The last time I wrote about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, I basically declared that I’d never write about it again, and probably stop playing it.
Well, that was a lie apparently.
I’ve played every single day. Not out of some perceived “need” to achieve things. Not even to live some alternate life or escape from the real world. Hell, I don’t even really care about how my island looks (especially compared to the game’s very very creative fanbase).
Nope, I just liked dipping in and out and learning about the intricacies of the Animal Crossing universe.
Oh, and the Stalk Market…….god damn do I love being able to pay Tom Nook straight away. Stupid debt-creating-raccoon-prick.
So…..I’ve hit a point in the game that I had no idea existed. The aim of all modern games. The “End Game”.
Look at other games like Destiny or Monster Hunter, or countless other titles. You work through the story, you learn the ropes, increase levels etc and then you get hit with challenges to properly test you.
Raids, arch-temperred hunts, an endless pursuit to improve and get sweet rare drops.
Animal Crossing, unsurprisingly, is a little different.
I made my Island a 3-star island, and that is apparently all you need to bring the Animal Crossing celetbrity K.K. Slider over to perform a show.
After that, he comes back every Saturday evening (real time) to play in the plaza of your island.
That’s what I worked for. Nice and chilled, credits roll and then boom, back to your island to carry on…..
But what do you do? Why bother?
I’ll not lie, the question of “why bother” has been in the back of my mind throughout playing all of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. But it hasn’t stopped me popping on at least once every day.
So here I am, left with the usual endless pursuit, but not to grind and work. Nope, just to carry on pootling around, customising my island further and looking to hit that “5-star” ranking.
Now I can terraform, and really go nuts in making the Island look how I want it to. Water ways, cliffs, grass and paving patterns. You name it, I can do whatever I want.
I just don’t really want to. But I still keep logging in anyway…..
The Stalk Market
Animal Crossing has subtle, gentle hooks in me. I just casually saunter and change things as I see fit.
But if you come to me to talk about turnips……I’m a different beast entirely.
The Stalk Market is realtively straight forward. Buy low, sell high.
Every Sunday morning, you get a visitor to your island that sells turnips. Note that this is the only day that the little creeps in Nooks Cranny (the Island store), won’t buy turnips.
All being well Daisy-Mae is selling turnips for a low price. If so, I buy as many as I can hold, or as many as I can afford. Then the fun begins…..
You have all the way until Saturday to sell them at a profit. Possible to do this all on your island, but there’s a high degree of luck/chance involved. Assuming you got a good buying price, you want to sell at a profit, right?
Turnip buying prices on your island change twice a day. Check-in at the store and see how it looks.
Crap prices? Time to go global!
Animal Crossing allows you to invite people to your island, and visit others. Which is great. Because there’s a massive economy for item sharing/trading.
Turnips are particularly special, though. There are sites committed to helping you find people with a good selling price and the effort people put into it is unreal.
As with all in-game economies that are player-run. There are some people looking to purely exploit others, with ridiculous entry requirements and demands. But there are others who have modest requirements and just open up their islands for visitors, for hours at a time.
So, yeah. I buy as low as I can, then get straight into a queue during the week to sell sell sell.
I’ve turned over 200%-400% profit on all of my investments, and made enough bells to keep Tom Nook quiet.
I have no idea why, but the small element of the whole game is what has kept me engaged. I don’t care for the countless items Animal Crossing will let me create or buy, or trade. But turnips, that’s where it got me.
Invest in turnips now!
The day my heart got broken
So yeah, I hit “end-game” stages, I’ve played the stalk market, and will likely continue to do so for a while.
But yesterday, something happend that genuinely made me sad. A resident, my good little buddy Chester. Asked me if it was ok to leave to explore other Islands.
Animal Crossing, why do you have to do me like that?
Of course, I couldn’t tell him no. He wants to try snacks across the globe, a man after my own heart. But he’s been on my Island for so long, we’ve talked about snacks and he’s been shouting “rookie” every day.
I had no idea residents could want to leave, and I had no idea that Animal Crossing had gotten it’s charming little hooks into me quite so deeply.
Do I bring another resident in? I don’t really care (or I’m scared of having my heart broken again…..) enough to make the effort.
What type of moron is going to try and force their way in, anyway? Stupid animals.
I’ve poured countless casual hours into a game I didn’t think I liked. I’ve chased the markets to earn a profit, I’ve brought in the biggest star in the Animal Crossing universe, to my island. And now I’ve unlocked the ability to truly customise everything.
The world of customisation in Animal Crossing is something to behold. I highly suggest you spend a bit of time on Reddit looking and what people have done, and what they’re creating.
In-game customisation on this scale, is a bit much for me. I’m happy with how things are. Just working on my art collection for the museum and mooching around from time to time.
That’s it, I think. I don’t see that I’ll be inspired to completely landscape the whole island, nor do I need to “theme” individual rooms. I’ll carry on making myself and Animal Crossing bellionaire, and just see where it takes me.
It’s been an interesting ride, and I’ve had far more out of my money than I expected. Animal Crossing New Horizons is an infinitely-playable game, and I honestly think I’d recommend it to everyone.
Completely different to my usual style of game, and a welcome calmness in the sea of chaos that we’re all living in right now. But it’s time to move on and hit the end game somewhere else.