It seems like just about 10,000 years since Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch was announced during the tail-end of a Nintendo Direct, and even longer since the last mainline Animal Crossing game, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, was released for Nintendo 3DS. Even more astounding is that it’s been over 10 years since the last Animal Crossing game on a home console, Animal Crossing: City Folk. Basically, it’s been a really, really, really long time since a true Animal Crossing title was released. Sure, we have Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, the mobile spinoff game in which you manage a campsite and spend thousands of dollars of real-life money on virtual fortune cookies, but that doesn’t count. And sure, we had the only other spinoff game that was released after Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, which, while a good game in its own right, departed heavily from standard Animal Crossing gameplay.
It’s a shame there were no other spinoffs released in that period.
Not a single one.
Not even, say, some sort of party game featuring Animal Crossing characters with an over-dependence on scanning amiibo figures.
Boy, good thing a game like that never existed, because it sure does sound terrible.
… Anyway, it’s no surprise that the upcoming Animal Crossing game for Nintendo Switch has series fans the world over very, very excited. So excited, in fact, that we’ve even resorted to such insanity like freaking out when the official Animal Crossing website went down for a few minutes earlier this year. We’ve become desperate for news. Hopelessly desperate. Please, Nintendo… I just need a little bit of it. A tiny, eensy bit. Just drip that metaphorical pigeon milk straight into my coffee cup and LET ME BE HAPPY.
So, while we wait for some actual announcements regarding this year’s new Animal Crossing game, why don’t we go over some of the stuff we’d like to see in it? Here’s our list of the top 14 things we want from Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch.
1. A return to standard Animal Crossing fare
Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer was great. Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival was a steaming hunk of flaming garbage that should be extinguished with acid and then lit on fire again. And Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp remains a ton of fun. However, even with the quality of spinoffs and new gameplay ideas Nintendo has brought to the series over the years, nothing compares to the classic Animal Crossing gameplay we all fell in love with back in 2001. Just a young boy or girl moving to a new town… inexplicably inhabited by talking animals of a variety of species. Getting saddled with enormous debt by a sleazy raccoon. Digging up fossils around town to pay off your mortgage. Picking up clothes from a landfill or recycling bin so you have something to wear. Listening to a guitar-playing dog make beeping noises outside the train station or the coffee shop or the local nightclub. Standing by the beach on a rainy day hoping to land the elusive coelacanth. Rolling up snow to build a snowman and get your hands on exclusive furniture. Shaking trees for fruit, or money, or a beehive, and then panicking as you switch for your bug net and try to catch a bee. Hiding the utensils during the annual village Thanksgiving feast so your new turkey friend doesn’t get slaughtered and eaten by the townspeople.
Nintendo is free to try all sorts of new twists on the basic formula, but ultimately, I’d like Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch to keep things simple — keep things Animal Crossing. I don’t want to be a home designer, or a campsite manager, or guy who hates his life because he has to keep picking up his damn Lottie amiibo and scanning it, like, six billion times just to make a move in a board game that has no challenge or fun to it while crying over the fact that the Wii U would’ve been the perfect console for a mainline Animal Crossing game and they blew it, they just freaking blew it on this nonsense and I have to play a full round of this stupid thing another, like, 10 times just to get Lottie’s Lvl. 4 club outfit and… what the heck even is this, Lottie? Some kind of, like, gothic… cheetah-print nightmare? See a stylist!
Animal Crossing: New Leaf refreshed the formula by making the player the mayor, allowing further town customization than ever before, and I’d love for Animal Crossing on Nintendo Switch to take a similar approach. Give us that tried-and-true Animal Crossing premise and gameplay, but spice things up with new town locations, new customization options, new tools… new everything, basically. I’ll go into specifics of new features I’d like as we go on.
2. More town customization
Public works project enhancements
Animal Crossing: New Leaf took customizing players’ villages to a whole new level with the additions of public works projects and town ordinances, but I’d like to see Animal Crossing for Switch take this to yet another one with a few… enhancements. Firstly, the removal of randomized Public Works Project requests. It takes way too long and is way too inconsistent to unlock every single PWP, even with the swim-out-into-the-middle-of-the-ocean-and-wait-five-minutes method.
For those not in the know, Public Works Projects are basically little amenities you can purchase and place around your town in New Leaf, like benches, streetlights, fountains, etc. However, they aren’t all available at the start — they must be unlocked through random requests from villagers, which are sometimes made when you pass by them and they see you. Certain PWPs can only be requested by villagers of certain personality types, and villagers spotting you and making requests isn’t very common, to say the least. Players have found a little trick to force villagers to do this — by swimming into the middle of the ocean, waiting about five minutes, then returning to the mainland without anything in your pockets (because otherwise, a villager spotting you may trigger them to ask to trade for an item or buy something from you). Anyway, as you can imagine, this takes a while.
I want to see this system gone. I mean, I still haven’t gotten the windmill I’ve been hoping to get in my New Leaf town since 2013. 2013! Either have all the public works projects unlocked at the start of the game, or have them tied to reaching certain milestones like playtime or something.
More PWPs would also be a welcome addition, too. New benches, streetlights, and other decorations are great, of course, but I’d also like to see something a little more groundbreaking, like a native way to build paths. These paths could be customized with different materials like stone, wood, marble, and even high-end ones players can currently find in rocks around town, like gold and silver. A select handful of amenities from Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp could also be carried over and used as PWPs, like the skate park, bouncy cake, castle, merry-go-round, pool set, canvas hammock, and more. I mean, just think of that cool hot-air balloon in your Pocket Camp campsite. Now imagine it in your Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch town.
The system for placing Public Works Projects could also use a bit of a revamp. Instead of leading Isabelle to a spot, then having to inch side-to-side and back and forth to find the perfect location for your campfire or zen garden, the camera could zoom out (similar to when rearranging a room in Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer and Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Welcome amiibo) and a grid could appear over your town. Just select where you want to place your project and bang! You’re done. While we’re on the topic of grid-based placements… I’d like to see the game be a bit more liberal with where players can put objects. Happy Home Designer introduced a slightly-freer placement system that carried over into Pocket Camp, but this was nowhere to be seen in the “Welcome amiibo” update for New Leaf.
Design your town layout
Hey, y’know what’d be cool? If we could customize the way our towns are laid out! Picture it: You’re on the train, or bus, or RV (we’ll get to this later), or wherever and talking to Rover, and during his strangely personal questions about your intentions regarding moving, he asks you where you’re going. You tell him the name of your future town and he goes, “Oh, I think I’ve heard of it! Is this the one?” He hands you a map, and you can either accept the layout, ask for another randomized one, or take the map from him and draw the town out yourself. With the Switch’s touchscreen (or your controller), you’d pencil out where you want your river to run, where the beach is, how many tiers you want your town to be, where all the ramps are, where the shops are located, and even where all the initial villagers’ houses sit. Gone will be the days of resetting for the perfect town layout, or scrolling through map after map like in New Leaf. Now, all the power is in your hands!
More control over your villagers
Finally, I want the game to give me the ability to decide who lives and who di — I MEAN, where villagers move in and if they can move out. One of the most frustrating elements about Animal Crossing: New Leaf was the fact that house plots were no longer static. In previous games, new villagers could only move in at designated areas marked by sign posts. In New Leaf, it was a dang free-for-all. If Petunia wanted to build a house three feet away from your front door, she could. If Jambette’s happy, little butt wanted to trash your garden of tulips and build her crappy, little shack atop it, she had every right to. Well, in Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch, I say… enough is enough. Let the tyranny end.
When a villager is planning to move in, Isabelle should alert the player, letting them know who it is, what they look like, and where they plan to place their house. If you disagree with the placement, you can tell Isabelle and she’ll ask you where you’d prefer them to live. It’s that simple! This way, our fantastic creative director and managing editor Lauren Musni can have her all-time favorite villager Agnes right next door to her. It’ll be a dream come true.
While I’d also considered maybe giving the players the ability to deny an animal to move in altogether, I decided against this. Part of the fun of Animal Crossing’s move-in system is always being surprised by the new neighbors you’ll meet, despite how shockingly hideous they may be. However, I do think it’d be beneficial if you could have more control over who moves out. New Leaf was great in that it had villagers tell the player way ahead of time if they planned on moving out. This system should return in Animal Crossing for Switch, but I’d also like to see a new town ordinance that prevented any villagers from moving out — no matter how long you haven’t played for. Sometimes you just need a break from the game, y’know, and it’s always unfortunate when you return to find your favorite villager has left. This happened to both Bones and Bob in my New Leaf town and, well… let’s just say, thank the gods for amiibo cards.
3. More character customization
Hey, while we’re on the topic of customization, let’s talk about our actual player character. Animal Crossing: New Leaf did a ton as far as improving character customization goes, completely revamping character models to allow for the addition of changeable pants, shoes, and socks. I can’t picture the series adding too many new types of wearables, but it’d be cool if we got something like watches, earrings, and/or bracelets to snazz up our mayors. A feature that absolutely must make an appearance in Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch, though, is free character creation at the start of the game.
This was a facet introduced in Happy Home Designer that returned in Pocket Camp, but has yet to make an appearance in the main series. In mainline Animal Crossing titles, character customization has been limited to answering a series of questions posed at the beginning of the game to determine your appearance. What your character would ultimately look like was usually a throw of the dice, since without a guide, you’d have no idea what combination of answers would give your character what look. I think it’s finally time we throw away this outdated system and allow players to freely choose how they want their character to look — including eye and skin color. After all, not every Animal Crossing player has creamy-white skin, and I think it’s high time those with darker skin tones can feel like they’re properly represented in-game. It’s crazy to me that the only way to get a skin color that isn’t the default white in mainline Animal Crossing games is by tanning for hours during the summer or on the island (if the game has an island).
4. Pocket Camp integration
Did you know that when Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp was announced back in early 2016, connectivity with the main series of games was mentioned as a feature? However, as any veteran Pocket Camp player will tell you, this integration is nowhere to be found. Most presumed this connectivity would be to Animal Crossing: New Leaf, but given that it’s been almost two years since Pocket Camp’s launch and there’ve been no signs of future integration with New Leaf, it’s safe to say there never will be.
“Nintendo will design [Pocket Camp] so that it will be connected with the world of Animal Crossing for dedicated gaming systems. By playing both Animal Crossing games, users will find increased enjoyment.”
Not all hope is lost, though: With Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch coming this year, it’s reasonable to assume that Pocket Camp integration will be built right in. While adding connectivity to New Leaf would seemingly require an update along with some content additions to accommodate Pocket Camp, Animal Crossing for Switch could have all this stuff from the jump-off. And it doesn’t make sense to devote resources to New Leaf, a game that is out the door at this point.
Edit (6/13/2019): The dream is dead. It was announced that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will not connect to Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
So, although we won’t be seeing direct connectivity between the two titles, I’d still like to detail the type of inter-game integration I’d envisioned. You can check out my full thoughts on this subject in my follow-up “what if” article about Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Pocket Camp integration. This piece is long enough as it is, and I have a lot of ideas, but I’ll give you a little taste of what that linked-to piece discusses: Full character transfers, shared catalogs, exclusive items, and more.
5. Updated visuals
Don’t get me wrong: I love the way Animal Crossing looks. While I’d argue that the series has gotten a bit too cutesy since New Leaf (and especially since Pocket Camp), the games have incomparable charm that is largely due to their visuals. However, I’d love to see some small tweaks — much in line with how New Leaf changed the graphics up by altering tree and grass textures. This will be the first mainline Animal Crossing title with HD graphics, so let’s do it right.
Who here remembers Animal Crossing Plaza? It was a free Nintendo eShop application for the Wii U that, um… really didn’t do much. It was basically just one screen that showed a plaza similar to New Leaf’s, with various animals populating it. A user could “favorite” animals and they’d — y’know what? This doesn’t matter. The app’s dead now and it looked pretty. What I’m trying to say is that Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch should look like this:
See? Look how pretty it is.
Even better, but less likely, would be to adopt a style like the Animal Crossing race course from Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. I’m not just talking about the quality of assets here, either: I’m talking about the entire perspective. Imagine leaving behind the “rolling-log” POV that’s been the standard for Animal Crossing since Wild World, and instead adopting an over-the-shoulder one and exploring a village that looks like this?
Like I said: unlikely, but a guy can’t help but dream.
6. Better events
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp introduced a ton of stuff to the series: some good and some bad (cough, cough INSANE MICROTRANSACTIONS), but my favorite was how interesting they’ve made events like the fishing tourney. In the mainline games, fishing tourneys are kind of a waste of time after you’ve collected the entire Fish Set of furniture. And that’s just in New Leaf! In earlier games, all players can get from the tourneys are (identical) trophies or random pieces of furniture.
With continued (free) support for the game (not unlike Splatoon 2, ARMS, and Mario Tennis Aces), we could have new furniture sets created for each fishing tourney and Bug-Off, or even borrowed sets from Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Then, when the free support inevitably ends, these sets could be put in rotation, giving players even more incentive to participate.
How about new events, too? A deep-sea diving competition hosted by Pascal? A Happy Home Designer-esque semi-annual event hosted by Lottie in which you redesign villagers’ homes? The very nature of Animal Crossing’s real-time gameplay invites tons of new ideas for events, and with continuous updates to the game, it’s an exciting prospect to think about.
7. Continued support without microtransactions
Speaking of continued support, why stop at new furniture? If there’s a single thing Nintendo games have done well on the Switch when compared to past consoles, it’s providing free downloadable content on a regular basis: new characters in Mario Tennis Aces, ARMS, and Kirby Star Allies, new gameplay modes in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, new weapons and clothes in Splatoon 2, new costumes in Super Mario Odyssey… the list goes on and on.
Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch could introduce new fish, bugs, collectibles, villagers, clothes, and more as time goes on. Pocket Camp has introduced a lot of brand-new furniture and clothes never-before-seen in the series, but all of its animals were in previous Animal Crossing games. I’d love to see fresh villager ideas added to the Switch version over time. Maybe even in addition to new species types?
I realize this could be stepping into dangerous territory, though. After all, we know how… um… enthusiastic Nintendo has been about nickel-and-diming players in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. I don’t want to see ANY microtransactions in Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch. None whatsoever. This isn’t a mobile game — it’s the AAA successor to New Leaf and a new entry in the mainline series. Animal Crossing isn’t supposed to be about promoting anxiety and stress among players for not being able to afford the coolest new items, or for not being awake enough hours of the day to catch all the fish they need to finish an event, which Pocket Camp has unfortunately done so well at. Animal Crossing is a chill, relaxing series meant to help people unwind. Let’s keep it that way, please.
I’m all for paid DLC if it adds significantly new content to the game, but I’m absolutely not in favor of the reappearance of Leaf Tickets or any other in-game purchase nonsense like that. I trust Nintendo will make the right call here, especially given its paid DLC offerings in the past.
8. New villager species
Wild World introduced monkeys. New Leaf introduced hamsters and deer. In Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch, I’d love to see a few new species added to diversify our animal neighbors. How about bats? Lizards? Wombats? Maybe even snakes? I’m trying not to step over species that belong to special NPC characters like Gracie, Leif, Tom Nook, etc., so I think these are safe bets. What about a few shark villagers, too? I know sharks can be caught as fish, but that didn’t stop the series from adding the octopus as a fish/deep-sea creature despite the existence of Octavian!
My No. 1 pick for new animal species, however, would be ferrets. We already have Sylvana, an obscure villager who made her debut as an eReader animal in the Japanese-only Animal Forest e+ (later she reappeared in New Leaf’s “Welcome amiibo” update — again, only accessible through a card). She kinda resembles a ferret, but in actuality she’s a squirrel. And squirrels aren’t ferrets. Obviously. My picture of a ferret villager sort of resembles Lyle and Lottie except… y’know, not an otter. And not creepy. Or with a bad haircut. Y’know what? Just Google “ferret animal crossing” and take a look at the concepts talented artists have posted.
9. More inventory space and a toolbox
Any seasoned Animal Crossing player will tell you the lack of inventory space in the mainline games is a serious problem. In Animal Crossing for Nintendo GameCube, we had 15 slots to carry all our tools, clothes, furniture, fruit, and whatever else we could cram into our pockets. In Wild World, we also had 15 slots. In City Folk, still 15. But in New Leaf, we had… wait for it…
Yes, that’s right. Our prayers to the fountain goddess Serena were answered and we were given a whole, new extra slot. It was a miracle. And I can only hope that in Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch, we’re given yet another inventory slot to finally bring us to 17.
In all seriousness, though, the inventory system could use a definite revamp. I’m talkin’ at least doubling the current amount of slots we have (bringing us to around 30, paginated) or giving us a toolbox item/menu in which we can store all our tools like the fishing rod and shovel. In New Leaf, carrying all the obtainable tools with you took up pretty much half a player’s entire inventory space. Or what about both? Give us 30 slots and a toolbox. That’d be heaven. It can be such a drag having to run back and forth between your house and Re-Tail during spring cleaning sessions, especially when you built your house on a beachside cliff to enjoy the gentle sounds of waves crashing while Re-Tail’s literally across town at the very edge. But what idiot would ever set their village up that way? Ha ha.
10. New collectibles and expanded gardening features
While we’re on the topic of tools, how about a new one to support a new type of collectible? Currently, we have fish, bugs, and deep sea creatures (a definite welcome addition in New Leaf), but I think it’d be cool to see one more: gem and mineral collecting as an expansion of the current break-a-rock-to-find-gold system. Players could buy a pickax and go around town mining specially-marked rocks for rubies, sapphires, diamonds, emeralds, topaz, opal, amethyst, garnet, silver, and a slew of other precious or semi-precious gems. Additionally, players could also mine different types of rocks like granite, quartz, basalt, and sandstone. All of these would be cataloged like fish, bugs, and deep sea creatures, but unlike other collectibles, the types of gems and minerals you mine wouldn’t be affected by seasonality, but it would affect selling prices. These new material types would mean more customization options from Cyrus, too: Finally, your marble-and-pink-gold mansion could be a reality! These materials could also be used for public works projects, like the pathways I discussed earlier. Want a diamond-encrusted path leading to your front door? Say no more.
Gardening could also benefit from some enhancement. Right now, all players can really do is plant and chop down trees and shrubs, and plant, breed, and dig up flowers. Oh, and shake trees for fruit. But what if you could actually grow and harvest vegetables? Plant seeds, water them, tend your garden for weeds, watch your plants grow, and then pick and collect carrots, lettuce, onions, potatoes, tomatoes… whatever your green thumb desires! Some weird cross-breeding oddities could even result. New types of flowers could be added, as well, and players could start an entire Bell-making operation by harvesting and selling veggies and flora, all of which would be cataloged in the player’s list of collectibles. Flowers and vegetables (and maybe even fruit, too) could also be used to customize furniture. Want a spinach-patterned sofa? A broccoli lamp? First off: why? Second off: sure thing!
And then, maybe, we could even use fruits and vegetables for some sort of cooking/baking system. Add some growable spices in the game, a grocery store where you can buy ingredients like flour, butter, and sugar (and vegetables you don’t want to grow yourself), collectible recipes, and usable kitchen space and we’re in business! I might be getting a little ahead of myself, though… despite how cool it’d be to bake a chocolate cheesecake for my favorite villager and gift it to them.
11. New music options
Okay, I’ll admit, this is a bit of a pipe dream, but I love the music in Animal Crossing. The original GameCube version’s soundtrack evokes such feelings of nostalgia for me, and I’d die to be able to experience those songs in-game again. The follow-ups to the original, Wild World, City Folk, and New Leaf, haven’t quite been on par with its soundtrack (fight me over this). A cool addition to Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch would be some sort of music player item, through which you could customize the game’s soundtrack to your liking. Remember the GB Sounds item from the Nintendo DS remakes of Pokémon Gold Version and Pokémon Silver Version, Pokémon HeartGold and Pokémon SoulSilver? Well, if you don’t, it was an item that you could obtain in the post-game that would replace the game’s soundtrack with that of the original Game Boy games they remade.
With this new item, players could switch-up Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch’s soundtrack to whatever game they wanted: the original GameCube game, Wild World, City Folk or New Leaf. That way, when 9:00 a.m. rolled around, you could listen to your favorite music from your favorite installment in the series. Maybe this item could even let you completely customize the soundtrack hour-by-hour, song-by-song. Was 10:00 a.m. from the GameCube game your favorite version, your favorite version of 11:00 a.m. from New Leaf, and your favorite version of 12 p.m. the new track from the Switch version? With the music player, you could go through and arrange the game’s soundtrack however you want. This could even extend outside of the hourly music. I was never a fan of the museum theme in games post-GameCube version. There was something so hollow and mysterious about the museum theme in the original game that no succeeding theme has been able to live up to. It’d be awesome if I could select this version to play when entering the museum in Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch.
Of course, I can’t imagine the new songs debuting in Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch won’t be amazing in their own right, and I wouldn’t want the music player to take away any appreciation for these new tracks and all the hard work that went into composing them. That’s why I feel the music player, like the GB Sounds item I talked about, should be tied to some sort of late, in-game achievement. Perhaps it could only be purchased after the final upgrade to Timmy and Tommy’s store, or maybe it’d be awarded after playing the game for 100 hours or something. Or how about there being no music player at all, and music customization would instead be handled by a record store players can build on Main Street? The record store could serve two functions: selling K.K. Slider singles (which was handled by Timmy and Tommy’s shop in New Leaf) and allowing the player to change up the soundtrack by speaking to the shopkeeper, or by interacting with an in-store jukebox.
Who’d be manning the record store, though? Well, it could be a new character, or it could be K.K. Slider himself (although working a day job might go against his personality, man). What about enlisting Celeste if the observatory doesn’t make its return? Or even Lottie, whose role in the series so far has been… tenuous, at best, and completely redundant, at worst. I could totally see Lottie rocking some sort of grungy ’90s style as the record store’s shopkeeper. Go ahead and lie to me and say you wouldn’t be down to see that, too.
12. Customizable RVs
Something else I’d like to see borrowed from Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp are the RVs. Players would be able to purchase one from brothers Giovanni, Carlo and Beppe, who’d take up shop somewhere on Main Street. Players could then paint the outside, expand the inside (which would mean, yes, another debt to pay off), and decorate it however they like. Players would take their RVs when visiting other towns, replacing Kapp’n’s taxi, the town gate, and train stations of past games. Which would be sad, since the train is by far my favorite method of travel especially due to the atmosphere the sounds of arriving and departing trains created in the original game.
Players’ campers would act as homes-away-from-home when visiting other towns. Your friends would be able to enter and admire your RV, and, of course, steal any ideas for their own. Additionally, players would sometimes find other campers in their town downloaded through the internet, either around the main village or in a designated area like the Campground from New Leaf’s “Welcome amiibo” update.
This would also tie nicely into the Pocket Camp integration I mentioned earlier, details of which will come at a later time…
13. Revamped relationship system
Relationships with animals in the Animal Crossing series has always been very shallow. You’d do favors for them, you’d talk to them, you’d send them gifts in the mail, but your friendships never really seemed to grow. There was no way to measure how close you were with an animal. In Pocket Camp, that sort of changed with the addition of Friendship Levels, which could be improved in order to unlock rewards. However, this system still didn’t seem that consequential, and didn’t really function as an accurate depiction of how close you were with an animal. Animals with a Friendship Level of one didn’t seem to interact with you any differently than an animal with a Friendship Level of 30.
Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch should adopt a similar system — with some tweaks, of course. Friendship Levels in the Switch game would work a bit differently, with no rewards associated with them apart from villagers’ pics, which would be achieved after maxing out your Friendship Level. The Friendship Level system wouldn’t use “levels” or numbers so much as just a single, red heart icon, which would fill and decrease depending on the actions you take with your villager. Send your neighbor a letter, do a favor for them, talk to them each day, visit their home, and generally just be friendly with them, and your Friendship Level will increase. Hit them with your net, push them into pitfalls, ignore them, send them trash in the mail, fail at completing favors for them, and your Friendship Level will decrease. Do enough damage to your relationship, and your Friendship Level will drop into the negative (maybe even turning the heart icon blue?), providing actual consequences for being unkind to your animal buddies.
Unlike in Pocket Camp, there wouldn’t be a little splash screen that shows whenever your Friendship Level changes, and there wouldn’t be an obvious icon indicator whenever you interact with your villagers. Instead, this would all work in the background, and you’d be able to check your Friendship Level from a separate screen whenever you want. Animals you have stronger bonds with will be more likely to send you gifts, give you nicer (and by “nicer,” I mean more expensive) rewards for completing tasks, and have different dialogue. Conversely, animals you have weak or negative Friendship Levels with won’t be very kind to you, and will send you garbage and death threats in the mail.
Just kidding. But they’ll at the very least have different, colder dialogue with you.
14. The return of long-lost features
Phew. We’re at the very end of the list now. Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to see the glorious return of some of the Animal Crossing series’ abandoned features. Over the franchise’s many years, several elements have been added and later removed, and I’d like to see Nintendo bring back some, if not all of them. Remember the observatory in Wild World and City Folk? This fun location was run by Celeste, Blathers’s little sister, and it allowed players to create constellations — simplistic designs in the night sky that could be seen when tilting the camera upward during regular gameplay. Was it absolutely necessary? No. Did I cry and lock myself in my room for weeks after learning it wouldn’t return in New Leaf? Possibly. The observatory was a small feature, but it added a lot of character and personalization to each town, and it’d be really cool to see it reintroduced in Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch — with some changes like more stars in the sky, please.
Players of the original game for Nintendo GameCube will remember the sheer number of villagers a single town could hold. 15. 15 villagers. That’s insane, especially considering that both City Folk and New Leaf only allow for 10. And Wild World, just eight. What’s a guy gotta do to get some more villagers in his town? In Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch, it’d be neat to return to this 15-villager limit, but that’d also require town sizes to increase. After all, villages in the very first Animal Crossing game were much bigger than ones in later titles. Who’s gonna complain, though, if Nintendo expands town sizes in the new Animal Crossing game?
Lastly, there are some minuscule features from past games I’d also like to see make a comeback. Remember kickable sports balls from the first Animal Crossing that appeared in random spots around town? Special events like early-morning summer aerobics lessons hosted by Copper? Treasure hunts that villagers would host, posted about on the town bulletin board (“Hey, I hid a ranch bed in Acre D-3! Go look for it!”)? Three-tiered towns? Monthly raffles?
As inconsequential as those are, the nostalgist in me would appreciate their return. Slap some of those NES games we got in the original Animal Crossing in there, too (ha! Like that’ll ever happen), and Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch will be perfect.
I cannot state how excited I am for Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch — or how excited the entire Nintendo Wire team is. I have little doubt Nintendo is in the process of making a great, new installment in this beloved series, and I can’t wait to see what they’ve been working on — hopefully at E3 2019… please?
What’d you think of my wishlist? Anything that you really liked? Anything that you really hated? Anything you want some idea expansion on? What about you? What do you wanna see in the next Animal Crossing game?
Sound off in the comments and be sure to keep plugged in to Nintendo Wire for more Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch news and content as we inch closer to its release!
6/18/2019: Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch now has a name — Animal Crossing: New Horizons! And… whoa, a lot of the stuff in our wishlist’s actually in the game! The days of dreaming are at last over. Want to know everything you can about the next Animal Crossing? Be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to absolutely everything we know about Animal Crossing: New Horizons!Leave a Comment