Animal Crossing – New Horizons: The Joys And Pitfalls Of Creating Your Own Island Paradise

If there is one video game I’ve played consistently without fail, even with all the other games I’ve played in between, it’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons. From checking the Able Sisters shop for new clothes to hoping a villager will give you a DIY recipe you don’t have yet, there’s something enticing about this game that’s hard to ignore. After focusing many months on unlocking new island features and expanding my character’s house to the maximum rooms it’s allowed, the time has finally come to design and decorate the island I envisioned. However, where to get started and what I actually want to do with it has been the biggest challenge of playing this game so far.

You might think “challenge” and “New Horizons” don’t really belong in the same sentence. What’s so challenging about a game where a human character moves to an island full of walking and talking animals? It’s like Zootopia only on a remote island. But being the architect of your very own island is no easy feat. There’s a lot to consider.

Do you want to create a small floating city complete with lampposts, manhole covers, and public plazas? Or do you want to recreate your very own fairytale island with ethereal meadow paths full of flowers and gushing waterfalls? The possibilities, as they say, are truly endless! Whatever you can imagine, you can build it.

New Horizons has an impressive and extensive catalogue of DIY recipes and furniture you can get for the purpose of designing your dream home and livable island for everyone to enjoy. And if that’s still not satisfying enough, you can use the game’s custom design maker to create your own designs to be used on customizable signs and stalls. Not good at making your own stuff? You can search for other Animal Crossing player’s creator or design IDs to download and use.

The Internet and Pinterest has been a great source for finding creator and design IDs that have been publicly shared. With the amount of options at your fingertips it can be overwhelming to decide how to approach the look of your island.

Plumeria island is taking shape!

Since I started fixing up my island I’ve had to scrutinize my current layout, and decide whether or not I should move buildings to sit on top of cliffs or keep them next to running streams. Then there’s the issue of figuring out if I want to chop down trees and sell my flowers. As a massive flower lover, naturally my island is now overgrown with different color varieties of roses, windflowers, cosmos, hyacinths, lilies, pansies, and tulips. And don’t even get me started on the few colors I have yet to grow on my island. It’s a lot harder than it sounds to part with the trees and plants you have carefully grown since getting the game.

While building and designing my island has left me paralyzed with indecision on what to do or where to begin, eventually I broke out of it and started small by focusing on shifting some buildings to different areas and creating garden oasises I know I’ll want to keep. This hasn’t solved my problems with what to do about the trees and flowers, but it’s progress. Little by little I’m starting to see my island take shape and what I’ve come up with isn’t so bad at all.

There’s still plenty of work to be done on it, but I’m looking forward to the day when my island looks exactly the way I want it to be (and get that 5 star island rating from Isabelle).

Have you been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons? How have you approached constructing your island? Did you find it easy or hard?


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