Animal Crossing New Horizons was released on March 20 2020, and it was perfect timing with all of the stuff going on. I have played many, many hours and so have my brother and sister. Here is my opinion: The game is really good. The graphics are great, the gameplay loop is fun, and honestly we all need an escape from the real world. Animal Crossing provides that. 

The game is simple: you move to a deserted island with two other animals and you live together. You decorate your home and the island with cosmetic items that you craft with the resources that regenerate daily. 

While doing that you also pay off your debt to Tom Nook, expand your home, and just live a happy life with your neighbors. That is literally the game. 

Now.. that sounds like it would get boring, but the game has this nifty feature that gives you what are, essentially, quests to do that make it so you keep playing.  They aren’t lame either. They feel rewarding to do. 

It rewards you for picking the weeds and gathering materials.  There is a rock that literally gives you money somewhere on your island! Why wouldn’t you want to play every day. 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons encourages appointment gaming, where you stop by once a day to gather resources and check the shop. It rewards you for picking the weeds and gathering materials every day.  There is even a rock that literally GIVES you money somewhere on your island every day. Why wouldn’t you want to come back? 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons also has a multiplayer mode where you visit your friends islands and they visit yours. This experience is honestly one of my favorite parts. I love going to my brother and sister’s islands and helping them make money or sharing cool new crafting recipes.

Can a kid play it? 

Yes most definitely. The game is simple, there are no moments that are difficult, there are no complicated button presses to pull off a jump and or anything like that. You just walk around, pick things up, and sell them. 

There is a little reading involved, but if they are not able to read then the parts of the game that they will be playing, running around the island and picking stuff up, don’t involve reading.

Should a kid play it? 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.

This is a simulation game in which players explore a deserted island, interact with animals, and engage in various activities (e.g., fishing, bug catching, fossil hunting). Some bugs can sting players, causing them to become dizzy and collapse. Players can bonk characters on the head and/or push them into holes. One character is seen with mucus dripping from his nose; the dialogue also contains comical references (e.g., “Whoever smelt it dealt it.”).

Should you buy it? 

Yes and no. It depends on your family. 

If you are an adult buying the game for yourself and a young child then yes! This is a great game to share! You should make sure that the adult (or whoever is most game savvy) boots the game up first though. This way they become the main player on the island and aren’t held back by the other player. 

If you live in a household with more than one Switch, then we definitely recommend buying a copy for each Switch. Each Switch will have separate islands and there will be no issues sharing resources. The different players in the house will be able to play multiplayer together. 

However, if you are buying the game for two kids that are around the same age and gaming ability who also share a Switch, then you may want to think about it. Each Switch only has one island, and this can lead to frustration. The first person to play the game and name the island is the Island Representative, and is the only person who can do some of the quests and activities. You’ll definitely want to have a plan for how they will share the island. 


All in all Animal Crossing: New Horizons is amazing. Anyone can play it, there is no inappropriate content, and the game is just fun. Even though there are some issues with players who join after the game has started being able to make decisions about the island and all that, the game is great!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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