Posted in Game Lists

Animal Crossing New Horizons: A Hobbit’s Dream Neighbours

Today I want to talk about my to 10 favourite Animal Crossing villagers, and seeing as New Horizons allows you to have 10 villagers on your island, I guess you could say that these are my ideal neighbours!

Please be warned, after whittling down my choices I have discovered that I love cute, fluffy villagers with excellent style and personalities. In other words, no cranky or jock villagers!


Erik

If you’re afraid of wolves, don’t go to the woods.

Oh let’s not pretend that you wouldn’t have a reindeer as a neighbour if you could! Plus, we actually have a lot in common. We both love the snow, have a passion for knitwear jumpers, and we’re always thinking about food!


Sprinkle

Frosting is just the icing on the cake.

As a general rule, I always love the penguins. I love real life penguins anyway, and most of the penguin villagers are pretty sweet. Sprinkle really takes the cake though. I mean, look at her. How can anything possibly be so adorable? Her little phrase is “frappe” … she just oozes cute.


Cleo

There’s something lovable in all of us.

Look at those eyes. Look at those eyes and tell me you don’t love Cleo! She takes her name from horseback rider Cleo Ridgley, a rather touching tribute! As a snooty villager, Cleo brings a touch of class to any town that she moves to, and don’t let Victoria know I said this but … she is definitely the best horse. (Sorry Victoria!)


Audie

Be the kind of person your future self won’t regret having been.

Another stunningly stylish villager on the list, Audie is an adorable wolf villager (although her colour scheme suggests she is actually a fox) who is supposedly named after 87 year old Audrey Buchanan who put more than 3500 hours into her New Leaf town. I really hope I can get her to move to my island one day soon!


Zucker

There’s no such thing as luck.

Zucker is one of the villagers who is portrayed as food, and frankly one of the best. I love the octopus villagers, look at their cute little tentacles and suckers! I always thought that he was supposed to be some sort of chocolate pudding, but he is in fact takoyaki, a savoury dish that often has octopus as a filling … slightly macabre huh?


Marina

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

So adorable. So pink. So cute! I love her and I need her. I’m not sure if I can add anything else to this.


Julia

Cut once, measure twice… Wait- reverse that.

Julia is an ostrich villager, but her design makes her quite obviously a peacock. I challenge you to find a more flamboyantly stylish villager. She is currently a resident on my island, and that is actually the first time that I have seen her – I’ll make sure she sticks around because I have really come to like her. (Plus she sends me nice presents)


Tangy

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!


Tangy was my SALVATION. I had two villagers I couldn’t stand, I had my full town of 10 villagers, and I was desperate to get rid of at least one of these villagers. I waited and waited and waited … my campsite was empty for so long, with only occasional visitors who didn’t leave a great impression on me. And then she appeared. Tangy arrived with all of her peppy sass, and I knew instantly that I wanted her to boot out one of my troublesome neighbours.

Molly

Like water off a duck’s back.

Molly is an incredibly sentimental villager for me. I got her as an original villager in my first town on New Leaf. She was my favourite villager out of anyone else in the town, I definitely spent the most time with her, and in the end she became the first villager in any Animal Crossing game to give me their picture. Because of this, Molly will always be a special villager in my mind, and there will always be an open plot for her.


Goldie

A little bit of happiness is better than a lot of anguish.

The year was 2006. The game was Wild World. The villager was Goldie. She is the one, the only, the best – the absolute BEST villager! I have not had the fortune of running into her again since my Wild World game, but I am confident that I will find her and bring her to my island. I will rescue her from whatever impoverished lands she is currently enduring, and I will give her a home that is worthy of her. I owe it to her.


Posted in Gaming Journals

Vinland: A Hobbit’s Tour

Like so many others, I have been playing an awful lot of Animal Crossing: New Horizons during this strange period. After all, wouldn’t we all like to go outside and see our friends right now? Animal Crossing has been an interesting placeholder for that, especially seeing as my friends can actually come to my island.

And as it is the first Animal Crossing game in the franchise that has allowed you to decorate and terraform your island as you see fit, I have of course been very busy building an island that I would be please to call home.

Now I would like to take you on a little tour of my fair island, so please sit back, relax, and enjoy your virtual trip to Vinland.


Welcome to Vinland!

Vinland – an island where community and nature come together. Although most of the island has been transformed into a friendly town, there is still much of the island which has been left to nature.


Vinland’s central plaza where locals gather to chat or meet visiting vendors.
Take a walk through the central district to see Vinland’s vibrant flower fields.

We have large fields of blooms which attract all manner of insects, as well as provide a colourful view as you get around the island.


We’re lucky to have a beautiful shopping district.
The shopping district is split on both sides by stunning waterfalls.

Our shopping district is never far away, no matter where you are on the island. You’ll find Nook’s Cranny, Able Sisters, and even some amenities along the streets. A waterfall sits besides both establishments, providing the district with a natural border.


We have beautiful beaches for you to relax on.

Vinland has a number of beaches for you to enjoy, but the most popular is just by the gorgeous tulip field, with a great view of the planes as they come to and from the island.


Take a walk through our shell path to our public park.
The park is a great place to pass the time.

We are proud to boast a spacious park where everyone is welcome to meet up with their friends and unwind on the various toys available. And once you are done there, you can take a short walk through the shell arch pathway straight to the beach.


We have a clifftop nature reserve with some stunning scenery for you to enjoy.
Enjoy the sea view, head down to Redd’s cove, or climb further up.
See Vinland’s water source and how far it stretches across.

We have a number of different natural areas for you to explore. You can take the clifftop pathway by the flowing river and watch the waterfalls on the cliff, head down to Redd’s Cove for a quiet moment of peace, explore the source of the river and hop over the waterfalls, or walk through our wild lily field whilst helping yourself to the native fruits.


Feel like visiting? Come and stay in our campsite, located in our oriental district.

Our oriental district spans the eastern edge of the island, you’ll think you have taken a trip to Asia with out bamboo groves, the blooming azaleas, and the beach-side rock pool. Why not bring a tent to stay the night in our peaceful campsite where you can listen to the sounds of the bamboo and the beach with the scent of the hyacinths in the air.


We have residences set up in our busiest areas.
And our more quiet areas.
Vinland residents are often out and about, enjoying their wonderful town.

Our residents live all over the island, but distance is no matter as everyone likes to visit their island neighbours and explore the island.


Coming soon, Vinland’s natural outdoor concert arena.

Vinland’s latest attraction (nearing completion) is our exciting outdoor concert arena! Just head down the steps from our clifftop walk to find yourself in this tiny valley, and you just might be treated to a concert with the best acoustics you’ve ever heard, and even a sea view while you enjoy the show!


Posted in New Games

Animal Crossing: New Horizons


Eight long years we have had to wait, but Animal Crossing: New Horizons is finally here, but was it worth the wait? Anyone who has played will most likely join me in saying … Yes. Without a doubt, absolutely yes.

New Horizons is Animal Crossing as we have never known it before. Previously we have been a new villager in an existing town, New Leaf had us become the mayor of the town which brought some innovative new possibilities to the gameplay, so how does New Horizons build from this? It does so taking you right to the very beginning of it all!

You have opted in to Tom Nook’s brand new deserted island package, where you and two animal villagers have decided to settle down on a deserted island, giving you the opportunity to build a new town completely from scratch. I don’t think I can remember any other game that provided such a chilled out experience right from the beginning of the game! The first several days will serve as your sort of tutorial while new features are brought to your attention one at a time, alongside all the regular features that Animal Crossing fans have come to love and expect.

You will need to play each day for several days to get through this tutorial before the game can really start in earnest. This will include learning about the new crafting mechanic, collecting materials around the island in order to make your own tools, handing in bugs and fish that you catch which will bring Blathers to the island, and there is plenty more to do after that.

It is so satisfying to see the Animal Crossing world on the Switch, with stunning visuals – the animals all look spectacular with their fur textures, the water looks beautifully serene, and even has waves crashing against your cliffs! And it’s not just visual improvements that we’ve been treated to, there’s lots of practical improvements too! Previously you would need to get your hands on some sort of storage furniture to be able to be organised and store things away … but now every house has closet space for you to fill up as you see fit! Do you own a mirror? Well if you do, you can change your appearance whenever you want! How about a wardrobe? No need to put on items of clothing one at a time, trying to figure out a good outfit – you can now look in your wardrobe and take part in some sort of point and click fashion show, with poses that really make it as adorable and charming as you would expect from Animal Crossing.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that so far I am pretty much in love with this game already, and we’ve only just got started! A new layer of life has been given to the villagers, as they interact with the world around them much more. Previously you would either find them at home, or wandering about the island aimlessly, perhaps holding a tool to insinuate that they were doing something. But they’re going to be a lot busier from now on! Head into their homes and they might just be busy crafting something, or if you find them outside they could be exercising in the plaza, sitting on the beach and relaxing, or even sat down reading a book! One of the excellent new features is that you can freely place furniture and items around your island, as opposed to just in your home. It’s never been easier to make the town your own! We even have the luxury of being able to build fencing around our island – once you collect some recipes for them, you can craft them and start plonking them down to make yards, walkways, whatever you want with them!

One of the best new features is the online accessibility: it is by no means a new development to be able to visit your friends’ towns, but it has never been easier, and furthermore you can now have up to 8 people on an island at once! I have had a great time with my friends so far, visiting their islands, seeing what villagers they have, sharing resources, catching bugs and fruit together.

Speaking of fruit, there is finally a reason for you to actually eat fruit instead of just selling anything you get your hands on. Remember when you were told as a child to eat your fruit so you could become big and strong? Well New Horizons takes that message to a whole new level! Eat your fruit so that you can be instantly strong enough to dig up an entire fully grown tree with your shovel, and plant it somewhere else entirely! No longer must we wastefully chop down trees if we find it to be “in the way” or “unsightly” … wait, is that just me? I like my town to look nice okay!

Tom Nook has outdone himself with the Nook Miles program – there are many achievements that you can get, and in return you will receive Nook Miles! These can be exchanged for a wide variety of things – extra inventory space, DIY recipes, special items and clothing, and plenty more. It’s the perfect way to encourage players to take part in everything the game has to offer!

There is a lot more to say about this amazing game, but I suppose that will come in time! Animal Crossing is a game to be played a day at a time, and so I haven’t yet come across all the amazing features that New Horizons has to offer.


  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: 20/03/2020
  • Genre: Casual Life Simulator