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Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons expands online play

Those looking to head on over to the Tom Nook-recommended deserted island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons can look forward to sharing their island home with seven friends.

Everything is better with friends, as they say, and Nintendo seems to agree. Tom Nook held a presentation in front of an audience of animals, some crossing over from Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and some new to town, earlier today. During the Animal Crossing specific Nintendo Direct, Nintendo shared plenty of news regarding the upcoming game in the charming franchise and there's something for everyone in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it would seem.

Players can start warming up ahead of the game's launch on March 20 by pre-ordering the game for their Nintendo Switch systems right now for £49.99 but they can also start planning their upcoming trip to deserted island life. In New Horizons, players will get to choose their islands from a variety of different ones in different zones. The Northern and Southern hemispheres differ from one another season-wise, thus making activities occur at different times.

Once picked, it's time to hit the airport, in which players will be able to invite residents over via the internet or locally or travel to the island home of a friend. Up to eight players can live on the same island, so players can share their experiences with others. The player inviting others to his or her island will be the 'leader' of the group, but the leader can be changed if one wishes. Creatures or items found on the leaders' island will be stored in a recycle box at the Resident Services building, so don't worry about losing progress while visiting a friend.

To make communication easy-peasy, players will be able to communicate through NookLink which is part of the Nintendo Switch Online application. With NookLink (launching in March), players can use their smartphones to communicate with friends via text or voice chat. The app will also let players download their New Leaf and Happy Home Designer designs by scanning the designs' QR codes. Speaking of designs, collecting materials around the island will let players DIY their furniture, altering designs and colours to fit their style.

There are some neat updates to the land development as well, with pole-vaulting and ladder-climbing being added to the game. Players will also be able to alter the landscape of their islands significantly.

Tom Nook and friends will be there to help, as always, teaching you the basics once you land on your serene island, letting you in on event scoops and general information about island life. He'll also be available through each player's NookPhone, which also acts as a photo mode for the game. Nook himself is also currently handling the Twitter account of sweet Isabelle right now (to help her with her social media reach, we're guessing. Tom has a knack for business), so keep an eye out for further updates there.

Just like in New Leaf, island tours will also be available but this time you won't know where you will end up going. On the island, whichever island you get to, you'll be able to gather items, materials and creatures, some of which you may not find on your home island, and bring them home with you.

Hardly coming as a surprise, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will support Animal Crossing Amiibos, both figurines and cards, so start searching your gaming hideaway spots for those cards. Those having played Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will also be getting some special items, with details on this coming at a later date.

Are you ready to fly off to your own deserted island?

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