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Animal Crossing: New Horizons Pax East 2020 hands-on preview

Please take a look at our hands-on preview for Animal Crossing: New Horizons at Pax East 2020.


Big name companies had been backing out of PAX East 2020 left and right but one of the heavy hitters decided to forgo all that and “ship up to Boston” this weekend. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m referring to Nintendo going to PAX East with one of their heavy hitter franchises that everyone has been asking for, Animal Crossing. Animal Crossing: New Horizons will take center stage during the weekend but that isn’t all. Nintendo has a merchandise booth at the show and that’s something they normally don’t do. Attendees are able to get Pax East exclusive shirts and hoodies as well as Nintendo pins, while supplies last of course and shocker, they didn’t last long. Nintendo was also giving out Isabelle pins to “My Nintendo” members by scanning their My Nintendo I.D. number/QR code at the Nintendo booth and this line matched the demo booth in terms of length and wait time.

The Animal Crossing: New Horizons demo was multiplayer, with four player parties on an island. One player takes the role of team leader and the other three follow their direction. The leader is the only one that can actually make decisions in terms of where to go as well as crafting things. Crafting will be a vital component to your survival on the island, as you’ll be making all kinds of stuff from the things you find while exploring. The crafting aspect is like any other franchise that has a similar feature, meaning players will have to collect supplies and then bring them to the crafting table at Tom Nook’s. One of our party members needed a pole to get across lakes/ponds so we had to find five pieces of wood for him.

Each player received time to be the group leader and during my turn, we went to the Able Sisters clothing store to check it out. Masters of design in previous Animal Crossing games will transfer over to New Horizons. Players will also be able to purchase clothing from the shop as well as accessories like a bunny hood but that item was pretty pricey. You could say island imports don’t come cheap but bells are all over the place so players shouldn’t have a problem.

Players are able to fish, dig holes with your shovel and find bells and fossils, catch bugs with the bug catching net, use the watering can and the axe to whack trees. New addition to the lineup is the pole-vaulting pole I mentioned earlier that will allow players to launch themselves over bodies of water like lakes/ponds.

If the word of mouth going around at the convention center as well as on social media is any indication, Nintendo hit a home run with their booth as well as allowing players to play some Animal Crossing: New Horizons a month before the official release. Only time will tell if every switch owner will be investing with Tom Nook but it looks like Nook’s going to be swimming in bells once again on March 20, 2020.

Contributing Editor

Steve is from the great state of New Jersey.  He went to college for History and has experience working in photography and video work. He’s grown up on Nintendo and loves sports, fighting, and role-playing games. He’s also big into video game soundtracks.

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