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Popular games: Animal Crossing – New Horizons

3 minutes reading time
6-10 years
Tool description
Ute Grabowsky/ photothek.net

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a game popular with children for the Nintendo Switch. In this part of the game series, the animal characters are transported to a beautiful island.

In a nutshell:

  • Console game for Nintendo Switch
  • Simulation
  • Companion app enables online extensions (and in-app purchases)
  • Recommended for children from 6 years(USK 0)
  • Cost: 49,99 Euro

What does Animal Crossing offer?

The Animal Crossing video game series from Nintendo has been around since 2001. Available games include amiibo Festival (for Wii U), Happy Home Designer (for Nintendo DS) and Pocket Camp (for smartphone).

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been on the market since 2020. In this game, your own character explores a paradise island – with rivers, mountains and beach. The island is to be repopulated. After some time, animal neighbors move to the island. You can chat with them or they ask for help in finding objects. There are typical buildings and stores, just like in a real city, except that everything looks colorful and childish. Each player has his or her own house, which can be expanded and enlarged. Planting is done and the game characters can pursue hobbies such as fishing or playing with animals. The game runs in real time, so the daylight changes and holidays take place.

Certain actions require spending Sternis, the fictional currency on the island. Staris are given for sold objects or fulfilled missions. If you don’t have enough Sternis, you have to take out a loan.

Animal Crossing works very well without the Internet and can therefore be played on the go. WLAN is required to visit the store, which offers new outfits and the like. However, this is not necessary to progress in the game!

What fascinates children and young people about it?

The game has a simple structure and childlike animation. There are animals everywhere. Children can discover and get to know exactly many elements from reality, such as certain animals, money transactions and agriculture. Many activities are unlocked gradually. This way, rather inexperienced players are introduced slowly and the game remains exciting because something new is always happening. The controls and activities are basically quick and easy for children to understand.

What is problematic about the game?

Simulation games can be very engaging for kids because they want to keep progressing. This creates the risk of getting lost in the game and not being able to stop.

When the Nintendo Switch is connected to the Internet, functions such as a chat or store can be used. This poses further risks, such as unwanted contact by strangers or unnecessary in-app purchases .

The reality depicted in the game is very stereotypical. That is, there is no diverse people and activities on the island.

As a parent, what should you be aware of?

Even though there is no age restriction, your child should be at least 6 years old to play it. Be sure to accompany your child and do not let them play alone until they are familiar with everything. You can also play together by each creating your own character and exploring the island together. Then you can respond to your child’s questions that arise during the game and understand what he likes about it.

Agree on a fixed time allotment per day or week. Make sure it doesn’t play too much and that you are always approachable.

The game is only available on a Nintendo Switch playable. If your child would like to play it, but the game console is not available, you have to expect further (high) acquisition costs. If you already have a console, but you are not sure if the purchase of the game is worth it, you can also ask around among your acquaintances if someone can lend it to you. Public libraries also lend computer games.

You can get even more information about the game at spielbar.de or spieleratgeber-nrw.de.

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