Customization is great, several questionable drawbacks

User Rating: 6 | Animal Crossing: New Horizons NS

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a sandbox simulation game where you control a character and develop your island through recruiting villagers, expanding your house, collecting resources, and building decorations.

This game is very catered to the casual gamer, as evidenced by its "cute" graphics, playful dialogue, and fairly simple game mechanics. And these are all done very well, and there is a huge variety of items, decorations, and clothing that you can modify your character and island with. You can even create your own design, which I think is one of the most endearing parts of this game. If there is one thing that ACNH excels in, it's customization, and for someone who likes to do that, this game is definitely for you.

Now onto its drawbacks: simple "quality of life" issues, clunky interface, disappointing multiplayer (co-op or online). One of my biggest qualms of this game is annoying interfaces and interactions that could be fixed so easily. Why can't you craft 3 shovels at once? Why do I have to go through a 2-minute conversation every time I want to open the island to visitors, or fly to another island? Why can't I buy multiple items at once with the Nook Miles machine? Why aren't shops 24/7? Why do turnips stack only 10 at a time, which means sometimes I would have to make multiple trips to someone's island? (and yes, go through to same 2-minute conversation each time I have to). While one or two "quality of life" issues here and there is fine, these problems are a recurring theme in ACNH; so commonplace that activities, in the long run, end up feeling more like a chore rather than an enjoyable activity.

Lastly, the multiplayer: I shouldn't even get started with the co-op local multiplayer. One person is designated as the leader, and basically everyone else can do next to nothing: they can't leave the screen, they can't access their inventory, they can't help decorate. How can Minecraft incorporate local multiplayer so well but ACNH can't? Is split-screen really that hard to incorporate?

Onto online multiplayer. The hassle to play online has already been mentioned above. Besides that, there are still limitations when someone is on your island. No decorating, no museum donations, no terraforming. The argument to this is to prevent visitors from ruining your island, which is fair. But why can't these restrictions just be delegated to the visitors? If these are purely technical limitations, then how can other sandbox games, or even open-world games, allow modifications to the world even with other people in it?

I may have rambled on and focused too much on its drawbacks, which get even more glaring the more you play it. However, in the big picture, these are not game-breaking problems. The game itself is still enjoyable and the customization and personalization options are absolutely fantastic. Especially for the casual gamer, I would ultimately still recommend this game, but be weary of some of its shortcomings.