Animal Crossing: New Horizons has had an epic 2020 filled with new events, collectibles, outfits and features. Most have been seen in past games before, but we’ve also gotten some nice new surprises including pumpkin growing, May Day mazes, hedge growing and mystery islands. With the game’s path into 2021 still looking unclear, it’s time to focus on what we haven’t seen from the game just yet. Animal Crossing has a two decade-long history and in that time we’ve seen a variety of exciting mechanics come and go.
To keep players engaged, it’s time New Horizons started bringing back these classic features.
City Folk: Heading into the city
The flagship feature of City Folk was the ability to head into the city and visit brand new shops. You could grab a designer outfit from Gracie’s store, get your hair done at Shampoodle or recieve a fortune from psychic cat Katrina. The city was a lively hub far out of your isolated village, and it gave a sense of freedom and exploration New Horizons lacks.
The variety of shops was also a massive boon for the game, and let players purchase new and exciting items every time they journeyed far from home. While mystery islands serve a similar purpose, they lack the fun and excitement of the City Folk world hub.
Wild World: Yay Day
Yay Day is a Wild World-exclusive event where players travel around their towns and compliment their villagers. Each compliment helps boost your overall friendship score and helps keep everyone in a happy mood.
Outside of friendship points there isn’t a heap of rewards for participating in Yay Day, but it’s far too wholesome to become a lost feature.
Happy Home Designer: Decorating your villagers’ homes
While Happy Home Designer is technically a spin-off from the mainline franchise, its primary mechanic is fantastic. In the game, you can design and decorate villager homes to your own desires, crafting a unique space for your favourites. While including the whole mechanic would render Happy Home Designer useless, it would be nice to see some kind of customisation options allowed in the game, particularly if you’ve given a silly item to your villagers and you’re unhappy with how they’ve placed it.
All those moustaches, shoes and unwanted pants have to go somewhere, and it would be nice to be given a choice where.
Wild World: The Acorn Festival
The Acorn Festival was a unique event found in Animal Crossing: Wild World for Nintendo DS. It’s a weeklong collectathon where players are tasked with collecting around 200 acorns and delivering them to Cornimer, a guest NPC (and the alter ego of town mayor, Tortimer). For every 10 or so acorns players collect, they’re able to claim one new piece of acorn furniture.
It was a simple event, but a very fun one — and the acorn furniture is just delightful. It should definitely make a return.
Grabbing a coffee with Brewster
Brewster has been a series regular in the Animal Crossing franchise since Wild World, but he’s yet to make an appearance in New Horizons. This gentlemanly pigeon runs a coffee shop called ‘The Roost’ and lets players settle down for a quick beverage while they attend to their chores. In past games, The Roost has also served as the meeting location for K.K. Slider concerts.
Having a jazzy little bar in New Horizons would be a minor touch, but the chill vibes Brewster brings are absolutely essential. Having another shop to visit would also be great.
New Leaf: Tours on Tortimer Island
Tortimer Island is a special location in New Leaf where players can take on a bunch of mini-games including ore-collecting, fishing, gardening, balloon-hunting and more. Each activity earns players medals, which can be used to purchase unique items from Tortimer’s family. There’s also multiple layers of challenge with these games, meaning players need to exert some level of skill to complete them all.
Currently, New Horizons lacks that challenge, with mini-games being very scarce in mainline gameplay. New island tours and additional mini-games like the May Day maze would certainly create a new level of challenge and engagement.
Wild World: The Observatory
While Celeste does appear in New Horizons, she only makes fleeting appearances during shooting star events. In Wild World, she was a permanent resident of your town and ran the local observatory. She let players use the telescope, where they could draw their own constellations and have them featured in the night sky.
It was a simple mechanic but a very sweet one, and being able to map the stars once again would be fantastic.
What features would you like to see return in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Are you still playing the game? Sound off in the comments below.