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Animal Crossing: New Horizons A Family Pass Time

April 2, 2020. One week into the kids staying home due to the pandemic we found a new pass time: the entire family in Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch.

OK Nintendo! You did it again!

My mind is blown away from the beauty, elegance, and just plain fun of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.  I confess, I never played the original Animal Crossing from 2001, but I ‘m sold after playing one week of the new game. Honestly, if it weren’t for the stay at home orders, I don’t think I would have taken the time to play the game. But, given the extra time I have from not commuting to work, I thought I’d give it a try.  The first time I played I thought I’d put in five minutes, but it was more like 30 minutes learning the mechanics, exploring the island and experiencing the island naming ceremony with Tom Nook, Pierce, Dierdre, Timmy, and Tommy around a campfire. The next day I let my daughter (15 years old)  try it and she was hooked.  This game is now a family pass time for me, my partner, and our two daughters (13 and 15 years old). We actually just ordered another so that our my oldest (a hard core gamer) can have her own island. But that will be a week, as the pandemic has led to a shortage of Nintendo Switch consoles.

 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch. Naming Island Lalaland with EpicLalaGirl, Pierce, Tom Nook. and Dierdre around a campfire

 

A Reason for the Kids to Wake Up Before Noon

Tuesday, daughter got up at 8:30 to play Animal crossing before home-school responsibilities. Thursday, I got up at 8 to play before her. I named my island “LalaLand” after me, but my daughter has done most of the work to propagate our island.  Our island (the one I used to call my island) is an apple island- an island that grows apples naturally. My partner @Deejayknight has his own Nintendo Switch and his own island.  DJ has a peach island- an island that grows peaches naturally.  This works well for us, since non-native fruit sells for more we trade frequently.

Last night we got our youngest daughter (who is a pretty casual gamer) to join us. Not only is the game fun, it is a verifiable fun family activity that lets you play synchronously and asynchronously.  It is also multiplayer, so players can visit friends virtually and can open up their island to friends either locally or on the internet. 

Family Fun Adaptations to #ACNH

We’ve found some additional family activities beyond the already fun actions of randomly sharing the joy of new discoveries, building, and purchases with in-game currency. Some of our family fun adaptations include collecting things and leaving them for others. We leave gifts on each other’s doorsteps, which we end up talking about later.  My youngest suggested playing hide and seek on the island. One person hides on an island on one switch and another person looks for them on the other Nintendo Switch.  Sending gifts and notes, we send gifts and notes through the mail at the airport.   I am not sure where this is going, but we are all having a great time and Animal Crossing has become a way for us to connect in our house and with friends outside of our home.

 

I’ll be updating our family experience online.