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We Explored Animal Crossing: New Horizons' New Museum And It's Beautiful

The aquarium, biodome, and exhibit will make collecting more exciting.


One of the biggest gameplay loops of Animal Crossing has been the act of collecting bugs, catching fish, and digging up fossils for your town's museum to put on display. Those things are still a core part of New Horizons, and this new entry into the Animal Crossing series will likely further motivate you to do all that, because the new museum is absolutely beautiful.

We had a chance to play an expanded demo of Animal Crossing: New Horizons at PAX East 2020 (we've also now published our Animal Crossing: New Horizons review-in-progress), and we saw a little bit of the crafting system, a ton of fashion options you'll eventually unlock, and more of what the island has to offer. But the redesigned museum still stands out to me as one of my favorite features. You can see what I'm talking about in our gameplay video below (starting at 6:38).

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Now Playing: 10 Minutes Of Animal Crossing: New Horizons Gameplay

There are three branches of the museum. To the east is the aquarium, which houses all the fish the marine life you catch and donate during your time in the game. Multiple rooms make up the aquarium, and the serene blue hues, open walkways, and detailed fish tanks make walking through it a calming experience.

The blue hues of the aquarium are quite comforting.
The blue hues of the aquarium are quite comforting.

The northern branch of the museum is the dinosaur fossil exhibit. After you walk through a linear pathway that'll have specific fossils on display, you make it to the exhibit's wide-open showfloor. This room gives your fossil collection more space to shine. And a neat feature is that there are a few spots to stand in within this room (indicated by blue circles on the floor) that pull the camera back so you can get a better view of your fossils, especially once they're complete.

Look at all those fossils! Isn't a bit dark that there's a meteor hanging over the exhibit?
Look at all those fossils! Isn't a bit dark that there's a meteor hanging over the exhibit?

And the western branch of the museum is a biodome that houses all the bugs and wildlife you capture and donate in the game. It's a peaceful set of rooms with artificial ecosystems that make for a nice stroll alongside your bug collection. The skylights also let it follow the time of day so it'll be brightly lit during the day and dark at night.

Nature has been recreated in the museum.
Nature has been recreated in the museum.

Museum manager Blathers has always done a great job at displaying your hard work in the Animal Crossing games, but I'm impressed by the new interiors that we'll have in New Horizons. We have this game covered from all angles, so be sure to catch up on everything we know about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the 19 things we gathered from the Nintendo Direct stream, or how much fashion has expanded in the Able Sisters shop.

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