go to work at the airport which will take to an island run by Lottie where you design homes for the villagers visiting the island. The villagers may be new or ones that had been on your island before (They won’t recognize you.) but not your current villagers. You can get your current ones to visit though by giving them chocolates you can get in the office. Make note that if you given them to a villager, you will immediately be taken to the island with the villager with no chance not to go. Also, to get the chocolate, you will need to earn poki. This is the money of the island that you earn from making the houses for villagers and can be used to buy items in the office that change daily just like in Nook’s store. You can only use poki though. Bells are worthless on this island. Just find a villager and they will be thinking of the theme they want built. If you like the option, talk to them while in work clothes and you can set a meeting with them and Lottie. They will give the theme a name and mention 2-3 items that must be used in the design. They will show up in wrapped boxes either inside (most commonly) or outside the house. You can decorate the inside and outside of the house. You will get a list of recommended items but will have a larger selection to pick from. At first, the place is small but you can eventually make them bigger. You get to pick the house location which gives you different yards to use. You can even change the look of the house exterior as well. Make sure to do stuff to both the inside and outside to get the most money from the job. Eventually, you’ll start opening up buildings on the main island including a school (I’m not sure why the villagers are still in school.) and a restaurant. It can be fun but can also get old unless you enjoy decorating rooms because that’s all you do. Other than taking back stuff you’ve bought on this island, your job doesn’t seem to have any effect on your island at all. I’ll include some pictures of designs I did at the end of the post.
This update brought me back to the game for a bit but, overall, didn’t pull me in for long. The free updates are somewhat disappointing. Only the paid DLC gave anything really interesting to do.