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When Animal Crossing first came out in March 2020, it was the perfect lockdown companion. It’s the perfect boredom killer to be able to cultivate your own island, give presents to your adorable villagers, and crossbreed flowers until your heart’s content. But the game has grown and developed since its initial release, in the best possible way.
In April, we had the dreaded Bunny Day update. While I didn’t have my copy at that point, my friends were constantly complaining about all the eggs they found everywhere, and how there was nothing but eggs. However, it was very cute, and while people complained, that didn’t stop them from crafting all the Bunny Day furniture possible. At the end of April, we got a second update, including the Nature Day and May Day special events and the return of Lief, an adorable sloth who appears on your island to sell you flowers and shrubs.
The summer update was split into 2, with the first part coming at the beginning of July. It introduced diving, a mechanic first introduced in New Leaf, and brought back Pascal, who would pop up and ask you for scallops in return for the mermaid DIY recipes or pearls! We also got a new character called Gullivarr, a pirate version of the clumsy seagull sailor Gulliver, who gives you pirate themed furniture in return for fixing his communicator.
The second update was released in late July and gave players firework shows, and back up save data, but most importantly the ability to dream with Luna! Dreaming allows players to visit one another’s islands without having to have a Dodo Code or be friends with someone, making it perfect to travel and get inspiration without going through the hassle of arranging a time to visit and needing a code. Dreaming does limit players from visiting shops or taking back fruit or fossils, but it’s still so fun to run around all the different, funky islands that players have designed.
The late September update is my personal favourite, because it gave us pumpkins! Both Nook’s Cranny and Lief sold pumpkins, which players could grow and harvest in order to create and customise the Halloween recipes. The update also included candy to give to your villagers on Halloween, new skin and eye colours for Halloween, and the introduction of Jack, the Czar of Halloween, who you could give candy to in order to receive special items.
The Christmas update was released on the 20th of November, and allowed us to do what many players only dreamed of doing – sitting down with our villagers! We had new reactions, new hairstyles, and two new events – Turkey Day (aka Thanksgiving) on the 26th of November, and Toy Day on Christmas Eve.
As for what’s to come, we’re also getting a January update that’ll give us even more content!
All of the updates have been wonderful, and succeed in creating buzz and maintaining players’ interest in the game. It definitely worked on me, because when the Halloween update was released, I was glued to my Switch for 3 days straight growing pumpkins and finding recipes. The updates make a charming game even more charming, and keep it from growing stale – after all, there’s only so many times you can annoy your villagers by giving them endless presents. Hopefully, there are many more updates to come for winter and the new year!