7 Ways Nintendo Could Make ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ Even Better

Perhaps that title comes off a bit harsh. Let me explain myself.

I’m a relative newcomer to the Animal Crossing universe. My only prior experience was playing the original back on the GameCube, and even then, my time was mainly limited to putting in codes to get cool goodies like The Master Sword and Warp Pipes for my home. Young Brink had no rhyme or reason to his antics, and certainly no grasp of responsibility where getting a job and paying off debt are concerned.

But things are different now. I’m now a (mostly) responsible 29 year old, with rent to pay, a job to work that I love, and numerous other responsibilities and chores on the daily. I’ve grown up. Unfortunately, not all of the mechanics in Animal Crossing have.

I’ve spent an embarrassing number of hours piddling away on the luxurious Dnalsi Island so far and love all of the ways to entertain myself in this tropical vista. However, there are several things I believe Nintendo could do to iron out the wrinkles I’ve encountered in an otherwise silky-smooth experience.


  1. Let players buy more than one item at once
    It feels very archaic to be pulled out of shopping menus after making a purchase in a video game. It’s even worse when each item bought has to be acquired INDIVIDUALLY. I’m not quite sure why items can be sold to shops or donated en masse, yet when it comes to purchasing I can only nab one item before being given a diatribe on how much the cost is and asked if I’m “really sure” I want the item. Think I’m exaggerating? The original Legend of Zelda used this same mechanic, yet far more streamlined and efficient. In 1986.
  2. Provide more efficient means of crafting items
    I really enjoy the crafting system that New Horizons implemented. It’s a simple mechanic, but it provides players a way to make tools and lend even further to mild “survival” aspects of the game. One thing that would help expedite the process is providing shortcuts for the “Tier 2” tools. For example, remove the requirement of crafting a flimsy fishing rod in order to get a regular fishing rod and just have players utilize even more of the basic components. Having one less step to craft decent equipment would remove some of the sting of seeing that tragic puff of smoke from a broken tool.
  3. More variation in Nook Miles islands
    Traveling to remote islands with Nook Miles to pillage resources and gather materials is a blast, but…I don’t enjoy landing on a new island just to find that it’s identical to one I visited just the day before. I hope Nintendo adds in some new variations to these destinations as the game continues. If I’m tired of repeat islands now, I can’t imagine how I’ll feel a few months down the road. Also, I’d really like to see more fruit variation. Most islands contain my native apples and that does almost nothing for my character progression-wise.
  4. Allow customization of the purchased clothing
    One of Animal Crossing’s perks is being able to create and dress your character exactly the way you want, and while crafting/customization is featured so heavily in New Horizons, it doesn’t extend to altering clothes you already have. Players must wait for the Able Sisters’ shop to purchase variants of the different clothing options. I’d love to see Nintendo cater to player’s individual styles by allowing customization of items they are able to purchase at any time in the game.
  5. Show each clothing item properly in your pockets
    While I’m on the topic of clothing, it’s a bit of a nuisance that the player’s pockets don’t display items properly while they are shown in full detail in the shops and in storage. If every single bug and fish in the game can get a unique space holder icon, why not extend that to the player’s clothing? It just makes sense.
  6. Allow players to leap down ledges you’ve climbed
    Okay, this one is a bit more unrealistic but I still thought it would be worth bringing up. I love the ability to scour across waterways with the vaulting pole and climb up mountains with a ladder. It adds a fun sense of adventure when you finally unlock them and get to visit places that were previously just out of reach! However, moving up and down ledges can get tiring. Especially if they’re right next to each other. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some Pokemon or Zelda-style ledge leaping? Again, maybe not a realistic asking point, but worth mentioning nonetheless.
  7. More accurate bridge-building parameters
    This last point was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. Let me set the scene. I had been planning by island’s layout since the beginning, imagining my setup and dreaming every possible way I might establish my empir- er, village! I planned on putting my home atop a bamboo-covered mountain, surrounding on the lower level by a cherry grove and a stone path cutting its way across the ground and up stairs from town to get there. I completed all of my stairs and the first of the bridges only to find…the day before also maxing out my house size and relocating it to the top of the fortre- er, mountain, that I was unable to construct the final bridge. Why, you might wonder? Because a bridge that spans two “blocks” wide still merits a four-block wide construction ground. And that tiny bit of river that curves off to the east rounded JUST CLOSELY ENOUGH to impede my progress. Perhaps this is an issue that terraforming can still help me remedy whenever I stumble upon it, but until then, my dream of Dnalsi Kingdom is shattered!

That does it for my wishlist. Despite these small nitpicks, I am loving my time with New Horizons! It’s a wonderful way to relax and spend time with friends, helping each other build up your islands by sharing fossils and special crafting recipes. There’s so much room for customizing the experience and I truly feel that Nintendo hit it out of the park! Here’s hoping we see continued support and change for this game for years to come!

Have you played Animal Crossing: New Horizons? If so, what are your impressions so far? Would you change anything? Let me know with a comment below or touch base with me on Twitter! Thank you for reading, and game on!

-Brink

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