During Nintendo’s presentation at E3 2019, we finally got more details on the new Switch game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It takes the next logical step in gameplay by upgrading the player from mayor to sole developer on a deserted island, letting them customize their new town in any way they so choose. The release date has been pushed back to March 2020, unfortunately, but at least that gives us more time to speculate on what New Horizons has in store for us!
5. Every Town Will Be Highly Personalized
One of the most impactful new features of this game is the ability to place furniture anywhere in the town, rather than just in or near your house. Combined with the half-increment movements imported from Happy Home Designer, this will allow towns to be vastly different from one another. The public works projects from New Leaf were adorable, but the fact that they always looked the same meant that there wasn’t much diversity to be found between towns.
Now you can lay down paths with a trowel, create patios and outdoor grilling areas, set up a statue garden, or whatever else your enterprising little heart desires. You could even build a miniature version of a real city! We can’t wait to get started.
4. Spooky Towns Will Be Even Spookier
Speaking of which, a time-honored tradition for Animal Crossing fans has been creating creepy towns that other players can visit for a haunted-house-style tour. Aika Village from New Leaf is probably the most famous but had to restrict its outdoor scares to buried items and pattern tiles. With the expanded options for town personalization, creative players could make their entire village into an eldritch nightmare. How about a destroyed house with children’s toys strewn about on the ground? Or a sacrificial altar? Maybe blank-faced mannequins representing villagers frozen in time? It’s going to be fun to see what players come up with!
3. Furniture Crafting Will Be More Extensive
The Pocket Camp mobile game introduced the concept of crafting to this franchise, allowing players to make their own furniture, clothes, and other special items. But since it wasn't a mainline Animal Crossing game, the actual crafting itself wasn’t very fleshed out. We’d love to be able to use fossils to make bone-themed furniture sets, butterflies to make beautifully patterned dresses, or flowers to make hanging planter baskets. We’ve moved out of free-to-play land now, so it’s time for some real crafting!
2. Isabelle and Mr. Resetti Will Find New Jobs
Nintendo spokespeople have confirmed that fan-favorite characters Isabelle and Mr. Resetti will be returning to New Horizons, but not in the same roles as they had before. Isabelle has been said to show up if you develop your town enough, perhaps as an assistant sent from Nook to help you manage villager requests or interactions with online players. Maybe she’ll be swept up by wanderlust and make her own companion island to yours, adding more villagers for you to make friends with!
As for Mr. Resetti, the autosave feature and lack of cloud saves in New Horizons makes him pretty much irrelevant. With most avenues for time traveling and save scumming closed off, the foul-mouthed mole will need to find a new line of work. While it’s more realistic that he’ll have something to do with the online features, we hope he’s decided to pursue a more peaceful career like constructing underground walkways or selling flowers. He may not have a reason to yell at us anymore, but we still want our gruff pal to stick around for another game.
1. Old Favorites May Return as Islanders
The “Welcome Amiibo” update to New Leaf allowed special characters like Blanca and Wendell to visit the player’s town in camper vans, but we’d be even more excited if they could live on the island as permanent residents. Especially since some of them are tied to features that are no longer used, like Luna and her Dream World or Celeste and the night sky, it would be great to see them come back in a different capacity. Not every special character needs to have a specific job like Isabelle or Mr. Resetti—some of them just want to start a new life on a deserted island and relax in the sunshine. We can’t blame them!
Most of these predictions are more speculative than anything, since we still don’t know too many details about New Horizons, but we hope that at least some of them come true. But even if they don’t, we’re sure Nintendo has plenty of surprises in store for this much-anticipated Animal Crossing game!
What did you think of our predictions? What features are you hoping for in New Horizons? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!