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  • Writer's pictureGaming and Tech

Animal Crossing: New Horizons 2.0 Update - What’s New?

by Miles Stebens

After months of radio silence and updates which featured only minor tweaks and bug fixes, Animal Crossing fans have been treated to a major update which brought back many fan favourites. Sadly, the excitement has been dampened somewhat following Nintendo’s announcement that this will be the last major free update.

Let’s get down to it: what’s actually new? One of the most exciting additions is something old-time AC players like me have been waiting for since the game’s launch: Brewster and The Roost. Brewster is a barista whose name is suspiciously homophonic with his profession, and probably the world’s only beloved pigeon. His café, The Roost, might not serve much excitement apart from coffee, but it does offer a cosy atmosphere and the chance to run into a whole bunch of special characters from previous games whose roles have become obsolete in New Horizons (e.g. Resetti, Pelly, Phyllis). Brewster, like Sable from Able Sisters, is rather quiet and shy when you first meet him, but, after visiting regularly, will open up to you and become your friend (which I think is very wholesome).

Kapp’n and his boat are back to take you cruising as well. For a 1000 Nook Miles, he will take you to secret deserted islands. While similar to the mystery islands you can visit by flying, Kapp’n’s islands are special because they can allow you to experience a different time of day (or even of the year) than your home island. Among other things, this gives you the opportunity to hunt for fish and insects that are out of season. On my second trip, I arrived at an island that was set in the middle of the night and had a tonne of different star fragments (up until this point, after playing for over a year, I’ve barely had any meteor showers). Plus, you get to enjoy (or suffer through) Kapp’n’s sea shanties.

Gyroids have finally made their comeback as well: they are little figures which move and make sounds (music, if you will) and will adjust their tempo to K.K. Songs if placed close enough to a stereo. They can be found in digging spots on Kapp’n’s secret islands and have to be reburied and watered at your island before they grow into a full gyroid. After that, you can put them all over your island. Hopefully, we’ll be able to collect and store them through Brewster, as was possible in Let’s Go to the City.

A brilliant upgrade is found on Harv’s Island. Where previously, Harvey (or Harv) (or Vey) was on his own, providing a photo studio, his island now encompasses a whole plaza of shops. Finally, Kicks, Leif, Redd, and Saharah have their own permanent stand with a weekly rotating stock, making their products available at all times and not only sporadically when they travel through your town. Old faves have also returned to set up shop: Harriet is back with a couple of new (and sometimes atrocious) haircuts, Katrina will read your fortune (if you dare), Tortimer (how is he not dead yet?) allows you access to your storage, and our favourite alpaca couple, Cyrus and Reese, return to customise previously non-customisable furniture. Each shop, apart from Harriet, costs 100k Bells to set up.

In a completely unexpected twist, farming and cooking are a thing now? It’s a fun addition for more gameplay, as you can now plant and harvest produce like tomatoes, potatoes, carrots or hay and turn them into meals. Cooking recipes are acquired in the same ways as DIY recipes. Eating a meal will give you a larger power-boost than a single fruit, but apart from that is rather redundant as your energy does not deplete like it does in, say, Stardew Valley. However, sea bass finally have a purpose and we have sweet, sweet vengeance.

The biggest downside, as previously mentioned, is that this is the last major free update. Furthermore, there are multiple minor tweaks the community has been asking for that still haven’t been added (e.g. bulk-crafting or bulk-shopping), and, at this point, are unlikely to be added. A DLC, Happy Home Paradise, dropped at the same time as the update. While it looks super fun and adds many lovely features, I’m not too happy about having to spend another twenty quid. I hope AC doesn’t turn into The Sims franchise.

The update also includes a number of smaller additions, such as more storage space, new recipes, new K.K. Slider songs, new and returning villagers, and more. While the game is not perfect and has its faults, the update is pretty neat and has turned Animal Crossing: New Horizons into an amalgamation of the best parts of previous games.


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