Summer vacations are looking a little different this year. It’s around this time that most people would be jetting off to an exciting country, or hitting the road to spend a weekend at a beach side town. But with the novel coronavirus, everyone the world over has been forced to put the breaks on those plans. While vacationing anywhere this summer is not ideal or even possible, I’ve been turning towards gaming for a sliver of that escape vibe, and Animal Crossing: New Horizon’s summer update has made spending time on your island that much fun.
Released on July 3rd the update opens up the vast ocean for a dip in its crystal blue waters. Other than splashing around in your best swimsuit or scuba gear, courtesy of Nook’s Cranny, you’re able to deep dive and collect sea creatures to be donated to Blathers for display in the museum. If you happen to pick up some scallops along the way, you might also swim into a scallop loving otter named Pascal who will trade you for them with DIY mermaid recipes.
After collecting all the fossils on the island, I was looking for more fun and interesting things to donate to Blathers, other than the bugs, fish, and rare paintings that still need to fill out my island’s museum. Spending some of my gameplay time on the new swimming feature has been enjoyable, mostly because I miss being able to swim on a beach for real. Swimming towards the bubbles that pop up along the water’s surface, indicating that there’s something worth diving under the water to investigate further, gets me excited to know what new sea creatures I might resurface with. Each one has been equally beautiful or strange to add to the inventory, from pearls to acorn barnacles.
The only gripe I have about this newest update is the actual swimming itself. Whenever your character is in the water you can really take your time paddling away to your little heart’s content, except don’t expect to speed swim either. Swimming in the game can feel very slow, and if you’re ready to go back ashore but have lost your sense of direction, then you might be spending more time in the water than you really want to until you finally get your bearings. There have been a few times where I couldn’t quite figure out which direction I needed to face to get back on land, finding myself hitting up against the netting barrier to mark off the dead ends of your ocean exploration.
Despite this minor issue, the summer update on New Horizons give players every reason to stay completely hooked on this game. When I have every intention of giving some of my time to other video games, I always find myself defaulting back to New Horizons. With cute weekend events like the Bug Off or Fishing Tourney, it’s very difficult to put this game down when you want to. And with another summer update scheduled to come out next month, Nintendo pretty much has decided what your plans will be for the rest of the summer—play more Animal Crossing!
Have you been playing the Animal Crossing: New Horizons summer update? What are your impressions of it so far?