“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” Gets Spooky This Halloween Season

The Game that Keeps on Giving: “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” Releases Its Halloween Update.

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(Photo taken from Nintendo)

Jack, the Halloween Czar (right) and “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” players posing for a picture. Jack, the Halloween Czar has been featured in almost every game except for “Wild World” in the Animal Crossing series.

Tiffany Leyva

“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” released its free fall update on Sept. 30, just in time for this year’s unconventional Halloween season. Pumpkin picking, costumes and more are in store for this virtual Halloween celebration. 

To those who are unfamiliar with Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH), it is a game where players build their own island paradise filled with animal villagers. The game quickly grew a diverse cult following shortly after its initial release on March 20, 2020. 

On Oct. 16, Joe Biden releases Biden-themed “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” island named “Biden Island” on a Twitch livestream with Kinda Funny Games to help promote his presidential campaign. Biden worked hard to catch the young voters’ attention and has previously published Animal Crossing designs of his campaign signs.
((Photo courtesy of Greg Miller))

Now players range from teenagers looking for ways to virtually hang out with their friends to celebrities connecting with fans and even Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

Senior Marlee Practua has been playing the game since its midnight release on Mar. 20 for players who bought the digital copy of the game. Practua even bought Nintendo Online specifically to play with their friends. 

“I put a lot of time into [Animal Crossing] during the pandemic because I didn’t really have much else to do,” said Practua.“I think it was a really good kind of distraction in a way.” 

Animal Crossing’s predictable tropical beaches, buzzing bugs and rotating seasons give players a sense of normal in a time where the world feels like a trash can fire and can make one feel powerless. The game gives players the ability to take back control and escape by meticulously crafting their own island paradise, collecting critters and art pieces, as well as being able to visit their friends again. 

“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” player walks through a spooky graveyard during a full moon. The player was surrounded by Halloween decorations that came out in the Sept. 30 update.
((Photo taken from Nintendo))

“There’s no nastiness. There’s no violence that exists. [Players] get absorbed into the day-to-day things without the real-world consequences,” The Game Narrative Lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University Romana Ramzan told the New York Times. 

In Animal Crossing’s most recent update, players are able to celebrate Halloween with friends in style with new eye and body paint swatches and costumes. The fun continues with the addition of a new reaction, an in-game emote, named “Haunt.” Players can now use their “Nintendo Switch Online” smartphone app to perform reactions. 

On Oct. 31, after 5 p.m., the player’s neighbors will dress up in costume and gather in the festive plaza. Players will collect candy each day to eventually trade it with Jack, the Czar of Halloween, for Halloween exclusive in-game items. In addition, players can also trade candy with their neighbors to prevent being pranked. 

“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” player harvests pumpkins from their pumpkin patch. Pumpkins can be used to create fall decor DIYs in the game. ((Photo taken from Nintendo))

To prepare for Halloween, players are now able to grow their own pumpkins. The pumpkins come in white, yellow and orange and can be used to create fall DIYs, in-game crafting that allows players to make furniture, clothing and more. In addition, players can also shake trees for pine cones and acorns for even more fall DIYs such as piles of leaves and a pinecone purse. 

As the month progresses, the game’s nature will slowly transition from the flourishing, bright green grass and trees of the spring and summer months to the golden shades of the autumn season.  

This most recent update is far from being the last. Nintendo has announced that the next update will come out sometime in late November. This could possibly be the return of Turkey Day, a Thanksgiving-like holiday seen in all previous installments of the Animal Crossing series. 

Only time will tell. So go on, plant some pumpkins and enjoy this year’s spooky season with your friends on Animal Crossing: New Horizons.