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Old friends and new horizons: my emotional return to Animal Crossing

The smash-hit Nintendo Switch game has been updated with a wealth of new content – and no shortage of familiar comforts When I heard there was an enormous Animal Crossing update on the way, I was as unnerved as I was excited. I wanted to go back to my island, sure; Kissing was a tiny paradise I’d painstakingly curated, hour by hour, in the depths of last year’s lockdowns – but had been avoiding since January. For the past 11 months I’ve let the place go to seed, missing in-game events and limited-edition items and, most importantly, ignoring the villagers who inhabit Kissing. Dom, the first creature on the land, a sheep who likes sports – how was he? What about Sprinkles, a blue penguin who wants to be a pop star? I’ve been navigating my return to real-life society very slowly, and I know from experience that when left alone for too long, the villagers of Animal Crossing are notorious for laying on the guilt. Continue reading...

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