Animal Crossing Isn’t For Everybody

Here’s the thing that really frustrates me about Animal Crossing: New Horizons and the reason I’m writing all these posts about how it effectively trolls certain types of players. The way the game is marketed and the way it gets talked about, it’s easy to think that if you don’t enjoy playing Animal Crossing the way it clearly wants to be played, you are playing the game wrong, when in fact it’s completely possible that the game’s highly-deliberate and opinionated design just doesn’t work for you. It looks like a game anybody ought to be able to pick up and enjoy, but it’s actually designed for a very specific type of play experience and thus a very specific type of player.

This is especially insidious given the game’s positioning as chill and casual. If you’re an anxious person and you try to unwind with Animal Crossing but find it impossible to relax with, you might conclude that you are bad at relaxing which will just make everything worse.

So please, keep this in mind: If you find Animal Crossing’s resistance to optimization, untrackable objectives with frequent interruptions, and artificial delays frustrating, it’s not your fault. You haven’t failed the game - the game has failed you.