Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Seasonal Spring Updates Through June

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We can all agree that Animal Crossing: New Horizons‘ first seasonal event, Bunny Day, was too much. It lasted too long and resulted in an avalanche of eggs, making it hard to craft anything that wasn’t a Bunny Day recipe. Hopefully the next several events, which Nintendo has recently outlined, will fare much better.

The next event, beginning today, is Nature Day. Nature Day is a week-long event with special Nook Miles challenges that feature goals that have to do with nature, such as planting trees and watering flowers. Nature Day runs through May 4th.

Starting May 1 is the May Day Tour event. Between May 1 – 7, players can go to the airport and use a May Day Ticket to travel to a unique island that features a familiar visitor. Be prepared, the May Day Ticket is one-time use only.

After that is International Museum Day, which runs from May 18 – 31. This event will feature a Stamp Rally, where players can view their collected fish, insects, and fossils in the museum, and receive stamps in their stamp card and earn rewards.

Finally in June it’s Wedding Season. Wedding Season will run the entire month of June, and involve Harvey’s island. Visiting Harvey’s island during this event will allow players to take anniversary photos of married couple Reese and Cyrus. Players can earn wedding-themed items as a result.

Two new non-seasonal character events are also being added today (April 23). The first is Leif, a nature-lover who can visit your island with his traveling Garden Shop. Leif sells shrubs, flower seeds, and other foliage.

The second is Jolly Redd, an art dealer whose Treasure Trawler boat can visit the island to sell art and furniture. However, players will need to figure out which are genuine and which are fake. Genuine art can be donated to the museum in the new art gallery.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available on Nintendo Switch. It’s rated E for Everyone.

Final Super Mario Maker 2 Update Adds World Maker Mode

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One of the most requested editing features since the original Super Mario Maker is the ability to tie multiple levels together. With the final free update hitting Super Mario Maker 2 today, Nintendo has finally added a World-Building Mode, along with a host of new items and features.

With the World Maker, players can now create their own world map that ends on a castle, as in Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. Up to eight worlds containing a total of up to 40 levels can be combined together, creating your own full Mario game that can be uploaded and shared.

Note that you must first upload each course individually in Course World (and be able to complete them) before sharing them in World Maker.

The update also adds a bunch of new power-ups, many of which significantly change how levels are played. The biggest is the SMB2 Mushroom. The power-up allows Mario and friends to gain the unique ability to pick up and throw enemies and objects, as in Super Mario Bros. 2.

Other new power-ups include the Frog Suit from Super Mario Bros. 3, the Power Balloon from Super Mario World, and the Boomerang Flower from Super Mario 3D World. New wearable power-ups from 3D World have also been added, such as Cannon Box and Propeller Box.

New enemies have also been added, including mechakoopas and the Koopaling bosses from Super Mario Bros. 3.

The update is free for Super Mario Maker 2 owners. Super Mario Maker 2 is available on Nintendo Switch. A Nintendo Switch Online Subscription is required for online functions.

Cat Quest Pawsome Pack Leaping Onto Switch and PS4 this Summer

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Adorable Action-RPG Cat Quest and its recent sequel Cat Quest 2 are getting a compilation pack and physical release. The Cat Quest + Cat Quest II Pawsome Pack will be available in retail stores, including GameStop, Best Buy, and Amazon, on July 31. The physical pack will be available for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, for $29.99.

Cat Quest, which originally launched in 2017, takes place in the world of Felingard. Our anthropomorphic feline adventurer travels the land in search of the evil Drakoth and their missing sister. The solo adventure includes lots of hacking, slashing, and spell-casting along the way.

Cat Quest 2 released last year. It expanded the universe to include dogs and wolves, and added two player local co-op. It features an all-new story and retains plenty of cat and dog puns.

Both Cat Quest games are available digitally on PC (Steam), PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One. The physical Pawsome Pack is releasing only for PS4 and Switch, on July 31. Cat Quest is made by Singapore-based developer The Gentlebros and published by PQube.

The Cat Quest series is rated E10+ with Fantasy Violence.

Opinion: Animal Crossing: New Horizons Local Co-op is Frustratingly Limited

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I was the first person to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons in my house. I didn’t realize the power that would be bestowed upon me as the island’s primary resident representative. Now that my spouse and kid are enjoying the game – and playing more than me – we’ve discovered New Horizons’ frustrating limits on local co-op, holding back an otherwise endlessly endearing family game.

The first and biggest limitation is that every local player using the same Switch must share an island. Each player can use their own Nintendo accounts and set up their own homes. But they end up on the same island that the original player, the resident rep, chose at the beginning.

To play local co-op, each player will need to start the game on their account, set up their starter tent, and unlock the Call Resident app. From there, a player can use Call Resident in the Nook Phone menu to add a local player to the session. The player who started first will be the Leader. Only the Leader can talk to islanders, craft objects, and access their inventory. Players can switch leaders by going back to the Call Resident screen, or by shaking their Joy Con.

Sharing an island automatically creates several problems that online players with rowdy friends may have discovered – other players chopping down trees, destroying rocks, and otherwise harvesting all of your resources and altering the island.

Any player can use a Nook Miles ticket to travel to other islands, possibly meeting new potential islanders for their own island. If you’re sharing your island with others, it’s easy to end up with new island residents that you’ve never even met before (thankfully my kid picked an awesome pink frog with great musical tastes). These issues can be solved with communication and some household ground rules, but resources can become annoyingly scarce with everyone competing.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons`

To make matters worse, only the resident rep can turn in quests and supplies to Tom Nook (or Isabelle), and receive the rewards in DIY Recipes and tools, as well as advance the story’s main events. The other players will have to purchase the recipes and tools they need after they’re unlocked.

This is particularly annoying during an early game quest that involves furnishing three new houses with indoor and outdoor objects. Not only is the resident rep given the only DIY recipes to make the dozen or so needed objects, but the other players can’t even see which objects are needed for each house – they’re simply told to ask their resident rep, as if they’re not real players themselves.

Thus my spouse was left harvesting wood and stone and mailing them to me, so I could craft the tables, chairs, and clotheslines needed for the houses, a needlessly annoying workaround.

Yet when it comes to the museum, my kid quickly donated the 15 initial bugs, fossils, and fish and unlocked the full museum before I barely had a chance to chat with Blathers. The museum keeps track of which player donated which item, which is admittedly a neat feature, but the rules of who can do what are oddly inconsistent.

animal crossing: New horizons

Simultaneous co-op is even more strictly regulated, to the point where we hardly ever bother with it. One player is designated as the Leader. The Leader is the only player who has full access to their own inventory. The camera is tied to the Leader, teleporting any other players if they stray too far.

Non-leaders can still access whatever tools they have on them by cycling through with a button press (another minor annoyance). They can still chop trees and fish, but everything they pick up will be transferred to a shared stash instead of their own inventory. Since you kind of need access to your inventory and crafting tables to do much of anything in Animal Crossing, playing simultaneous co-op is next to useless compared to just taking turns. Thankfully you can swap between Leaders without restarting the co-op session, though this too can quickly become tedious.

It’s a huge shame that we weren’t given full split-screen co-op for New Horizons, but the Switch’s handheld mode makes split-screen prohibitive. With a a never-ending stream of fun tasks, charming atmosphere, and engrossing customization, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has all the makings of the perfect family game. It’s a shame local co-op was treated as an afterthought.