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Animal Crossing New Horizons: Release Date, Trailer, Features and More

Get ready to build your own house, make tons of cute anthropomorphic friends and pay off years of debt, because Animal Crossing is finally coming to Switch.

Credit: Nintendo

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo’s beloved life simulator series is confirmed to arrive on the Switch in 2020 as a new title dubbed Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Details on the upcoming game are still scant, but we're compiling everything we know right here.

When is Animal Crossing Switch’s release date?

At E3 2019, Nintendo revealed that Animal Crossing: New Horizons is arriving on March 20, 2020.

Is there an Animal Crossing Switch trailer?

The first true trailer for Animal Crossing: New Horizons debuted during the E3 2019 Nintendo Direct. The clip shows off the game's calm mood, but cuts it with Tom Nook showing up with a bill because he will not go unpaid.

The debut Animal Crossing Switch trailer simply shows Tom Nook sitting at his desk, discussing mayor Isabelle’s recent appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Animal Crossing Switch gameplay: what we expect, what we want

For the uninitiated, Animal Crossing is a life simulation series in which you can customize a house and town, interact with cute anthropomorphic animal neighbors, and perform everyday tasks like fishing and foraging in order to earn money to buy more stuff. It’s certainly not for gamers seeking high-octane action, but it’s a great way to relax, and its many gameplay loops of collecting, selling and customizing things can be quite addicting.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

According to Nintendo, the new game will have you hanging out on a deserted island, where you'll be able to build up your surroundings however you like. An official press release reads, "Players can collect resources they can craft into everything from creature comforts to handy tools as they set up a homestead they can decorate freely, both inside and out."

Based on the small amount of gameplay we say, Animal Crossing: New Horizons may play much like 2013’s Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the 3DS, which was the series’ last core console installment. Basic gameplay tenants like building up your town, paying off debts and visiting other players’ villages will likely return, and we expect to once again see both local and online multiplayer options.

Considering that this is the series’ Switch debut, expect a big visual jump from New Leaf -- similar to the one from Pokemon Sun and Moon to Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee. You should also expect support for Nintendo’s amiibo toys, which unlock characters and furniture pieces in New Leaf, as well as some sort of potential crossover with the popular Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp mobile game.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Given the power of the Nintendo Switch compared to previous Nintendo platforms, we’re hoping Animal Crossing Switch is the biggest, most customizable and best-looking Animal Crossing game yet. We should have a much better idea of how it lives up to our hopes and dreams once E3 2019 rolls around.

Credit: Nintendo

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored and was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.

  • Joker31802
    Why is everyone saying that Isabelle is the mayor, when Tom Nook mentions the mayor he talks about the player character from Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, the mobile app that was recently released.