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Review: Animal Crossing: New Horizons

As I mentioned a few weeks ago in my favorite things post, the Nintendo Switch is one of those favorite things. One of the first games I got for it was Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH), a game that has received near-universal acclaim from gamers and reviewers alike. The game is relatively relaxing and chill, and I can absolutely understand why a lot of people like it so much.

  • Game: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: Social simulation

I, however, don’t. The game gets super repetitive, and even when new events and features are introduced, it feels too much like, well, work to me. I come to games for fun, relaxation, and a little bit of escape from the real world. ACNH just really doesn’t hit the spot for me.

My biggest issue is that success in the game is contingent on performing the same tasks on a daily basis, for some level of reward. In this, it feels far too much like a Skinner box, I want to be able to leave a game for days, weeks, even months on end and have them still feel fun when I come back to them.

Look, if you enjoyed Farmville or other games that implemented skinner box-like features, you’ll probably enjoy ACNH, too. It sets out to do a specific thing, and frankly does so pretty well. It is, however, not a game that everyone will enjoy. If you, like me, prefer massive, immersive open-world type games, this will in all likelihood not hit the spot.

TL;DR: ACNH is a skinner box with cute animation. If you like Farmville, you’ll probably enjoy it. 4/10.

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