Tom Nook’s back at it again.
The hotly anticipated next installment of Nintendo’s Animal Crossing franchise is Animal Crossing New Horizons. It’s been almost seven years since 2012’s New Leaf was released, and unfortunately, we’ll have to wait just a little longer to see our animal friends again. Nintendo had previously announced at last year’s E3 Direct the new AC game–this time, on Switch!–would be released some time in 2019, Deputy General Manager Yoshiaki Koizumi regretfully informed us the game’s been delayed. The reason, in typical Nintendo fashion, is to ensure the final product is as perfect as we’ve always dreamed. The final release date isn’t that far off, though: March 20, 2020.
The short amount of gameplay footage we got (always subject to change, of course) looks amazing. The new setting is a deserted island, and your villager (islander?) will be able to pick flowers without fully uprooting them, dig up trees to replant elsewhere, and even shake trees to collect wood. The rest of the Nook family are around, of course, to help you craft tools from a workbench. And the ability to put furniture outside is a fun and welcome change.
You can also craft items directly from your NookPhone, using resources collected from the island, or combining previously crafted furniture.
Players will now be able to play with others locally, with one islander acting as the “leader”. Eight players can live on the island, but only four can play together at one time. This does include online mulitplayer, so don’t worry!
There’s also a camera mode, accessible from your NookPhone. There are filters, a zoom, and even expressions.
Brief shots show Freya and Eunice as potential animal friends to join you on the island, possibly with different outfits to go along with each season. No shots of Isabelle, unfortunately, probably because she’s so busy right now fighting in Smash.
The 3/20/20 release date may seem like an eternity away, but we do still have Pocket Camp to keep us company until then.