For a 1:47-long trailer, Nintendo packed in a lot of information regarding the new game: Animal Crossing: New Horizons. If you’ve only watched the trailer once, or were too busy wiping away happy tears, chances are you might have missed a few details. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
You can craft new items and tools using materials you find on the island
Notably, one of the largest changes to the play-style of Animal Crossing is the introduction of scavenging for materials to craft new items. For fans of games like Stardew Valley or Minecraft, this feature will feel right at home. If gathering and building isn’t your style, worry not! There’s a “What’s for Sale?” option in Nook’s shop where you can purchase items normally if you have enough bells.
In past Animal Crossing games, you would equip your axe to knock down trees, and then you’d use your shovel to remove the remaining stump to clear the land. In the trailer, we see the functionality of the tool has changed. Now it’s used to harvest building materials like hardwood. If you want to get rid of the tree entirely, you can uproot it completely with the shovel in one fell scoop.
Online multiplayer expands and couch co-op is introduced
Online multiplayer has been a fun and integral part of Animal Crossing series since Animal Crossing: Wild World (2005). Up until now, only four players could visit your town (island) at once. During the Nintendo Treehouse livestream, Kyogoku-san and Nogami-san confirmed that up to eight players can be on an island using local and online wireless. Couch co-op is a new feature to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Using local wireless and a singular joy-con, players are able to play on a single screen and explore the island together. Animal Crossing has always been about making connections with your neighbors; it feels fitting to play couch co-op and strengthen relationships with your friends in real life.
Items can be placed outside of your home for the first time in a core game
Even though we haven’t had a new core game since the release of New Leaf in 2013, we haven’t been without new Animal Crossing content. Both Happy Home Designer (HHD) and Pocket Camp have introduced new ways to play, as well as a slew of beautiful, new items. Happy Home Designer makes decorating your house easier than ever. In HHD, you can decorate your neighbors’ homes, as well as their yards. New Horizons is the first main Animal Crossing game where you can place items outside. In the trailer, we saw a blanket, radio, and a tropical drink set out on the beach. It would be neat to sit with our favorite villagers and interact with them, maybe even have a beach-side picnic!
We also saw in the trailer that the process for planting flowers has evolved. In previous Animal Crossing games, the flowers you plant are immediately in bloom once you place the seeds on the ground. The trailer showed that for flowers to grow in New Horizons, they take multiple days to bloom, but you’re able to harvest the flowers and they will regrow.
Subtle, but important, changes for villagers
After eighteen years of walking around town (and islands), it’s about time our favorite villagers are able to take a load off, and relax under the trees. Yes, animal villagers can finally sit. Hopefully, this means that they’ll also be able to move and interact with their surroundings in other ways as well. Plus, Olivia looks so tranquil and cute resting under the tree.
Player characters can now wear a bag accessory, animal villagers can wear a dress instead of just a tee-shirt, and they can even wear long sleeves too! Small details like these caught in the trailer are only a glimpse of things to come. It’s clear to see from this trailer that the team working on New Horizons are passionate and detail-oriented.
With just over nine months until the game releases, let’s spend time with our villagers in past games, because once New Horizons is out, we’ll all be busy starting a new life on our own deserted island. After all, the villagers – our neighbors – are what makes this series so special.