Animal crossing: new horizons has taken the world by storm. The game flooded social media (and exactly this website). It broken switch sales records in Japan. Even Brie Larson loves it. It is not a bad thing. Given the horror of the real world, it’s nice to have a pastel-colored paradise that we can all escape to immediately.
But New Horizons is also a seriously stressful game. Tom Nook increases your debt millions of times in the first 20 minutes. Spiders sprint after you at breakneck speed. And don’t even let me know how passive-aggressive some citizens of the island can be. (You should have called this game Cross animalsAmirite?)
Then there is the big stressor from the real world. I don’t know anything about you, but every time I play New HorizonsI can’t get rid of the feeling that I can do anything – literally something– otherwise with my time. And with a quarantine. How would I feel if bars, clubs, restaurants, fitness studios, museums, cinemas, tattoo studios, nail salons, subway stations, concert halls and everything else worth visiting are still open? Would I ever play this game?
So it’s good to do other things while you play New Horizons is very easy. The game is practically designed for multitasking. There are few moments that require your constant or even immediate attention. There are many built-in downtime when you don’t have much to do. (Editor’s note: Or if you’re like me, you’d like to do something instead of constantly catching worthless fish to grind Nook Miles while you’re waiting for something to be built.) Here are some activities you can juggle alongside this minimally challenging life simulator. Of course I’m just a man; I may not be able to list all the options you can use for multitasking while playing New Horizons. If you’ve reconciled the game with something else (parenting, cooking, or other things I’ve had no experience with), feel free to share your hacks.
The widespread practice of social distancing has brought a large part of the workforce into a work situation in which it is more difficult to do work but more easily distracted. In addition, the proliferation of video conferencing apps like Zoom makes it all too easy to play video games while you’re on the phone. (Note to the editor: i would never.) Games like New Horizons are ideal here. You can still turn off a conversation that could easily be an email, but you don’t run the risk of missing out on an instance where the boss asks for your input.
Some people notoriously take their sweet time moving around in board games. You could spin your thumbs for seven minutes while your friends argue about the fine print of a sheep-and-wood-for-ore trade. Or you can throw your line into the azure seas of your personal bay. (You will probably only catch another sea bass.) Your choice.
It’s no secret that today’s games-as-a-service games have unbearable loading times. Have you ever sat through the startup process from? Department 2? How about Fate 2, a game Kotaku Writer Ethan Gach exactly determined as another multitasking game? New Horizons is inherently perfect for playing while another game is starting. It is exciting enough that you want to play, but with low stakes you can put it down as soon as a little more rivets are ready. So instead of staring at your DropShip for six and a half minutes, replant a few trees.
Throw a load in the laundry. Plant some trees. Move your clothes to the dryer. Plant some more trees. Take your clothes out of the dryer. Catch some mistakes. Fold a couple of shirts. Catch a few more bugs. You understand what it is about.
We all have this one friend who brings strategy games to a standstill. Here is an example: I started a completely removed game from Civilization V. the other day (woo, social distancing!). It took about two hours to make 45 corners, a pace that would not bring long-term Civ Player to tears. The good news is that while my only crazy friend made life measurably worse for five other people, I was playing around New Horizons. On the one hand, I built the city of Super Tokyo under the rule of Oda Nobunaga. On the other hand, I uprooted an entire clearing of pear trees and planted them anew.
At this point, you may have an idea of what I’m going to suggest. “New Horizons is great for playing between sets. “Well, that’s it. But it’s also great to play with while puts. You can easily hold the switch in your hands while making a plank. Trust me when I say that the pointless sale of shells to Timmy and Tommy helps the seconds go by. And if you’re doing something with concentric contractions – sit-ups, crunches, etc. – you can hold the switch in front of your face. This works in two ways. First, you play video games that are: great. Second, it locks your arms in place, making it harder to use to swing your upper body weight through these agonizing last reps – something every fitness professional will tell you about is an extremely bad shape.
One day we will be able to do that again. Someday.
Other ways to get the most out of this little game: