One bright March morning, the island of Hrothgar was born, rising from the waves to mark the launch of the new Animal Crossing game, New Horizons. I remember it well for I was there that day… I still remember the soft sand shifting between my sandals, the sun bearing down on my face. I wore a hat back then. This is my story.
My first two island friends were Pinky and Flo. Pinky immediately got on my bad side by saying things like, “I went for a walk but got bored”. Oh, isn’t my island good enough for you? I vowed she would be the first to go, oh how I hated her! But she grew on me over time. By the time she said she was thinking of leaving, it hurt but I let her go, she dreamed too big for this small town…
Ah, those glorious early days. When our houses were mere rooms, when time visiting each other’s islands was spent on cheap benches because the theme park wasn’t ready, and the zen garden was closed for maintenance.
Island trips became my addiction. I lost count of how many Nook miles I spent, desperate to see something other than my native pear. Then, one evening it happened. An island full of riches. I live in regret that I filled my inventory with countless butterflies and not a single stem of floral life; I still don’t have blue pansies on Hrothgar to this day.
I loved to check in on the islanders. I became fond of the residents of my friends’ islands too. We were like one giant community, bound together by the challenges of island living.
Though sometimes I thought my friends probably shouldn’t have invited me over.
One of my favourite moments of the day was checking in on Stitches. He always knew how to cheer me up. I’d never been compared to a fancy cake before, but it felt good.
Occasionally, I would stumble upon a new face stalking through the woods or along the beach. Sometimes they sold turnips, other times they wanted my bugs.
Soon, I heard rumours of hybrid flowers, of new colours sprouting from old. It took me a long time to learn you had to water them to make this happen – it wasn’t just magic.
The square was frequently visited by vendors, selling a variety of wares.
On Bunny Day, the square was home to Zipper the rabbit. His unblinking eyes watched me whenever I passed. I locked my door, and counted down the hours until he would leave.
The islanders were suspicious of him. I don’t blame them.
First thing every morning, I ran to my letterbox to check for new mail. My island friends frequently sent me letters. Some of these things were probably better left unsaid.
Beardo was the first to visit my campsite. He brought his old charm and his impeccable taste in dark wood furniture.
Though, he didn’t always make good decisions.
This wasn’t the first time my islanders upset each other. I was their confidant, and I took my role seriously. Whether they were sick or upset, I was there for them.
But they were so full of character.
And in return they taught me how to feel.
My island thrives. The community grows. Roll on another 30 days of island life…
Joking aside, this game has been a really great distraction through lockdown, and while I can’t see my friends, visiting each other’s islands has been a really special way to keep in touch. Let me know if you’re enjoying the game so far!