I found my Nintendo Switch – read: my brother’s Nintendo Switch – in a drawer underneath the telly, drained of all its juices. I hadn’t touched it in months. The last time I wrote about it was May 25 last year, but such is life (COVID-19) that Melbourne is back in lockdown. So, naturally, I thought I’d visit my island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons again. Join me as Tom Nook berates me for not looking after the place.
When I say I was obsessed with Animal Crossing: New Horizons last year, I mean it. It absolutely got me through lockdown. My life revolved around it – 50 per cent of the PTV articles written about the game last year were by me.
I put in effort.
Do you know how annoying it is to put down a custom path in Animal Crossing? It was like slowly peeling off a hangnail. But I did it, because I had nothing else to do in lockdown.
Do you want to see how sad my life became, ‘cos I’ll bloody show you.
Here is my animated self watching animated fireworks at 11.57pm on a Sunday night, nine months ago.
Christ on a fucking bike.
Now, I genuinely couldn’t tell you what my island looked like before I booted up the ol’ Switch again. Too much time passed and I replaced memories of going swimming at the beach in New Horizon with, well, actually going to the beach.
So the first thing I did when I dug out the Switch was… charge it, and wipe a layer of dust off the charging dock. When I held the Switch in my hands I was violently reminded of a rainy weekend last year when I had Folklore on repeat. My days alternated between finishing a puzzle and Animal Crossing. Oh, and watching The Great for the first time. That was about as exciting as things got for me.
So without further ado, here is a live summary of what I found on Fern island.
I haven’t played Animal Crossing in so long that the time stopped ticking over. It is, according to my island, 2.06pm on January 1, 2021. Off to a strong start, I’d say.
Alright, we’re in and I’ve switched it to the correct – WHAT DID THEY DO TO MY HAIR.
Alright, okay, I’ve shaken out the bed hair and we’re back to normal. There are weeds EVERYWHERE.
Also, literally the first neighbour I spotted was Canberra and she immediately asked if she could leave my island. Fair enough!
Did I let her leave? Nope! Ehehehe.
The next neighbour I found was Lucha, who was one of the first neighbours to move to my island. And he shall remain there forever because he and his wrestling gear rule.
Plus, Lucha loves me! Even though I abandoned him.
And yes, that is an attempt at a rainbow flower garden that I inevitably abandoned because trying to breed green flowers hurt my brain.
Next: Bea, sweet Bea.
Everyone hates me now, especially that flog Anabelle. Never liked her, and no matter what I did she’d never leave Fern. I think I pushed her into a hole once. Not sorry about it.
This game is like riding a bike, if that bike is covered in lots and lots of weeds. I think my eye just twitched.
Not quite sure what I was doing here, but there you go.
Ayyy, more neighbours!
Being called ‘June bug’ by a walking octopus named Octavian just tickles me.
Though plenty of time has passed, the game appears to be exactly the same. It’s probably why so many people stopped playing it, ‘cos things started to get real old when you could only DIY pieces of furniture one at a time.
Plus, New Horizons has yet to welcome beloved character Brewster to the game, the coffee-sipping pigeon from past versions of Animal Crossing.
If you ask me, I bet developers are keeping that trick up their sleeves until they really, really need it.
Before I wrap things up, look at the state of my bag. Mon dieu, what would Marie Kondo say?
Why do I have a single tree in my bag, though?
By the way, Tom Nook could not care less that I haven’t played the game in months. All he cares about is his precious construction consultation counter.
Steffanie Tan is a Melbourne-based writer whose work turns pop culture inside out, asking big questions about the art which fills our world – and what kind of world it represents. This story was originally posted on Pedestrian.TV, and you can read it here.