MANILA— After the long wait of its fans, game developer Nintendo on Friday night (Philippine time) announced massive updates for Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) on November 5 in a 23-minute livestream.
Nintendo had teased the reemergence of barista pigeon Brewster, who gets his own coffee nook in the museum manned by bug-fearing owl Blathers in announcing the date for the ACNH Direct— a 20-minute livestream brandishing features to be added in the game update for Nintendo Switch's version of the "Animal Crossing" franchise.
The 2.0 update - the “last major free content update” for the game title - leads off with Brewster. It was the tip of the iceberg, as Nintendo also introduced an overwhelming number of features and the reappearance of old franchise characters sought to expand island-building capabilities.
The update marks the return of sea-shanty singing Kapp’n, a turtle who ferries the player to an unknown island with new resources otherwise not seen in earlier versions.
Harv’s Island, which currently only has the photo booth, will also be expanded to create a new nook which allows the player to purchase from shops of roaming non-player villagers (NPCs) such as carpet-carrying Saharah, leather-yielding Kicks, everyone’s "favorite cousin" Redd, and shrub master Leif without having to wait for them to appear on player islands on random days.
Household favorites found in Animal Crossing's previous titles such as Harriet, Cyrus, Katrina, and old time turtle Tortimer, will also appear with their own stalls.
New Horizons also added features that will make players more involved in villager activity, such as organizing group stretching programs and enacting ordinances that could set player lifestyles.
Villagers and players can now go to each other’s homes as well, a feature commonly seen in the game franchise's old versions.
Home services were also expanded, giving users more exterior options to match their island’s landscape. Users are also allowed bigger storage. Players can also walk through tight spaces.
Additional options to add ceiling decorations, accentuate wall colors, and increase the number of allowed inclines and bridges are also coming, thanks to the new Pro Decorating License option.
To improve the slice-of-life feel on the virtual island, users are now allowed to farm for resources and cook them into simple dishes such as soup or a pizza.
Animal Crossing will also add nine fence types, and an option to customize select fences will be made available as well. The update also enhances the camera app, giving the option to switch to a handheld camera mode or a tripod. They will also be adding around 30 villagers available through purchasable Amiibos or mystery islands.
New Horizons will also have new reactions, hairstyles, items claimable through Nook Miles tickets, and furniture that could be bought through the Nook's Cranny.
Other notable items on the island include a new storage shed, an ABD (automatic bell dispenser) outside of the Resident Services to withdraw in-game currency, and an option to build a permanent ladder off cliffs.
New downloadable content builds "vacation paradise"
With the announcement of the game's 2.0 version, Nintendo will also release paid downloadable content (DLC) in the form of a vacation island simulator titled "Happy Home Paradise," where players can work and get paid as a developer of an island resort creating vacation houses for villagers.
The DLC carries more advanced home designing tools, allowing users to customize tree sizes, and even the weather of the vacationers' rest houses.
Players can also build infrastructure like schools, restaurants and then some. Techniques learned from the “Happy Home Paradise” could be replicated on the original island once purchased.
At the end of each work day, players will be paid with a new currency - called the poki - that could be used to purchase furniture not found on their main island.
The DLC will cost $25 USD (Around P1,200 to P1,300), and will be available the same day New Horizons opens downloads for the 2.0 update at the Nintendo eShop. The game could be purchased for $59.99 in the eShop or P2,450 in major local gaming shops such as Datablitz.
From the game's release in March 2020 until the end of that year, Animal Crossing: New Horizons sold 31 million copies worldwide, Nintendo said.
Re-watch the Animal Crossing Direct here.