Animal Crossing: New Horizons adds crafting and farming, gets delayed til 2020

Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Image Credit: Nintendo

After months of silence, Nintendo has unveiled the first gameplay footage of its new Animal Crossing game on Switch – now called Animal Crossing: New Horizons – at its Nintendo Direct E3 2019 event. 

Our first gameplay footage of the game shows the villager farming and crafting new furniture – something that has never been an aspect of the main Animal Crossing games. Some of these features look like they’re lifted from Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, while other aspects are completely new for the series. 

Unfortunately, however, it wasn’t all good news for one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises: Once expected to release in late-2019, Nintendo’s Yoshiaki Koizumi announced that Animal Crossing: New Horizons now won’t be released until March 20, 2020. 

Survivor: Animal Crossing

The setup for the game, as revealed by the trailer, is that Tom Nook is now chartering vacation packages to a deserted island, which you, as the villager, must explore and cultivate into a thriving community. It’s a neat spin on the classic formula of you catching a train to a new town, and one that helps justify the new crafting elements.

Other subtle new additions to the series are the ability to place items anywhere on the island and farming, which helps make Animal Crossing feel a bit more like the Harvest Moon franchise. That said, considering all of the world’s inhabitants are animals it’s probably safe to assume that traditional cattle farming is out of the question.

Regardless, we’ll be excited to hear more about the game before it comes out next year.

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Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.